Category: golf tuition

Should i buy golf lessons or get new clubs

This question probably doesn’t get asked as much as it should. How many golfers do you know go on about their latest lesson and the new grip or technique for hitting the ball longer? I bet the same can’t be said for the golfer going on about his/her new clubs or wedges or driver?!

There is something programmed into every amateur golfer that they must have the latest irons, wedges or drivers to make them a better golfer. They all get sucked in by the marketing jargon surrounding the latest must have clubs and their hooked. You can’t say the same for the local pro pushing his ‘buy 4 lessons get the 5th free’, doesn’t really have the same appeal. However, it most definitely should.

Golf is a game that has developed over the years and all the brands have jumped on this and spun it with only one intention. To get all golfers buying more of the newest clubs on the market. To be fair they don’t really have a difficult job as most golfers have the mindset that if they buy a new club, regardless of what club, it will make them a better golfer and reduce that scorecard.

The fact of the matter is this. If there was you with all the latest equipment and a pro from any tour with just one club, say a 7 iron from the 1950’s, the tour pro would still beat you on a round of golf if he/she was only allowed to play with that one club and you any club you desire from your new flashy set. Why? Only one reason. The tour pro has over the years had the correct tuition/lessons and without doubt done one thing. Practice, practice and practice so more. The pro could play all the shots necessary with one club to overcome and outwit the golf course.

So to answer the question. Keep the clubs you have, buy several lessons, measure the improvement and have a goal to achieve. Once achieved, buy more lessons or as a treat to reaching the target buy new clubs! check out the latest tuition app Gateway Golf.

2019 – the year of the golf lesson

You may of been playing golf for longer than you care to remember or just a beginner, full of motivation to improve and become the next Tiger Woods but the bet that you’ve hardly had any lessons wouldn’t be a bad one.

2019 should be the year that this changes. Golf is a game that comes and goes with the wind. One round you can play really well with all the luck and the next can’t catch a break and score terribly. We’ve all been there, it happens to the professional on the European Tour as well as any amateur. The difference being the pro’s identify the faults in the their game and then spend hours working it through with their retained coaches on the driving range. Amateurs tend to put the clubs in the boot of the car, drink beers and have a laugh with their playing partners about one shot or another in the round.

This is all well and good if you are happy with just playing golf socially (which is highly recommended). However, if you would really like to see measurable gains in your performance, there is only one simple answer. It’s professional tuition. This can come from your local golf club or form the excellent websites/mobile apps on offer nowadays.

The nature of the golf swing entails many moving parts. That’s why it’s an impossible game to fully master but you can, with the correct advice from quality coaches set the foundations so you have a good base of knowledge and technique to work from.

If there is one thing you want to do in 2019 with regard to golf it should only be to spend some time on your swing. This is guaranteed to improve your game unlike the latest golf club.

Driver or Iron of the tee?

It is an age old dilemma for any golfer of any playing level. What’s the best decision when on the tee – Driver or Iron??

Now it is an arguable fact that most amateur golfers are on average more accurate with their irons, this over time has given confidence which results in better results. Whereas the driver to some can feel like they are holding an alien object with the intent of hitting a little white ball as far as possible in a pre-determined direction.

The facts are simple, the driver is one of the least hit clubs in the golf bag and most of the time one of the hardest. It does however guarantee one thing – it will hit the ball the furthest out of any club you have. The long iron, say a 3 or 4 iron, will increase accuracy and should provide the golfer with that extra bit of confidence once on the tee.

What needs to be accounted for is the situation where the decision needs to be made. Is it the first tee? Is it in a club competition where you need to protect a score or go for broke?

Another important consideration is what is the design of the golf hole that needs to be navigated. If it’s fairly open with a higher percentage of locating the ball if it goes off path, the driver then out ways the option of the iron. Whereas if its a tight, tree lined fairway with OB everywhere then the iron for position would be sensible.

As with any shot in golf a lot needs to be considered. Current playing form, importance of shot in competition or scorecard, the design of the golf hole and most importantly is how you feel when you take all these factors into account. Your inner belief and confidence will play a key role in the outcome. The commitment you put into the shot will provide the desired outcome.

This is all very important but this comes after one essential part. The ability to use the driver or long iron correctly. This comes with practice and knowledge which only truly comes from expert advice and tuition. The world’s very best coaches can be your personal professional. You just need to know where to find them. Perhaps you first point of call before troubling yourself with what club to use is to look at Gateway Golf first class tuition videos…

Whats the value of a golf lesson

It is impossible to put a measurable value on a golf lesson. Each and every golfer that decides to seek the services of a professional will have their own desired needs and outcomes from the tuition.

It can not be challenged that having golf lessons is a definite if any level of golfer wants to improve. Lessons allow a professional who usually has a PGA qualification or excellent pro playing record to analyse a swing, identify weaknesses or areas for improvement and implement a manageable, consistent session that attends to these weaknesses with the clear aim of improving the learner.

The value a golfer will get from a lesson or a bunch of lessons will really be determined by the quality of the tuition and the golfers effort to listen to what is being taught. A lesson may only be 30 mins or an hour long so it is important for the learner to continue what has been taught in purposeful practice sessions at the driving range or on the practice chipping/putting green.

