Consistent Golf Gazette – 19th February 2012

After my Tiger Woods prediction last Sunday I was not made to look like a fool in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

It will be interesting to see whether Tiger takes out “at least” one Major this year like I predict.

If he does or doesn’t it wouldn’t surprize me either way.

But I was interested to get quite a bit of feedback that people are sick of hearing about Tiger Woods. And as it so happens, as I was searching the Internet I came across something from Forbes magazine to say that in a survey Tiger Woods was one of the most disliked athletes in the world in 2011.

However, the T.V. ratings for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am were the highest in 15 years.

Just goes to show…as much as people might not like Tiger Woods personally, they will tune in to watch him.

Everyone loves a villain. 🙂

All right, let’s look at improving YOUR golf game…

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You hear it all the time on golf courses….I need to slow my swing down.

Maybe you’ve even said that yourself.

Well, unless you swing at 160 mph and are spraying it all over the place you don’t need to slow your swing down….ever!

You may need better timing. You may need better rhythm and tempo, but I bet my house on the fact that you will not need to slow your swing down.

I think T.V. has caused this big problem, because when you see a pro swing on T.V. it looks slow and smooth. But what you’re watching is not reality.

It’s like watching race cars on T.V. and thinking they look to be going quite slow.

Then when you watch a professional golfer swing or a race car go around a track in person it looks fast.

Now a great example is Fred Couples. His swing is so slow, smooth and easy right?

Well, his swing speed is up to 123 mph. So he might have a smooth and easy swing but it’s very FAST!

So you should swing smooth and fast.

That should be your goal if you want to hit longer drives.

You should never try to swing slow unless you’re playing a little knock down shot into the wind and you want to reduce the backspin on the ball.

The point of this article is to make sure that you NEVER say you need to slow down your swing. Take that word out of your golf vocabulary if you want longer drives.

Instead say things like….I need better timing. Or, I need better sequencing in my swing. Or, I need better rhythm.

If I hear you say you need to slow your swing down I’ll come and slap you around the ears. Got it?! 🙂

One simple way to learn to swing faster is to simply turn your driver upside down so you grip it near the clubhead. Then swing it. If you get a swing speed radar like this one I recommend and you find that you’re not swinging at least 10% faster than your normal driver swing speed, then you’ve trained yourself to swing slow.

Swinging something lighter than your normal golf club is a great way to train yourself to swing faster. The device must be about 10-20% lighter than your normal driver to get any benefit when you go to swing normally though.

So go to it…train to speed up your golf swing and you’ll hit longer golf shots.

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When I have a long shot and the ball is on a lie below my feet I have a hard time hitting these shots very well. Can you give me some pointers to improve my success rate on this shot?


This shot is one of the hardest shots in golf, so don’t feel bad about struggling with it. But there’s certain things you can do to increase your chances of success. Here’s how…

When you are faced with a shot where the ball is lying below your feet you must always take a longer club than normal and the more severe the slop the more club you should take.

So let’s say you’re 150 yards to the flag and your ball is on a lie below your feet. If you would normally hit a 7 iron then you should play a 6-iron if the slop is moderate. If it’s a steep slope then you could play a 5-iron or even a hybrid.

You’re not doing this because you’re going to lose tons of distance, but instead you’re doing it because the longer the club the easier it is to reach the ball for this type of lie.

Now, when you address the ball you want to bend more from your waist so you are closer to the ball. But make sure you keep your weight centered on your feet and not towards your toes otherwise you’ll fall forward when you swing and that will be bad.

When setting up to the ball you also need to aim left of your target as this type of lie automatically produces a left to right shot, so if you slice the ball you’ll have to allow for a lot more left to right spin.

When swinging on a sidehill lie like this you must concentrate on keeping your posture the same throughout the swing. If you raise your head up at all then you will be inviting disaster.

The more you practice these shots the better your chance of success when you play them for real. So find a slope where the ball is below your feet and do the following…

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  • Take a longer club than normal.
  • Aim left of the target to allow for the natural left to right spin that this slope adds to your shots.
  • Bend over more at the waist so you’re closer to the ball and keep your weight centered on the balls of your feet.
  • Keep your posture the same throughout your swing. This is IMPORTANT!

OK, that’s the end of this issue of the Consistent Golf Gazette. I hope you’re enjoying these weekly newsletters. We’re getting closer to The Masters all the time. Can’t wait!

For Consistent Golf,

Jeff Richmond
Director Of Instruction
The Consistent Golf School

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Jeff Richmond


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