In golf, the ball matters – that’s not just a slogan! There are so many variables in our golf game – courses, clubs, our bodies. The one thing that we can know about and can keep constant is the golf ball. The golf ball is the one piece of equipment that we use on each and every stroke. With that said, being more deliberate in our choice of golf ball can help us play better.
Have you ever noticed how experienced golfers typically practice (short game area) with their own balls (never range balls)? They use the same type golf balls they play with on the course.
Why? These golfers know that practice time is a great opportunity to observe, learn and identify what the ball is going to do, how it feels, what it sounds like, and how it behaves.
Perhaps you’re not yet prepared to invest in a professional golf ball fitting – no problem. Regardless, there are some elements to consider when selecting the right golf ball for you:
Affordability: Can you afford to play with this model golf ball, knowing where you are right now in terms of your skills development (e.g., am I okay with losing a few of these)?
Try Before You Buy: Identify a few balls that you believe might work for you. Purchase a sleeve of each of them, then play and practice with each for a reasonable amount of time to evaluate before making the full investment into a dozen of any of them. Once you’ve identified a proposed finalist, commit to exclusively playing and practicing with the model of ball for at least 60-90 days to better determine if it’s the right one for you.
Rainbow of Choices: Most every golf ball manufacturer now offers great quality golf balls in an array of colors. So in addition to compatibility in terms of affordability and playability, you can factor your aesthetic preferences into your choices!
In golf, there are lots of things that we don’t always have control over. But it’s important to make good decisions about the factors within our own game that we can control, so consider these factors when deciding which golf ball you should use.
Which ball do you use and why? Answer in the comments below on in the Women’s Golf Premium Facebook group.
As an instructor, coach, and LPGA Class A golf teaching professional, Dr. Greta Anderson understands and shares the concept of learning to live and play golf without limitations.
Dr. Greta received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, then went on to earn a Master of Public Administration at Clark Atlanta University. From there, she decided to stretch a little further, earning her Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Research from The University of Michigan.
In addition to serving golfers through her Atlanta, GA based instruction practice, Dr. Greta is an active member of the golf industry. Most notably, she serves as a member of the LPGA’s prestigious Global Education Team. Dr. Greta is also part of the LPGA Master Professional Thesis Committee and is a National Instructor for the LPGA-USGA’s Leadership Academy.
To learn more about Dr. Greta, please visit her website https://drgretagolf.com
The real source of power and consistency in the golf swing is produced by the hips. The hips control the shoulders both on the backswing and the downswing. Constricting the hip turn will also constrict the shoulder turn. With a restricted shoulder turn, the golfer is likely to start the downswing with the shoulders unwinding ahead of the hips. This will produce pulls or pull slices. When creating correct lower and upper body rotation we are creating ‘S.P.A.C.E‘ = Speed, Power, Accuracy, Consistency, and Efficiency.
This article teaches how to create space in the golf swing and to achieve S.P.A.C.E. in your overall golf game. The space we are discussing is from your pelvic line from the golf ball, as shown in the photos below.
When your pelvic area invades the space between you and the ball, multiple factors are occurring. For instance, posture and spine tilt is not being maintained. Instead, as shown in the picture above, posture is more in an upright position causing the clubhead to hit the top of the ball instead of the center of the ball.
Any conscious effort to try and release the clubhead with your arm or wrists is a compensation for poor body rotation. Again, the real power source in the golf swing is in the hips. The faster we move the hips in the downswing, the faster the hands and arms will work.
There should be no conscious use of the wrists and hands through the impact area. The hands and arms rotate in response to the body rotating. See the first image below. At the impact zone, Alexa’s hips have stopped turning causing her arms and wrists to flip at the ball. You also notice that her weight has not shifted and is slightly standing up, instead of maintaining the space.
In the image on the right, Alexa is swinging the club focusing only on rotating her hips through the impact zone. As a result of rotating her hips, her weight is now transferring through the ball and she is maintaining her posture and space in the impact zone.
Next time you go out to play, take the challenge to only swing the club focusing on your hips. Load into your hip in the backswing with your weight and then start your downswing with transferring that weight into your leading leg. Your butt should stay behind your pelvic line going away from the ball instead of getting closer. Use your hips rotation as the steering wheel driving your swing.
Please comment below or contact me if you have any questions!!
Remember … Its all in the hips!
Feature Photo: Danielle Kang tees off with driver at the 2019 Hugel-Air Premia LA Open | Photo by Ben Harpring
This week the LPGA moves to the state of Virginia for the playing of the Pure Silk Championship Presented by Visit Williamsburg.
I am sure that most of my readers will have noticed that this tournament has a new name this year. For many years it was known as the Kingsmill Championship. This tournament also has had a history of big-name winners including Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Jiyai Shin, Suzann Pettersen, Se Ri Pak, Karrie Webb, Lexi Thompson, and Annika Sorenstam.
