Increase Clubhead Speed to Increase Distance

Many beginner golfers golfers swing slower than they are capable of in an attempt to minimize mistakes. Many high handicap golfers make mistakes and slow their swing in an attempt to improve their ball striking. The problem with swinging slower than your potential is that it robs you of valuable distance.

Why is distance so important? Wouldn’t you rather be short in the fairway than long in the rough? Not really. The ideal result is to be long in the fairway. Here’s the reason you want all the distance you’re capable of. The key to scoring in golf is hitting greens in regulation. It is much easier to hit the green with an 8 iron, 9 iron, or pitching wedge than it is with a 6 iron. Shorter approach shots into the green will result in hitting more greens in regulation, which will result in lower scores.

Every mile per hour of clubhead speed translates to 3 to 4 yards of distance. Increasing clubhead speed by 5 miles per hour will add 15 to 20 yards to your drive. Even if you think your clubhead speed is at its fullest potential, the reality is that you most likely have more available. Most beginner and high handicap golfers have the ability to increase clubhead speed.

The best way to increase clubhead speed is to measure it. A Bluetooth golf swing analyzer is a relatively low cost way to measure club head speed. Check out our review of the SkyGolf SkyPro golf swing analyzer. Another benefit of using a golf swing analyzer is that as you progress to increase clubhead speed, the golf swing analyzer will insure that your swing and clubface stay in position.

You want to swing faster and not harder. Keep the tension in your swing at the same level as it always was as you increase clubhead speed. Also keep your lead arm dominate as your pull the clubhead through the ball, not letting your trail arm become dominant.

It is not necessary to hit balls at the range to increase clubhead speed. You can also work on this at home by swinging a club with no ball. Try Hank Haney’s 100 swings a day approach. You will not be able to get measurements from your golf swing analyzer by not hitting a ball but that’s OK. Measure your speed at regular intervals at the range when you are hitting balls. Track your progress.

Distance is important. Start increasing your clubhead speed today.

SkyGolf SkyPro Golf Swing Analyzer Review

Bluetooth golf swing analyzers provide a large amount of information about your full swing and putting stroke, all with a price tag well under $200. One of the best golf swing analyzers available is the SkyPro by SkyGolf.

The SkyPro provides measurements on the following parameters:

Speed Address
Clubhead Speed Shaft Angle
Swing Tempo Shaft Lean
Top of Backswing Half Back
Backswing Length Takeaway Angle
Face Angle Face Angle
Shaft Direction  Impact
Half Down Shaft Lean
Return Angle Shaft Angle
Face Angle Attack Angle

 

The SkyPro comes with a charging cradle and USB cord. To charge, place the SkyPro in the cradle and plug in the USB cord to a computer or wall charger. It is recommended that you charge the SkyPro after every use. The only other piece you will need before you get started is the SkyPro app which is available for free from both the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Attach the SkyPro on the shaft of the club about one inch below the grip. When you open the SkyPro app, it will connect to the device and ask you to calibrate. Calibration is an easy three step process. Once the SkyPro is calibrated, you’re ready to start swinging!

The SkyPro will automatically detect when you have swung and transmit the data back to the app. From the app, you can rotate your swing 360 degrees and see information for several positions of the swing. Alerts are also displayed for parameters that the app feels are out of normal range. The number of alerts are displayed on the i next to the swing name at the top of the screen. Tapping the i icon will take you to a screen that displays all of the parameter readings.

  

The SkyPro golf swing analyzer is a great tool that will help the beginner or high-handicap golfer improve their swing. It is a great training aid for increasing your swing speed, getting the right tempo, controlling your club face and more! It can even by used for putting!

Click here to buy the SkyPro at Amazon!

Play More Golf to Lower Your Handicap

Playing more rounds will improve your scoring, lowering your handicap, faster than increasing your practice time.

Time on the practice range is important to continually improve our full swing. Developing a repeatable swing with as much club head speed as possible will allow you to hit more fairways and greens, but learning how to lower scores happens on the course.

There are simply too many factors that come together to lower your handicap. While all of these factors will be encountered on the course, some of these are more difficult to practice off the course, and some golfers choose not to practice them.