The amount of avid amateur golfers who have never had lessons is huge. Most would rather buy the latest clubs in the confused mindset that the club will improve their golf game. This is just backward! This is where the real value of lessons comes to the forefront. A new set of branded golf clubs may cost thousands, once drivers, fairway woods, wedges and putter are put with the irons. Think how many lessons you could have with that money?! The lessons will undoubtedly make you a better golfer, the new clubs perhaps not so much.

If you are thinking you have not got the time or it seems a huge amount of effort to take the lessons there is an alternative. With the benefit of technology, there are now top quality mobile apps/websites featuring the worlds very best coaches. These are short detailed videos which can be played/reviewed as and when the golfer needs them. https://www.facebook.com/gatewaygolfapp/

How to be a better golfer – Short Game

Like most golfers, you probably want to score better and win one or two of the club competitions. If this is you, a sure fire way to do this is to improve your short game.

So what is your short game? It’s anything within 100 yards of the pin. So this pitching wedge down to putter. When practising, the majority of your time should be spent on this area of your game.

Short game includes approach shots as mentioned to chipping, pitching and putting. Your improving short game will guarantee better scores every time you play. It will be immediate, obvious and a key aspect to improving your handicap.

An important aspect of the short game is accuracy. Practice should be focused on controlling the ball with your wedges and putter. Understanding what capabilities you have with each club will improve your accuracy, which will result in fewer less shots taken on each round. Each wedge in your bag can be used to manufacture several different shots. The more confident you are to execute each shot the more likely you are to achieve the desired results.

For longer wedge approaches the driving range is the place to spend hours practising. Generally a decent range will provide flags at distances applicable to a comparable approach out on the course. Your aim should be to target the flags and leave the ball within a reasonable putts distance. For shorter chips, a practice green (which allows chipping practice!!!) would be where you should spend your time whilst your mates or playing partners are on the range trying to hit the back fence of the range with their driver.

Practice abbreviated swings, softer controlled shots with the ultimate target to land/stop the ball close to the holes within a make-able putts distance. These shots can save so many shots on a scorecard.

With putting it goes without saying that it needs to take most of you r focus when practising. Short, long and anything in-between needs to be worked on. Do as the professionals do…drive for show, put for dough.

Six ways to play better golf

The game of golf requires so many different approaches and disciplines that it is so important to focus on areas that are in our control and allow the golf god’s to give us the luck needed in every round to hit those great scores.

Six ways that will definitely help are regular practice, sticking to a routine, being confident, visualisation of each shot, staying the moment and commitment to your overall plan for the round.

Practice

Each golfer regardless of playing ability needs to continually practice. Practice makes perfect must have been spoken by a golfer. All practice sessions should be purposeful and have attainable targets. Sessions should focus on improving your game with the majority of time spent on your short game. This area is where you will see the best, immediate gains and will reduce your scorecard week in, week out. Off the course use a good golf tuition app like www.thegatewaygolfapp.com

Routine

To perform consistently time and time again you should adopt a routine that is undertaken each and every time you go to take a shot. If you watch the tour pro’s on the European Tour and take note of how they go to hit the ball regardless of what shot it is, it is always, without fail the same routine. It’s guaranteed it will be the same no if, no but’s.

Confidence

If you practice and follow your routine this will build confidence. Confidence is key to executing the desired shot. If you address the ball with doubt this will lead to a poor swing, poor shot and ultimately poor result. Address the ball with confidence, defined plan and knowing you can hit the desired shot time and time again.

Visualisation

It is so important to visualise each shot. See the result before you’ve hit the ball. Believe in what you are doing. Mentally see the shot in your minds eye. This imagery will re-affirm your desired outcomes, making it easier to perform. Your results will improve with visualisation.

Stay in the moment

Staying in the moment is really important. Golf will result in good and bad shots, holes, rounds and so on. The art is to hit each shot as if it was the only shot taken. Regardless of result it is left in the past and you are always on to the next one. Another key point here is not to watch the scorecard. Play a round to the end and then worry about tallying up the score. Play each shot and hole at a time with only one goal – to attempt to hit the best shot there and then.

Commitment

Always commit to all aspects of your golf game. Commit to getting lessons and improving, whether that’s through a website/mobile app (Gateway Golf) or at your local golf club. Commit to every decision made on the golf course and commit to every shot through your routine, confidence, visualisation and being in the moment.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

 

Golf ball position

For the majority of shots, the ball should be positioned just off centre towards the target. So if you are a right-handed golfer the ball should be just of centre towards your left leg and opposite if you are a lefty. This will allow you to hit the ball on your downswing and release the club on the path of the target line. You need to be mindful that the ball is not too far  left as it will open up your shoulders and cause the ball to take flight immediately left.

