My New Approach To Putting Practice

Detailing my new putting practice approach

Putting is a level playing ground…. who drove the furthest off the tee? Who had the shortest approach shot?… When you are on the green none of that matters.

I have neglected my putting, i can hit balls all day long, i can even chip and pitch for hours on end but putting has never been something I’ve loved to practice. Somehow I still manage to convince myself i should be rolling in every putt i take a look at!

I decided to really step up my putting game and had a dig on how best to do that with the limited time i can keep my concentration up, it turns out that this is a common issue and continuing to practice after all interest has been lost can actually be harming your stroke!

Little and often meaningful practice is what i found to be the ideal strategy for me, short sessions every day where i really focus on training my putting stroke. My approach was super simple:

  • Hit 10-20 putts per session (always done indoors on carpet)
  • Use putting mirror and ProV1 (ball i use on the course)
  • Focus on fundamentals using mirror – ball position, eye position, stroke etc.
  • Do this every single day

I have found this a real stress free way to get in some solid putting practice this past week and because its every day i am accumulating way more solid and focused practice strokes per week than a half hearted effort on the putting!

I am aiming to stick at it for another week and then post my results and feedback so stay tuned for that!

The putting mirror i use is the EyeLine golf compact mirror, i find it to be the perfect size and it has alignment and stroke aiding lines as well as the namesake eye line! You can get the exact one i use here or similar ones here.

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Now go practice with the short stick!

5 Exercises For A Better Backswing

The role of the right arm in the golf swing is massively underrated by some, it can provide control and serious power when moved effectively but equally it can lead to wild shots and sap power if its in bad positions.

Right arm in the backswing
This article will show you 5 exercises you can do to give you the proper feeling and strength / flexibility to get that right arm working properly in your golf swing and hopefully lead to some better shots!

Check out the accompanying video on my YouTube channel – 5 Exercises for better arm action in the golf swing – while you are there make sure to subscribe!

Exercise 1

Barbell Over Head Press / Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Golf exercise shoulder press

Golf exercise shoulder press

Moving your right arm properly starts at the shoulder and building up enough strength in the joint to be able to handle the proper movement is essential. The Barbell / Dumbbell press is amazing for overall shoulder development as it incorporates all three parts of the deltoid, the rotator cuff and all the small muscles around the shoulder blade.

For the technique check out this article – GOLF FITNESS – SHOULDER POWER & STABILITY WORKOUT

Exercise 2

Shoulder Rotations

Golf exercise shoulder Rotations

Golf exercise shoulder rotation
The importance of the small muscles often gets overlooked. This exercise will actively target the muscles responsible for the rotation of your shoulder and arm and will help you achieve a better position in the golf swing.

Start with a LIGHT dumbbell or weight plate, hold it at shoulder height with your arm bent at a 90 degree angle so your shoulder, elbow and the weight are all on the same level. SLOWLY rotate your shoulder upwards making sure to keep your shoulder and elbow aligned.

This exercise can really help to injury-proof your shoulders when done correctly and i highly recommend starting with a light weight!

Exercise 3

Face Pulls

Golf exercise face pull

Golf exercise face pull
If you have read any of my articles before, chances are that you know that i love facepulls! they are great for posture, shoulder strength, flexibility and muscle balance!

I wont go into too much detail as i cover it in-depth in this article – Best Golf Exercise Ever? Your Shoulders Will Think So! – Go check it out, do them and thank me later!

Exercise 4

Resistance Band Backswings

Golf stretch and exercise resistance band backswing

Resistance Band Backswings will really help you to get the right feeling of the proper movement in the backswing, loop a band around your trail arm (right for me as im a right handed golfer) and loop the other end of the resistance band under your lead foot (left for me) now make some backswings and notice how the band keeps your elbow pointing downwards and infront of your body, this is a great position in the golf swing!

Hold the top position (as far as you can comfortably go, usually around a 3 quarter backswing) for a few seconds and then relax before holding again. this will ensure you get the correct feeling, stretch the muscles and strengthen the ones which hold the arm in place!

Exercise 5

Wall Assisted Static Sholder Stretch

Golf stretch wall assisted static shoulder stretch

This is a really simple stretch which im sure you have come across before, sometimes simple is the key! This stretch will mobilise the shoulder joint and allow that prefered backswing position. Just dont over-do it, the shoulder is a complex joint!

Give these exercises a try and hopeflly you will be using that trail arm properly in your golf swing!

Please leave a comment below letting me know if you have any topics you would like me to cover in an article or video!

