A dozen GOLF employees have spent the last few days in Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, chatting with the world’s best teachers at the Top 100 GOLF Teachers Summit.
We’ve compiled hundreds of tips along the way, all of which you’ll see in GOLF Magazine or GOLF.com (or both) in the next few months. But first, let’s quickly empty the notebook. Here are nine tips or takeaways that stuck out to me after two days of talking to teachers on the training field.
(And yes, we’ll take a closer look at each of them in the near future.)
1. Should you use 5-wood or 3-wood?
Most trainers say 5-wood. Many amateurs lack the swing speed to generate enough power when hitting 3-wood. 5- it’s easier to get out of the fairway, the ball flies higher and you probably won’t lose much distance.
2. Problems with the bunker?
If you’re struggling with a bunker, the vast majority of the time it’s because you have a bad setup and technique. Figure it out first and you’ll be on the right track. you can start here.
3. Is life like golf?
We asked many teachers what is the best advice they have ever received. Most talked about studying philosophy or something they learned in their youth. But some of them also talked about life lessons they learned that had nothing to do with golf, but by instilling them in their students, they made huge strides in golf on the course. Interesting, right? We thought so too. (More on this later.)
4. Which brings me to these important words…
“Make all my lessons end with 10 words or less,” said Don Sargent of the Top 100 Teachers, and it was the best advice he has ever heard. “Because I want my 10 words to be accurate, simple and easy to apply.”
Sargent said he learned it from David Leadbetter, whom he trained with. How does this translate to you? Light. If you’re going on a course, don’t have too many swinger thoughts in your head. Be more simple. Your swing will thank you.
5. Set the key?
Speed is more important than accuracy. Practice this first. There are many good lagging exercises, such as This this has worked wonders for me. Once you clear the backlog, your second hits will now either be 2-3 feet (or gimmies!) instead of 4-5 feet. This makes a big difference on the scorecard.
6. Never hit this is shot view from this is club, one teacher says
Todd Sones told me that you should never hit with a “hard” wedge, meaning if you want to throw for 120 yards but your wedge is your stick for 115 yards, you should not try to “tighten up” and hit harder. Why? Because the harder you swing, the more spin you’ll give the ball, and you’ll just lose that extra distance when it spins back anyway. Also, it’s not always a good idea to pull a high handicap shoe out of a shoe. Sones suggests moving the club up to iron 9, for example, and hitting 3/4.
7. More Putting Practice
8. Adult Rookies vs. Young Rookies
Many teachers talk about the importance of starting on the green and working backwards when engaging children in the game. Let young players see the ball go into the hole, get immediate positive feedback, learn to love the game, and move further from the green from there. But adults? One teacher says you can teach them differently.
Top 100 Dom DiJulia Says Adults Should Learn to Get Out of tee the first. He believes that if you start playing at a later age, it’s usually because you want to play with your father-in-law, loved ones, colleagues, or at work. Do you really want to pick up a prone eight when you are still 100 yards from the green? No you don’t.
For those players, he says, it makes sense to learn how to get off the tee and get to the green, rather than being out of the hole once you get there. (Besides, a bad disc looks a lot worse than a bad hit, right?)
9. Need a fairway finder?
Tee him down.