Last year’s tournament brought us one of the most exciting finishes of the entire season. Ariya Jutanugarn defeated both In Gee Chun and Nasa Hataoka in a playoff. Brooke Henderson missed the playoff by just one shot. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes because of rain.
This will be the first of twelve consecutive tournaments to be played in twelve consecutive weeks. It will include four Major Championships.
This will be tournament #12 of 33 tournaments on this year’s LPGA schedule.
Here are the Key Details:
Course: River Course at Kingsmill Resort
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Defending Champion: Ariya Jutanugarn
Winning Score: 66-67-66 = 199 (-14)
History: This is the 15th year for this event.
Final Field: 144 players
Par: 36/35 = 71
Race to the CME Globe: 500 points
Aon Risk Reward Challenge Hole: 17th (Par 3)
My strength of field rating is a solid 73% (way up from 63% last year). Forty-two of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 18 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will include top ten players Jin-Young Ko, Minjee Lee, Sung Hyun Park, Ariya Jutanugarn, Lexi Thompson, Nelly Korda, Brooke Henderson, Sei Young Kim, and Nasa Hataoka. Players skipping the event this week include: Inbee Park, So Yeon Ryu, Eun-Hee Ji, and Lydia Ko.
The first round pairings have now been posted.
Here are the Television Times:
May 23 – GC 7:30 PM-9:30 PM ET (Tape delay)May 24 – GC 7:30 PM-9:30 PM ET (Tape delay)May 25 – GC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ETMay 26 – GC 4:00 PM-7:00 PM ET
Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Jin-Young Ko – Number one player in the world
2- Minjee Lee – A win could put her on top
3- Sung Hyun Park – Trying to break out of mini slump
Players to Watch Out For: (I’m feeling it this week)
1- Nelly Korda – Coming off a rare missed cut
2- Brooke Henderson – Course fits her game
3- Jeongeun Lee6 – Has done everything but win
Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Kristen Gillman – Has been playing well enough to be a Solheim Cup pick
2- Bronte Law – That first win could be coming soon
3- Azahara Munoz – Has played well all year
The first eleven tournaments this year have produced ten different winners.
Tony Jesselli is the author of the very popular blog TONY’S LPGA REPORT, which has been covering tour and player news since 2010. Every week Tony reports on the latest news and results from women’s professional golf around the world and previews upcoming tournaments with player news, the strength of field ratings, and TV times. It has earned the reputation as the ‘go-to’ resource for up to date and accurate news about the LPGA.
See all of Tony’s WomensGolf.com articles
Do you love chip shots as much as I do? Probably not! but here’s how to eliminate all those skulls and chunks from your game.
Watch my video below and then read on for all the information you need to chip it like a pro!
Firstly we need to make sure your setup is helping you out. It’s similar to bunker shots because what you have to remember is to get in touch with the ground. If your club isn’t striking any part of the ground while you’re swinging or you’re in the rough and you’re barely striking the tips of the grass, you have zero chance of striking the ball with the center of the clubface.
If you are set up to your chip shots with your weight on the back foot you are telling your club please miss the ground and you’re always going to be stuck in between sculling it over the green and chunking behind the ball.
When you hit the ground properly it doesn’t stick, it’s going to glide right through because of that magical thing on the bottom of the clubhead called the ‘bounce’. So if you are hitting the proper side of the club you’re good to go even if I hit this intentionally fat shot I’m still going to get the ball in there.
All I’m making sure that I do is keep my weight over my front foot and stay stable and then I just make a nice turn keeping everything together. Be sure to keep that right fist solid and keep your rhythm and tempo smooth. I see a lot of people who’ve been told don’t decelerate on your chip shots and so they push the club through with a jerky action and that’s a surefire way to scull it over the green.
The key is to get your weight on that left (forward) side and stay there and then turn so that your follow through is shorter than your backswing. In all my swings my rhythm doesn’t change and my backswing is longer with a shorter follow through. I’m not tense and I’m not pushing the club through and because I’m relaxed through the ball, I can feel the weight of the club strike the ground
I hope this lesson has helped you chip like a pro. Please leave your comments and any questions below.
Kristin Walla is an LPGA professional and played D1 College Golf at the University of Texas. She has worked at the Jim McLean Golf Schools with players from all over the country and all skill levels.
Kristin played professionally on the LPGA Symetra Tour and enjoys teaching both beginners and elite players as the Director of Instruction at the Peninsula Golf and Country Club.
Kristin’s teaching credo is “Golf doesn’t have to be hard.” There are a lot of ways to learn golf, but none as fun as the Walla Way.
Contact Kristin Walla on 512.661.8714 or by visiting wallagolf.com.
You’re faced with a 50 footer and have to get down in two to win the club championship. What thoughts are going through your mind? Do you lag it and try to leave it a bit short? Do you run it past a bit to make sure you at least give it a chance? Are you actually thinking about making it or leaving it within a 3-foot circle?