If you don’t have a resistance band, why not? They are really cheap and super versatile, get one from here – Resistance Bands

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5 Minute Resistance Band Golf Warmup

This is a really quick full-body warmup you can do either at home before you leave for the golf course or in the locker room! All you need is a simple, cheap red resistance band and a door attachment which you can get from amazon here – Exercise Bands and 66fit Exercise Band/Tube Door Stop Attachment – Black – The door attachment means you can easily adjust and perform exercises safely with the band.

Warming up for golf usually consists of a few practice swings with a mid iron and then straight into the bucket of balls, or worse, the first tee shot is your first swing of the day! If you want to start your round the right way and avoid silly injuries while your a it then you have to be fully warmed up and ready from the get go not around the 5th green! Miguel Angel Jimenez is famous for his wacky warm-up routine, but the results speak for themselves, he is still challenging some of the youngest most talented guys on tour and he’s in his 50’s! Just try this once and you will be hooked, I guarantee it.

The warmup consists of 4 exercises which will get all your major muscle groups and joints ready for some superb golf swings!

Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, the band rotations will be 45 seconds per side.

The exercises are as follows:

  • Squat to Press

  • Face Pull

Really squeeze and hold your shoulder blades for a second on these to make sure you get the muscles activated.

  • High to Low Band Rotations

Keep your hands directly in front of your chest to keep the upper body connected on the band rotations.

  • Low to High Band Rotations

Try to imagine you are performing a golf swing with the rotations, this will help warm-up the correct movement patterns too!

That’s it, nothing strenuous, just a full-body warmup to get you loose and ready for your practice balls and the first tee! Give it a go and let me know in the comments if you found this helpful or share your current warm-up routine, its great to get feedback and for you to share your own tips!

Watch the workout in action:

Check out my journey to 300 yards series too for some great tips I have gained along the way!

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If you have any requests for topics or questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact me on social media, I am always happy to help!

 

Using The Ground In Your Golf Swing

We’ve all heard it before but ‘using the ground’ in your golf swing is pretty vague, how exactly are you meant to ‘use’ the ground?

In my opinion 2 of the best exercises to give you the feeling of ‘using the ground’ are squats and vertical squat jumps.

Any squat done with proper form is great but there is an emphasis on proper form! One of the best squat variations for golfers is the goblet squat, where a dumbbell is held in place against your chest, the upper back is kept tight and upright, your core is braced and you drop into a deep squat and push through your heels or middle of your feet (whichever feels more balanced) back to the starting position. This is a great variation because it trains all the big movers in the legs (a bit of upper back too!) and has the bonus of being easier to perform correctly, plus, If you try to go to heavy you either won’t be able to hold the weight or you can just dump it of forwards at any time.

Goblet Squat

Performing a squat like this gives you the feeling of really loading up on the decent and exploding ‘through’ the ground on the way back up. When you watch great players like Tiger, Ben hogan and Rory they all have a ‘squatting’ motion in their backswing and start of the downswing, this is the loading part. Next comes the explosive part!

Vertical squat jumps are brilliant for understanding how to create leverage from the ground. Performing at least a half squat, push forcefully through your heels or middle foot, extend your arms upwards and your body straight. The key to this exercises is being as explosive as possible to generate enough force. If ever you have seen a big hitter’s swing in slow motion you will notice a ‘springing’ or extending up from the ground as you get towards impact, that is the power stored in the loading stage being forcefully unleashed!

Give these exercises a try and get the feeling of using the ground properly, the next time you go to the range try to encorporate these feelings into your swing and watch your striking and distance improve greatly!


If you liked this then make sure to check out my other posts here for more great golf exercises, workouts and tips.

If you have any requests for topics to cover or specific exercises / workouts then leave a comment below or on social media and I will do my best to provide a post or answer to them all.

Make sure to like my page on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram, all linked at the bottom of the page and to the side.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get great golf exercises, workouts, tips and motivation directly to your inbox! Also when you subscribe, I kick things off with a completely FREE Plyometric Power Home Workout pdf for you to make some swing speed gains with straight away! Click here to subscribe and get ripping those drives!

Golf Exercise – Full Body Dumbbell Home Workout

Get yourself some Dumbbells Here

A lot of people that I talk to about working out for golf tell me that they prefer to train at home, mostly because it is more convenient and they find it easier to stick to a training schedule that way, you also never have to wait for any equipment! Workouts at home can be just as effective as at the gym and can be performed with limited equipment, the routine I will detail in this post only requires a pair of dumbbells like these (click for link)

This routine is a full body workout and contains exercises designed to increase strength, power, stability and also some muscle hypertrophy (muscle building). It covers all the major muscles that will help you in your golf swing, legs, glutes, low back, upper back, shoulders and core. These muscles will help give you a strong, stable base to make a powerful swing from and some serious distance!