Working on your full swing is important, but at least half of your practice time should be on the short game; pitching, chipping, and putting. The majority of shots on the course will involve your short game. The practice time you spend on your short game should reflect this. Improving your short game equals lowering your handicap.

When is the last time you practiced uneven lies on the practice range? Most beginner and high handicap golfers hit every shot at the range from a near perfect lie. Improved scoring comes from mastering how to hit the four main uneven lies, which can only be done on the golf course. Hitting out of the rough is also best learned on the course.

Two great ways to play more golf is by getting a membership at a club or by joining a league. Joining a club immediately made me feel more obligated to golf, since I prepaid my season. Playing competitive golf in a league has so many benefits. Golf’s handicap system levels the playing field making for an enjoyable experience for all golfers.

Start playing more rounds today and lower your handicap today!

DIY Indoor Golf Net

These are plans for a roughly 8 foot high, 8 foot wide, and 5 foot deep DIY indoor golf net. The frame is 1-1/4 inch PVC pipe and the netting is 3/4″ #18 black square nylon.

Materials

Quantity Item Cost Each Item Total Cost
1 8′ x 8′ GOLF IMPACT BLACK SQUARE NYLON BARRIER BACKSTOP NETTING 3/4″ #18 $49.95 $49.95
3 8′ x 5′ GOLF IMPACT BLACK SQUARE NYLON BARRIER BACKSTOP NETTING 3/4″ #18 $32.95 $98.85
1 1-1/4″ Furniture Grade 3-Way Corner Elbow PVC Fitting – 8 Pack $24.90 $24.90
8 1-1/4″ x 10′ PVC Pipe $3.38 $27.04
4 1-1/4″ x 5′ PVC Pipe $2.71 $10.84
1 1″ x 10′ PVC Pipe $2.21 $2.21
3 100 Count Black 8″ Cable Ties $2.46 $7.38
1 King sized sheet $0.00 $0.00
Total Cost $221.17

Assembling the PVC Frame

Cut all 8 of the 1-1/4″ by 10′ pipes down to 7’10” in length.

Cut all 4 of the 1-1/4″ by 5′ pipes down to 4’9″ in length.

Make the bottom frame by connecting two 7’10” lengths and two 4’9″ lengths using four 3-way corner elbows to form a rectangle. The remaining open end of each corner elbow should be facing up.

Insert a 7’10” PVC pipe into each of the four corner elbows.

Make the top frame by connecting a 3-way corner elbow to the top of each column and connecting two 7’10” lengths and two 4’9″ lengths to form a rectangle.

Congratulations! You’ve assembled the PVC frame.

Adding the Net

The 8′ x 8′ net is the back net. The three 8′ x 5′ nets make up the left, right, and top nets. Hang each net in place. My nets came with loops at each corner which made it easy to hang each net in place. If for some reason your net does not have the loops at each corner, you can just use a cable tie around the pipe and through a corner square of the net.

The nets are attached to the frame by using an 8″ cable tie around the PVC and every four squares of the net. So cable tie, skip three squares, and then another cable tie.

Along the top of the frame, the same cable tie will connect the top net and either side or back net.

Going down the back columns, the same cable tie will connect the side nets and the back net.

Leave an opening along the top sides about 6″ from the back. The 1″ PVC pipe will rest on top of the sides and the impact screen will hang from it.

Adding the Impact Screen

Here could go your impact screen where you could project the image from your golf simulator. To break out the costs of a full feature simulator over a few years, we are using a king size bed sheet.

Cut the 1″ x 10′ PVC pipe down to 8′. Make a loop in the top of the king size sheet around the PVC pipe. Mark where you want to sew the seam. If you have sewing skills, or know someone who does, you can sew a seam to make a loop for the 1″ PVC pipe. You could use safety pins to create the loop if you are unable to sew it.

Place the 1″ PVC pipe through the loop of the sheet and rest each end of the pipe on top of each side of the frame about 6″ from the back of the frame. Connect two cable ties together to make a longer ones and wrap one around the top side support and the 1″PVC pipe to hold it in place. Fasten the remaining area of the nets around the 1″ PVC pipe to the frame.