There are seriously a lot of important decisions to be made here, much less getting the right read on the putt and dealing with your nerves. Depending on what you’ve been taught, what you’ve read or seen on t.v. or what you own personal experience with long putts has been, you may already have your own rule by which to play by.
The decision to go for it or lag it actually lies mostly in the situation at hand. If you are in a tournament and it’s the 18th hole and to win you have to sink it, well then absolutely you should go for it. If on the other hand, a 3 putt will put you out of the running, then you have to lag it to tap in distance. A skilled player I believe will analyze the situation, note where they are positioned with the field, weigh the consequences and make a very calculated decision.
I doubt there is hardly a golfer reading this article that hasn’t heard about the infamous “3-Foot Circle”. The reason the 3-Foot Circle became such a huge area of focus in golf instruction is that it was discovered from this distance professionals make the vast majority of their putts; 92%.
With that kind of information, all golfers from rank beginners to touring professionals should definitely pay attention. Could it possibly be a bit overrated though? Well, the stats prove it’s importance, but according to Jay Delsing, a skilled putter and PGA Tour/Champions Tour player people become too focused on the 3 Foot Circle and actually lose sight of making the putt. Jay, like many great putters, try to make every putt they see. So shouldn’t you? My answer is yes. You can have it both ways. You can try to make, it, but roll it on such good speed that if you don’t make it you still have a tap in.
So what are the steps you should take to make sure that you leave a gimmie?
1 Start reading the putt before you even step foot on the green. Studying the landscape and the surroundings of the green can sometimes give you a better idea of what the ball is going to do than standing right over it. Look for water, lakes, rivers, creeks, etc. that the land may slope towards. Look for hills and mountains that it might slope away from. By the time you get to your ball, you should pretty much know what you are going to do with the putt.
2 Read the putt by covering all bases; view it from 360 degrees. One of the biggest mistakes players make on the greens is rushing it and only looking at the putt from behind their ball. A quick 30-second walk around the ball can go a long way in helping you feel the break of the putt. Pay attention to your feet and try to feel when you are going uphill or downhill. Also, study the pressure on your feet. Whichever one feels the most pressure is probably the lowest of your feet so you can get a good read on sidehill break left or right. Make sure to take a quick squat on the back side of the hole because you will get a better read from there 9 times out of 10.
3 Maintain a solid pre-putt routine. Your pre-shot routine is as physical as it is mental. After you go through your reading the green routine make sure to take your practice strokes the same way and set up to the ball the same way every time. The fewer variables the better, especially when you are under pressure.
4 Make realistic practice strokes while constantly looking up at the hole. Another common mistake is to not be aware of what you are doing with your practice strokes. What a lot of people don’t realize is that their practice stroke is 4 inches long when they are going for a 50 footer. Or perhaps it’s the opposite and their practice stroke is a foot long for a 2-foot putt. Awareness is the key here. Make sure your practice stroke is a rehearsal for the stroke you intend to make. That means the length of the stroke and the amount of power you are applying should be appropriate for the putt you are facing.
You aren’t sure if you should lag a long putt or go for it.
Make a calculated decision about where you stand with the field, what your strengths are and what previous experience has taught you. Only you know your game, your mind and your nerves. Make every effort to follow 4 important steps:
After taking these steps you should be able to confidently try to hole the putt, but even if you don’t at least you tried and you will leave yourself a simple tap in.
Maria Palozola has been selected as one of the Top 50 LPGA Teachers in the World from 2008 to the present and chosen as LPGA Midwest Section Teacher of the Year in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015 & 2016.
Maria was also selected as a U.S. Kids Top 50 Teacher for 2016 & 2017 and a Golf Range Association of America Top 50 Growth of the Game Instructor in 2017.
Listed as a Golf Digest Best Teacher in State, Maria is a Lead Instructor for the Golf Channel Academy with Maria Palozola in St. Louis, MO. You can see Maria on the Golf Channel doing golf tips for the Golf Fix and School of Golf.
This hip mobility exercise will help you loosen up the joints and muscles in the hips. The more mobility you have, the easier it will be to sequence your weight shift and deliver power to the ball. This can be done as a warm up or part of a workout routine.
You know when you’re on the golf course and they have roped off areas because of water or other hazards. Those little ropes you have to step over can really catch you out. Nothing’s more annoying or embarrassing than catching your foot and tripping over those ropes
This great hip rotators exercise is going to really help you warm up those muscles and gain good hip mobility which will really help your golf swing and general flexibility.
This is a really great exercise for your hip flexor, for your glute muscle, and for your internal and external hip rotators so be sure to lift that leg up as high as you can.
It is also a good balance exercise so do eight to ten repetitions on each side and you will be all warmed up and you’re not going to trip over those stupid little ropes on the golf course.