The weight for each exercise should be moderately heavy and so that reaching the required reps is a challenge, when you can perform the required number of reps you should add weight and build back up again. between each exercise take 60 – 90 seconds rest depending on how hard you found the previous set. This workout can be performed every other day for as long as you are making progress or it can be added to your workout schedule with other training sessions.

So here it is:

1. Goblet Squat – 3 sets of 10 reps


Holding a dumbbell in both hands and against your chest for support, push your hips back and squat down until your knees reach at least a 90 degree angle. Try to keep your chest up and torso as upright as possible. From the bottom of the movement, push explosively from the middle of your foot.

2. Push-up to Row – 3 sets of 12 reps


In push-up position, resting on Dumbbells, perform a push up then immediately row one of the Dumbbells to your chest and then the other. Make sure to keep your core braced at all times and perform the rows in a controlled, smooth movement.

3. Half Squat Push Press – 3 sets of 10 reps


Holding both Dumbbells at your shoulders, perform a half squat and then explosively push through the middle of your feet in a jumping movement and press the weights overhead in one motion. Slowly lower the weights and repeat.

4. One Leg Romanian Deadlift – 3 sets of 10 reps


Holding both Dumbbells in your hands and with one leg bent slightly in the air, bend slowly from the hips with straight arms and making sure to keep your back as straight as possible, when you feel a nice stretch down the back of your legs slowly extend back to the start position, squeezing your glutes all the way.

5. Rear Delt Fly – 3 sets of 15 reps


Bend over as close to parallel to the floor as possible, if you have a chair that you can rest your chest on at this angle then that’s a great tool, if not its not essential. In order to fully stimulate the rear delt you have to have the opposite of ‘good’ posture, allow your shoulders to roll forwards and your shoulder blades to separate. From this position you simply raise your straight arms to your sides until they are parallel to the ground. The weight you will need for this is to be fairly light as going heavy Puts you at risk of injury.

6. Dumbbell lunge – 3 sets of 15 reps (each leg)


Holding Dumbbells in each hand at your side, take a large step forward with one leg and drop down into a lunge, push back up with both legs then switch legs and repeat for 15 reps each leg.

7. Russian Twists – 3 sets of 15 reps (each side)


Laying on your back and holding a dumbbell in both arms I front of your chest, sit up and raise your legs. When in this ‘contracted’ position, twist your torso and the dumbbell to the left and then all the way round to the right. Repeat this for 15 reps each side.

The you have it, a full body workout to get you strong, stable and bombing those drives! This workout works really well when combined with my Plyometric Power Home Workout which you can get absolutely FREE here when you sign up for my newsletter which gives you exclusive free workouts, exercises and tips straight to your inbox!

Get yourself some Dumbbells Here

Check out my other posts here on great golf exercises, workouts and tips.

Make sure to like my page on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram, all linked at the bottom of the page and to the side.

Subscribe to my mailing list to get great golf exercises, workouts, tips and motivation directly to your inbox! Also when you subscribe, I kick things off with a completely FREE Plyometric Power Home Workout pdf for you to make some swing speed gains with straight away! Click here to subscribe and get ripping those drives!

Golf fitness – Staying motivated, knowing your weaknesses and todays workout.

I have a few topics to go over today, having a good round of golf at the weekend had me thinking about the work I had put in recently at the gym and in practice. It seems to have really paid of in terms of reaching my latest goals and I wanted to talk about motivation and knowing the areas you need to improve.

Motivation – Sometimes everyone looses motivation, it could be for anything but usually its for something we know we should do, like eating healthy or exercising. I had a slump in motivation for my training a month or so ago and found it hard to muster the effort to drag myself to the gym after work. It lasted a week or so, I managed to break out of my “funk” by doing 3 things:

  1. Taking the time to look back at all the goals I had set and achieved in the past.
  2. Focusing in on the recent goals I had set and how much progress I had already made towards them.
  3. Decided to take a week break from my current workout program and spent that time performing workouts I really enjoy, to get the love for training flowing again!

Sometimes everyone needs to take a step back and have a look at the overall picture, you may have had a bad workout or a bad round of golf but as long as the general trend line of your progress is upward then you know you are on the right track. Don’t be afraid to divert from a plan that you have laid out if it means you are more likely to workout consistently. All of those individual workouts add up to something great, incremental gains make big changes over time, I make sure to remind myself of that every time I feel the motivation slipping.