I’m not sure how long the king size sheet will hold up as an impact screen. The next upgrade could be to install an actual impact screen we can project on.

The Chipping Game

High handicap and beginner golfers lose a lot of strokes around the green. Yet it’s probably the area that golfers practice the least. How often do you see someone chipping by the practice green?

My 12 year old son started taking his golf game more seriously this season. Like many beginner golfers, he made quick improvements in his long game from tee to green, but still gives up too many strokes around and on the green.

We’ve identified the need to emphasize practicing chipping and putting, but chipping and putting ball after ball from the same spots is not the way. There’s been a lot written lately about the need to practice like you play in order to simulate real shots and golf round pressure.

My son and I play a game for our chipping practice. It’s simple, fun, and provides a large amount of chipping and putting practice.

Each player plays one ball. Players alternate choosing the spot off the green to chip from along with the hole on the practice green to chip to. The object is to get your ball in the hole in the less strokes than your opponent. No points are awarded to either player in a tie. The winning player receives three points if they chip it in with one stroke, two points for getting “up and down” in two strokes, and one point for getting the ball in the hole in three strokes. No points are awarded for four or more strokes even if you get in the hole in less strokes than your opponent. The winner of the match is the first player to reach ten points.

This chipping game is a great way to simulate real golf round pressure both with the match play aspect and the need to get the ball in the hole in three strokes or less.

Uneven Lies – Downhill Lie

Hitting the ball from a downhill slope presents a few challenges and requires a few adjustments from your normal setup. Beginner and high handicap golfers have a tendency to hit these shots either fat or thin.

The first thing to do is to line up your shoulders parallel to the slope of the ground. Your lead shoulder will be lower than your back one, how much depending on the severity of the slope. This will put the majority of your weight on your front foot. Due to the slope, your weight will stay on your front foot during the whole swing. Attempting to place too much weight on your back foot is what contributes to hitting the ground before hitting the ball.

Hitting off the downhill lie will make your ball fly lower. This is because the slope is delofting

Aim a little bit to the left because the ball will go slightly to the right as having most of your weight on your lead foot will tend to make your body get ahead of the ball and will but a slight fade on it.

Watch the Free Online Golf Tips video below where Peter Styles explains the proper shot for a downhill lie.

Uneven Lies – Uphill Lie

Hitting a ball from an uphill lie will result in a shot that is higher, shorter, and tends to go to the left. There are a few adjustments needed in your setup to hit a ball from an uphill lie.

You need to align your body with the slope. Align your shoulders so they are parallel with the slope. This will put the majority of your weight on your back foot. Aligning your shoulders parallel to the slope will allow you to use your normal swing for an uphill lie.

Swinging up the slope will add loft to your shot, forcing your ball to go higher in the air and thus a shorter distance. Take more club to make up for the increased loft. If you normally hit a 8 iron, take a 7 iron instead, or maybe even a 6 iron depending on the severity of the slope.

Since most of your weight will stay on your back foot, you won’t be able to rotate your body through the shot as well. This will cause you to pull the ball slightly so aim a bit to the right.

Watch the video below to see Hank Haney show you how it’s done.

Uneven Lies – Ball Above Your Feet

In our first post on the challenges that uneven lies present on the course, we discussed the proper setup and technique for hitting a ball below your feet. This post tackles its counterpart, an uneven lie with the ball above your feet.

With the ball above your feet, your hands are closer to the ball. You’ll need to choke down on the club a bit, as if you swing with your hands in your normal position on the club, you’ll most likely hit the ground before the ball. Choking down on the club will cause you to hit the ball a shorter distance. You may need to take one club more than you usually do for the distance you are at.

The slope of the lie with the ball above your feet will try to make you lose your balance backwards. It’s important to keep your weight in the balls of your feet to help maintain your balance.

The ball flight, to some degree, will follow the slope of the lie. So for right handed golfers, your shot will want to go left depending on the severity of the slope.

Check out the video below from PGA professional Derek Hooper as he explains how to hit a shot with the ball above your feet.

