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Do you have a drill that has helped improve your game and that you would like to share with the community?


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I was struggling with my wedge, especially with distance control from short to intermediate range.  The instructor at my home club has helped me a great deal on other swing issues, so I took this one to him.  He said that the mistake a lot of golfers make is trying to do it all with only one or two wedges.

I carry four wedges, Gap, 52, 56 and 60.  My Arrcos data indicates that I use them with about the same frequency.  We set up the lesson for a time when the practice green doesn't get much use.  The club has a very large, oblong practice green.  He had me stand about ten feet off one end of the green, hitting across the flattest part so that pitch didn't influence rollout.  Using a soft, smooth quarter swing, I hit some shots with the 60-degree wedge.  I measured the distance to the approximate center of where they landed (carry) and where the where they stopped rolling.  I noted carry and roll distance on my smart phone.  We repeated the process with the other wedges. The rollout with the gap wedge was only half way across the green, so he had me add my 9- and 8-irons!  The middle of the roll distance for my wedges (only), was about 40 feet.  He had me move back 40 feet from where I hit the quarter swings, then repeated the process with a half swing.  The 60-degree didn't reach the green, and the 8-iron went off the other end.  I noted carry and rollout distances, adding a note to avoid using the 8-iron and 60-degree for half swings at this distance.  I repeated the process with a 3/4 swing from another 40 feet out..  

When I got home, I summarized the data in a spreadsheet, and using the smallest font small I could still read and printed it.  I trimmed the paper to about a quarter of a sheet.  I carry that with me and reprint it when it gets battered.  If I'm hitting onto an up or down slope, I estimate how much that will impact rollout.  My short game has improved tremendously (although I do still "chunk' a few).

I didn't do the drill with a full swing since the 3/4 swing was already starting to leave shallow ball marks on the green. Maybe I'll try it on the driving range sometime when I can safely mark and measure distances.  The rollout won't match what I'll get on the green, but I think I can extrapolate it from the other data.

If you are struggling with distance, maybe this drill will help?

LEFTHANDED

Titleist TSR1 Driver

Titleist TSR1 23 and 26 degree hybrid

Titleist T200 Irons (7-GW)

Cleveland RTX-7 Wedges (52, 56, 60)

Odessey 1.5 putter

Bridgeston Tour BRX-S, Srixon Q-Star Tour

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I practice alot of these types of shots.  I think a lot of players struggle around the green from 60yds in.

I also believe knowing your usual miss for approach shots and practicing those types of shots is crucial in keeping scores down. Depending on lie and flag location, I have several options every time.  

Some drills I like to do for chipping are:

Pick a spot off the practice green and hit 5 shots with 3 different wedges. Same flag.  Pick a close flag and then work to the furthest flag.

I will also do that with the ball in a bad lie because how often do we get the perfect lie..  don't just prep the ball on perfect grass.

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No one specific drill per se. I do try to hit at 30 balls each day, even during the winter. I'm lucky enough to have a net set up in the barn. Still can get mighty cold but dry. I start out with 10 chips, then full shots, 10 shots using a 9 or 8 and then 10 shots with a 7 or 6 iron. I take 10 swings with an old driver with a headcover and a old t-shirt wrap for weight and resistance. No balls involved. Then if hands are warm enough I finish with hitting 10-15 putts on a 10 foot putting rug.

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29 minutes ago, Goober said:

Best drill is hitting a ball swinging 10 miles an hour.And at the same time I leave the club up and try and open my core towards the target as soon as I can

I know a pretty good instructor who says that whenever you are working on a specific change, you MUST rehearse it slowly.  If you cannot make the change at a slow speed, you won't be able to make the change at full speed.  Do it right slowly, increase the speed gradually, always doing the "right" thing.  And if doing it properly feels weird, great, if it feels "normal" you're probably not changing a thing.

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:mizuno-small: T22 54 and 58 wedges

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:Sub70: 5-wood

 B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

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On 1/10/2024 at 3:34 AM, Josh Parker said:

I practice alot of these types of shots.  I think a lot of players struggle around the green from 60yds in.

I also believe knowing your usual miss for approach shots and practicing those types of shots is crucial in keeping scores down. Depending on lie and flag location, I have several options every time.  

Some drills I like to do for chipping are:

Pick a spot off the practice green and hit 5 shots with 3 different wedges. Same flag.  Pick a close flag and then work to the furthest flag.

I will also do that with the ball in a bad lie because how often do we get the perfect lie..  don't just prep the ball on perfect grass.

I do this as well, but only with two wedges.  I also like to use one wedge at a time and chip a ball to 3 different flags... repeating several times.  This practice helps with feel for different distances without repeating shots in a row.  If I can get all 3 balls within a makable putt distance, I call it a success.  It does take up a lot of the putting green, so I can only do that when the green is empty.