Knowing your weaknesses – Another area I struggled with for a while was setting goals that would actually help me, I would lie to myself about weaknesses I knew I had but didn’t want to bother addressing. Its more fun doing the stuff you are already good at, right? While that is very true, it generally doesn’t help you improve as much as you could, for example, say you are gifted with moderate distance, you thrash at the ball and it flies but you don’t have much control over your swing and you struggle with a painful back, now would it be better to perform only exercises that help you swing even faster? or would you be much better served building a stable base for  your swing and a solid core for control and to help with the back pain? I know which would help you more! You have to be honest with yourself about your weaknesses when setting goals or they aren’t going to help you in the long run and may even hinder you down the line!

Todays workout – Today was a day when I needed to do something in the gym that I found fun, something I knew I liked and that wouldn’t make me resent the gym! (just like I was talking about earlier!) I decided on a fan favourite chest and arm workout, doesn’t sound like a workout that would help golf but surprisingly, upper body strength actually helps a lot in the golf swing. It helps control the club and keep the arms and body working together. I decided that today would be focused on hypertrophy (muscle building) again, a favourite! I had a great workout and left the gym feeling revitalised and ready for whatever workout was coming my way next, which happens to be squats and deadlifts tomorrow, one of my more weakness oriented workouts. The “fun” workout has paid off in this way because I am ready to hit the gym and give it 100% tomorrow, if I had attempted squats and deadlifts today, they would have been half arsed to say the least!

Those are my ramblings for today!

Make sure to like my page on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram, all linked at the bottom of the page and to the side.

Subscribe to my mailing list to get great golf exercises, workouts, tips and motivation directly to your inbox! Also when you subscribe, I kick things off with a completely FREE Plyometric Power Home Workout for you to make some swing speed gains with straight away! Click here to subscribehttp://eepurl.com/cfdCv-/ and get ripping those drives!

 

The Big Pay Off! A Full Weekend Of Playing Golf.

fullsizerender-1
Warming up for RD 1 of the weekend!

Training for golf is fun in of itself, it is however done for a specific reason. Maybe you want more distance (everyone wants more distance) maybe you want to build a solid core, whatever your goal, you should take time every now and again to sit back and appreciate your achievements. All too often we beat ourselves up (especially true on the course) and self criticism is a good thing, that’s how we make the change in the first place but appreciating the hard work you have put in and the outcome from that is a good step towards building consistent results.

 

Writing this on Sunday eve, I feel all golfed out! I played Saturday, practiced afterwards and then played Sunday too! I played very well, better on Sunday. I had one of the moments I just mentioned, I realised how far I had come in terms of building a solid core and stable base from which to swing, the fact that I could really lean on a shot when I needed too and stay in my swing nicely was a far cry from a few years back when a hard swing resulted in a wild flailing of the club towards the ball.

This is just a short post to say sometimes you need to smell the roses and appreciate what you have achieved…. not for too long though, we have lots more improving to do!

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Finding Your ‘Natural’ Golf Shot

Some of you will be shouting at me ‘I know my natural shot and I don’t like it one bit!’ Hold on and hear me out. I was exactly the same, I had a high draw which loved to turn into a hook and was ridiculously hard to keep under the wind. I continuously fought it and got unbelievably frustrated! One day, after one of the scrappiest rounds where I just tried everything not to hit that high draw (listening to myself now I can see how stupid that sounds) I decided that enough was enough and would spend as long as necessary on the range to learn a cut shot. What actually ended up happening that afternoon on the range was far more productive.

As the range session began I decided to just embrace my ‘natural’ swing to find out what I was up against. I took dead aim at the 150 yard marker and hit 10 balls with no swing thoughts whatsoever, I didn’t fight a single thing in my swing. I made sure to loosen my arms and hands and just go with it. what I found was that every single shot was a high draw and landed around 10 – 12 yards left of the marker. I was astounded and decided to hit more, ball after ball landed predictably left of the target, some were slightly further left and some were slightly straighter but they all nestled in a bunch no wider than 5 yards. I suddenly thought to myself ‘why have I been fighting this!’ 

It was a real eye opener, when I had no swing thoughts and embraced what came naturally I could hit a solid repeatable shot, the route of all my poor shots was fighting that natural swing! My pre round warmup now consists of hitting around 10 – 15 balls with no swing thoughts other than ‘relax’ and making a mental note of the amount of draw. 

The very next round I played after that afternoon on the range was the best for at least 6 months. I didn’t fight a single swing and hit some great shots. From then on I loved my natural shot. My advice to you is to love yours too, work out your natural shape in the same way I did and play with it, just for one round, I promise you will hit your targets much more often. In my opinion it’s the best route to consistency.

