When weekend golfers watch the pros hit unbelievable shots their amazed. The typical reaction is often “How do they do that?” It’s not magic. It’s solid fundamentals, plus hours and hours of practice and constant attention to their swings. Or course, the fact that most of the pros have been honing their swings since they were kids doesn’t hurt either.
Weekend golfers can learn a lot by studying the pros. They just need to look closely. Below we describe some golf tips derived from watching various players over the years. These mini golf lessons may not help you hit the long, straight drives, towering long irons, and delicate wedge shots the pros do. But they will improve your swing and cut strokes from your golf handicap.
Power and Accuracy In The Swing
Chip Beck isn’t nearly as famous as Tiger Woods. But he is a respected member of the Tour. Beck’s known for his accuracy off the tee. It stems primarily from an on-plane swing. He swings his arm up the plane rather than around his body. That keeps the club moving toward the target, generating accuracy. If you were to draw a line from his hands to the ground when he’s in his finish position, it would point exactly where the ball was at address-a sign that he swung up the plane.
Mark O’Meara is known for his power. He generates it by making a complete shoulder turn at the top of his swing. A right-hander, he keeps his back pointing at the target as long as he can before committing to his downswing. Keeping his back facing the target allows his right elbow to stay close to his body, dropping the club inside. This starts his shots to the target’s right. When combined with the proper clubhead release, this swing draws the ball back to the left. It’s a good way to eliminate a slice.
Brad Faxon is known for his putting. But he also excels at getting off the tee. The secret to his swing’s success is in his right elbow. A right-hander, he keeps the elbow bent and close to his right hip as he approaches impact. This delivers the club to the ball from the inside, eliminating pulls, pull-slices, and pop ups. In addition, Faxon keeps his right shoulder markedly lower than his left before impact. That keeps his head behind the ball. It also produces more leverage, which in turn increases clubhead speed.
Tips On The Downswing
Vijay Sing is among the world’s best golfers. He’s also among the world’s highest money winners annually. His classic swing combines precision and accuracy. It includes a narrow downswing with the clubface close to his left shoulder. A wide follow-through with the club and arms launched from his shoulder sockets also contributes to his classic swing. To create this swing, he keeps his arm and hands relaxed. His legs and hips power the downswing as the club’s weight lags behind until impact. Once the club is released, his arms follow the club’s wieght into the finish. This creates a free flowing swing.
Although he’s small, Shigeki Maruyama generates enough power to play with the big boys. How does he do it? He does it with solid mechanics. Most notably, he keeps his hands high at the top of his backswing. High hands expand the swing arc and increase clubhead speed. Meanwhile, a massive shoulder turn allows him to keep his head behind the ball. It also allows him to shift his weight properly and sets up a more powerful and athletic downswing. To better rotate his hips, Maruyama flares his right toe out at address.
Watch the pros whenever you can. It’s like getting a free golf instruction session. So use the opportunity wisely. It can provide valuable golf tips, like those discussed above, that can cut strokes from your golf handicap. They might even transform your game. So keep a close eye on the pros on Sundays.