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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20 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I know a pretty good instructor who says that whenever you are working on a specific change, you MUST rehearse it slowly.  If you cannot make the change at a slow speed, you won't be able to make the change at full speed.  Do it right slowly, increase the speed gradually, always doing the "right" thing.  And if doing it properly feels weird, great, if it feels "normal" you're probably not changing a thing.

Interesting.  Can't wait to try this one!

LEFTHANDED

Titleist TSR1 Driver

Titleist TSR1 23 and 26 degree hybrid

Titleist T200 Irons (7-GW)

Cleveland RTX-7 Wedges (52, 56, 60)

Odessey 1.5 putter

Bridgeston Tour BRX-S, Srixon Q-Star Tour

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3 hours ago, Wu1f said:

Interesting.  Can't wait to try this one!

One thing that seems obvious to me is that the change you're trying to make is actually the "right" change for you.  Very few of us have the skills and experience to diagnose our own problems and determine the best way to improve.  Maybe that's a separate, a "do not".  DO NOT use scattershot internet searches through generic instruction to find things to try.  You're almost as likely to harm your game as you are to improve it.

:titleist-small: Irons Titleist T200, AMT Red stiff

:callaway-small:Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:mizuno-small: T22 54 and 58 wedges

:mizuno-small: 7-wood

:Sub70: 5-wood

 B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

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26 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

One thing that seems obvious to me is that the change you're trying to make is actually the "right" change for you.  Very few of us have the skills and experience to diagnose our own problems and determine the best way to improve.  Maybe that's a separate, a "do not".  DO NOT use scattershot internet searches through generic instruction to find things to try.  You're almost as likely to harm your game as you are to improve it.

100% this.

I spent years following YouTube drills and tips to try and fix a banana slice. 10 minutes with an instructor and that nasty slice tamed itself into a baby fade. Not a single drill or tip I had tried actually addressed the issue I had, which I may have never resolved without someone else's knowledgeable eyes on me.

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After struggling for years with early extension and watching countless Teachers and probably every Youtube video on the subject, this thought and visual with the club on the ground from Adam Porzak and this drill from Eric Gogorno and Steve Sieracki has finally given me something to work on! 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, TimoteoLA said:

After struggling for years with early extension and watching countless Teachers and probably every Youtube video on the subject,

This is something I mentioned, and apparently you found out the hard way, the internet "shotgun" approach isn't generally the best way to go.  There are LOTS of different causes for early extension, and the best way to cure EE is to fix the underlying cause.  One of the most important skill for a good instructor is "diagnosis", going beyond the symptom to determine the underlying cause.  Only then can he start to work on changing something to fix the cause, in order to affect the symptom. 

And congratulations on finding something that works for you!

:titleist-small: Irons Titleist T200, AMT Red stiff

:callaway-small:Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:mizuno-small: T22 54 and 58 wedges

:mizuno-small: 7-wood

:Sub70: 5-wood

 B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

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Would like to add drills for putting:  Prior to round get on practice green and hit long putts uphill and downhill to understand speed- goal is to get ball to stop either on next cut or within a few inches above on the next cut;   for putting practice, from 6 feet, putt five in a row both hands, then left hand only, then right hand only.  This drill can be done in your house in winter weather.           

Driver - 2023 Callaway Paradym 9.0, 3 Wood -2022 Rogue ST Max, 3 Hybrid Mavrik, 2017 X-forged 4-PW, Wedges Callaway 50-56-60, Putter Odyssey Toulon Chicago     

 

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2 minutes ago, higherplane said:

Would like to add drills for putting:  Prior to round get on practice green and hit long putts uphill and downhill to understand speed- goal is to get ball to stop either on next cut or within a few inches above on the next cut;   

for putting practice, from 6 feet, putt five in a row both hands, then left hand only, then right hand only.  This drill can be done in your house in winter weather.           

Questions: 

  1. why just generaluphill and downhill prior to a round.   Wouldn’t a stock stroke be better to assess speed?   The up hill and downhill would be a good practice to build the skill of understanding slope and it’s impact on ball speed.
  2. what is the intent of the left hand and right hand only drill?  What skill are you building or what are you learning from the drill?  

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I didn't go the lengths the OP did, but I did practice quite a bit with 1/4 and 1/2 swings with my LW, GW and 9i, noting distance for each - and it has helped my accuracy. Of course I have to make sure I keep my tempo the same as you can hit a 1/2 swing quite a range of distances if you swing easy vs hard. I can't use my SW to chip/pitch because it has too much bounce for tight lies (by my design). The more I practice, the more consistent I get...

For years I relied on putting from off the green with a 6i or 7i to chip, and although I got pretty good at it, when you're short sided or dealing with a bunker that doesn't work. Getting accustomed to more loft, like I describe above, has been much more useful over the range of circumstances we all face.

Edited by Middler
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