Love your natural swing and have a great day!

Do You Need a Golf Lesson?

So do you? If I was to ask you to determine if you need a lesson or not, what would you say? And what would you base your answer on? Most average golfers would respond with ‘yes’ and ‘because I hit *insert bad shot and I can’t hit *insert good shot’ What most average golfers seem to think is that because they can’t hit a towering 300 yard drive with a hint of draw, they need a lesson.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I believe in having golf lessons, they should be a critical part of every golfers improvement plans (some natural talent excluded e.g. Bubba!) but I feel people think of them in the wrong way. If I asked you to hit a target say 150 yards away, and you have a ‘natural’ (I will tell you my take on natural in just a mo!) fade but take dead aim and miss on the right (right handed golfer) then you might say you need a lesson to iron out that miss, in my eyes however you should simply aim for that ‘natural’ fade and hit target way more consistently instead of fighting it. The best golfers in the world play to their natural strengths, why shouldn’t you?

A solid golfer is one that can repeat their swing over and over especially in pressure situations, that sounds like a lot to ask when a golfer is constantly wrestling with their ‘natural’ motion. This golfer would be much better served honing their ‘natural’ swing and producing predictable, repeatable shots. When this kind of game is built, taking it to the course and playing well is much easier to achieve.

Golf lessons should be used to learn and check fundamentals e.g. ball position, posture, grip etc. and I believe that regular ‘check ups’ are a very good thing especially for building consistency. Lessons are also great when a clear technical issue is preventing you from hitting certain shots e.g. ‘casting’ the club and preventing you from hitting low shots into the wind. Now you might be saying ‘hold on a sec, you just said to practice your ‘natural’ swing!’ well, these kind of lessons are best served in the off season, giving you the time to practice and ingrain any drastic changes to your swing so that it becomes your ‘natural’ motion! That’s what your ‘natural’ swing is, what you have built through repetition and practice. For the majority of the golf season I would stick mainly to the ‘check up’ lessons and build them around solid practice plans which focus on improving your scores not changing your swing, wait for the cold rainy days to do that!

In summary, golf lessons are great, get them! With the caveat of getting the right type at the right time to maximise your potential for improvement!

Play to your strengths and have a great day!

The gym, the range and the course.

Sounds like a Narnia book, don’t you think?

I’m sat writing this just about to head to the gym, lower body day today. The dreaded ‘leg day’ as known to most gym bros for good reason, its hard work spending an hour squatting and deadlifting (I like to throw in some fun stuff like back and bicep training at the end to sweeten the deal!) but in my opinion it is the most beneficial workout of the week for my golf game. Big and strong glutes, quads and hamstrings, not to mention the smaller muscles of the hips and lower back all contribute to a solid and powerful swing. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying if you don’t go to the gym you wont have a solid swing but it definitely helps most of the best players in the world and plenty of aspiring amateurs to build powerful swings. I will go into more detail on workouts and exercises for golf soon.

The range/practice area and the golf course. People seem to get confused as to what should be done at each. Ask anyone and they will tell you the range is for practice  and the course is where you play, what most people then proceed to do is beat 50 balls with a 7 iron and 50 balls with their driver. Then they head over to the course where they take endless practice swings and spend more time thinking about their mechanics than the actual shot/situation they are facing. Most miss the point that the driving range and practice area is partly for ingraining mechanics and mostly for acquiring the skills you want to take to the course to improve scores. Equally people forget that the course is where you use the skills and mechanics you have practiced to hopefully put together the best round you are capable of on any given day.

I have been guilty of this in the past, I mean who doesn’t love getting in a grove at the range with a driver/iron and just pumping out great strikes over and over? The reason that wont help in a practical sense is that on the golf course you get one chance to choose the correct shot and execute that shot (unless your friends are really generous with mulligans!) so when practicing for the golf course you must get good at being in that situation.

A good example is chipping, if you are on the course, if you take 3 to get down you can’t drop your ball back where it was and tell your playing partners you are capable of getting up and down you just need a few goes. you have to get good at having one chance at a shot, my favourite way to practice chipping is to take one ball and play a set amount of ‘up and down holes’ usually 9 or 18. I will play each ‘hole’ as a par 2 and have one attempt at the chip and putt, ill tally my score to par and my aim is to be level par at the end, a tough ask I know but it gets you in the same situation you face on the course.

Bear this in mind next time you practice, make it as close to actually playing as you can and your score card and handicap will thank you for it.