This is different with the driver as its a long club and you ideally need to be hitting it on your upswing. Therefore, you need to position the ball just inside your left heel (if a right handed golfer). This set up will create further roll when the ball lands and gets the low point in the arc of the club just behind the ball. One important factor to remember when using the driver is to close your shoulders towards the target line. With the ball positioned so left in your stances it has a tendency to open your shoulders. Positioning of the ball just inside the heel of the driver requires the player to delay hitting the ball unlike other clubs. Do not force the hit. Hitting early in the down swing is one of the most common problems in golf.

The position of the ball in relation to your feet is so important. You must always ensure your stances, posture and target alignment are correct. The ball should be positioned so that you strike it on the downswing and release the club through on to the target line.

The Driver – When using the driver, the ball should be just inside the leading heal. This allows you to hit it on the upswing.

Long irons – Long irons require the ball to be positioned just off centre towards the target. You attack the ball at a flatter angle and clip the ball off the fairway, making a good, solid contact.

Short irons – Short irons mean the ball must be positioned dead centre between your feet. This enables you to hit down on the ball through impact creating accuracy and control.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

The first tee shot

This is definitely for most golfers the hardest shot in golf. It carries such importance or so we think when starting our round.

It is usually outside the clubhouse or pro shop where there is a  congregation of spectators all watching the next victim take his/her first shot of the round. It’s the shot you think about when you are driving to the course…’If i just get the first tee shot I’m off to a good round’

We all put such importance on it which comes with unnecessary pressure. Everybody has experienced the nerves, sweaty palms and heart pumping when we try to put that ball on the little wooden peg on the first tee. To be honest standing over the ball on the first tee to most is something of a nightmare.

The one thing you need to know is it effects all of us. even the very best in the world suffer from it. Just ask Patrick Reed at the Ryder Cup several competitions back in Scotland. He barely got the ball past the tee box.

There are processes you can try to implement to reduce the effects of the first tee nerves. The tension you feel causes the right hand to grip the club to hard. Work on reducing this. Take some deep breathes and relax your whole body and mind. All you need to worry about to get yourself off the tee to a good start is tempo (check other blog about tempo). Play the swing as smoothly and slowly as possible. An exercise to do this is count 1 in the back swing and 2 in the down swing and follow through. Make sure your eyes are only focused on the ball, create a big shoulder turn and swing the club freely onto your target line down the middle of the fairway.

If the first tee feels your with unavoidable fear, pick an iron rather than the driver or a shorter club which you feel more confident with and swing easy. Always remember you are not alone and its somebody else’s turn next!

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

Tempo in the Golf Swing

The vague term tempo is used to describe the correlation between the speed at which a player swings and the flight of the ball.

A particular speed can feel correct but it may not give the desired results. To master the golf swing a player must swing with control. This ensures the club swings on the correct plain and the club head connects with the ball in the right position at the correct time & speed.

All amateur golfer’s have this naive belief that the faster and harder they swing the club the further the ball will go. It is the complete opposite. If the golfer swings with tempo and control the club does as it is designed to do – provide power! This is something that needs to be learnt and practised over time.

Holding and swinging the club to hard will not give the results needed to improve. The swing needs rhythm – a pure balance between efficiency and energy.

How do i know what my tempo is? Naturally we all have a built in tempo. This is how we walk, talk and even write. Some do these things fast others do things at a slower pace. This is the tempo used to swing the club. Your inner tempo dictates the club speed. It should never be forced, whatever feels natural. On the driving range hit balls at both ends of the spectrum. Some really fast, some really slow and then work towards your natural speed and rhythm. When it feels right that’s your optimum tempo!

Over time you will find the ability to combine control with power a well as keeping the club on the correct plain with the appropriate energy put into the shot.

If you’ve ever watched the tour pro’s on the TV you will notice that even though their swing speeds are individually different, their shots regardless of the club is always the exact same speed (except perhaps the driver of Rory Mcilroy!).

The tempo of the swing demonstrates the control the player has over his/her swing. A golf swing should be relaxed, balanced and rhythmical.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

Bad Shots

Golf is made up of a few magical shots (these are the ones that keep us coming back week after week to re-live), lots of average shots and an enormous amount of bad shots. When we play a round we can talk for hours afterwards about the good shots and tend quickly to forget the bad ones.

Invariably the cause for all poor shots stem from the same place, although with different consequences. It doesn’t matter whether its a hook, slice, thin shot or the shank, problems usually occur because of the right hand.

A player needs to identify their bad shot, rectify any problems on the driving range through tuition or via a website/mobile app such as Gateway Golf, adopt whats learnt and apply it out on the course. This is coupled with mental preparation and focus guarantee’s improvement in the golf game.

The art is to learn from poor shots, let them pass and play the next shot as though it was your only shot. Too many golfers get frustrated and give up too soon. Golf is an extremely difficult game to play and the only way to improve is practice as well as taking tuition. All levels of golfer plays a round of golf with several bad shots, varying on ability level. However, its how you approach the next shot and overcome the frustration. Most tour pro’s lack consistency from tee to green but make it all up within 100 yards of the green. They have the ability to turn bad shots into average ones and turn those into great scoring holes. That is what you must aim for – less bad shots, excellent short game and mental focus. This comes with practice, tuition and hardwork.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

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