Uneven Lies – Ball Below Your Feet

You make be working hard on how to fix a slice and in turn hitting more fairways. Your second shot, the approach shot into the green, is a more difficult shot. Besides the fact that your ball isn’t on a tee, there’s a chance you are not on level ground.

Uneven lies are a big reason it is difficult for high handicap golfers to take their progress on the practice range to the course. Even the flattest of courses will present at least a few uneven lies per round. On other courses, you’ll have more uneven lies than even ones! High handicap and beginner golfers many times do not make the small changes in setup and swing necessary to hit a good shot from an uneven lie.

The first uneven lie we are going to cover is the ball below your feet. There are a few key things to remember when setting up for a shot with the ball below your feet.

First, you’re farther away from the ball. You’ll need to bend more at the hips and flex more at the knees to compensate for this and get closer to the ball.

Second, both the slope and bending more at the hips will want to put more of your weight on your toes and give you the feeling that you are going to fall down the slope. Keep your weight back on your heels to stay balanced.

Being bent more at the hips and knees will limit how much your lower body can move, so the shot will be more arms and shoulder movement. It’s important to maintain your spine angle and not come up during the shot. This is why many golfers end up topping the ball from this lie.

Lastly, the ball flight will tend to follow the slope of the lie. So your ball will go to the right (for righties) a certain amount based on the amount of slope.

Watch the video below as Martin Hall from the Golf Channel’s School of Golf explains these principles.

The Golf Club for Xbox One

Everyone in winter climates should be finding ways to practice their real golf game indoors throughout the winter. Besides working on your game, there are not many things to keep up your interest in golf. There are fewer tournaments to watch on TV and those that are on are missing many top players. Golf video games are a great way to keep your interest in golf during the long winters.

Since EA Sports discontinued the Tiger Woods golf franchise, many have pondered the future of the golf genre for video game consoles. Powerstar Golf and The Golf Club have filled the void very well.

Powerstar Golf would be a great choice if you’re looking for something to replace Tiger Woods. Game play is much the same with swing power meters and career modes offering upgraded equipment and abilities to better your scoring. The physics engine in PowerStar Golf offers realistic ball flights and rolls.

The Golf Club offers a slightly different golf experience than any other golf game on the Xbox One. Those who are willing to break away from the traditional Tiger Woods way of doing things and give The Golf Club a fair chance, will find it to be the best golf game currently available for console systems.

There are no swing meters. Swinging is totally done by feel using the game pad stick. After the swing, a brief display shows how you did. This takes a little getting used to but offers amazing game play once you are used to it.

There is no career mode in The Golf Club. It instead uses a handicap system much like real golf. You are given a handicap rating after you golf five rounds. You can then play rounds, tournaments, or whole tours. Your handicap is applied to your gross score and the leaderboard is based on your net score after your handicap is applied. This is a great way to even out the playing field and allow people of different abilities to play together. Your ability is not based on how long you play the game as in other career modes but rather your actual ability.

When playing a round, you have the option between playing alone, with local multiplayer guests, or with ghosts of Internet players.

Here’s where the only glaring weakness of The Golf Club shows up. There is no way for multiple local Xbox accounts to log into the game and play against each other in the same round. It would be great for up to 4 local players to play together under their own accounts. Instead, each additional local player is merely a guest of the Xbox account logged in.

Playing against Internet ghosts is a very enjoyable way to play. Ghosts are recently recorded rounds of other real players. You don’t wait for these players to shoot, rather you see their shots and ball trails as you play. Their scores after each shot are updated and you can see how you stack up to them as the round progresses.

The Golf Club also comes with the Greg Norman Course Designer. You can design your own course and then publish it allowing others to play it. Don’t go overboard on the trees or water settings as you’ll get trees and water in strange places. The course designer literally makes the number of unique courses you can play unlimited. The ability to play all of the courses designed by others keeps the game fresh.

Besides the missing local multiplayer support, the only other criticism of The Golf Club would be the graphics. While the graphics are acceptable, I was expecting better on the Xbox One. Hopefully the next version takes full advantage of the platform.

Check out The Golf Club for some indoor golf fun!