Water hazard shots are some of the trickiest shots to pull off, but they can also be the most fun. The secret is to not hesitate to give the ball a good hit as long as it is not fully underwater. The conventional wisdom is to refrain from doing this unless your ball is less than half submerged. Don’t be afraid to hit it hard if you can see part of it sticking out of the water.
Another piece of common advice is to use a pitching wedge on a shot of this type. While this clubhead will slice through the water, the club face will become unstable as it moves through the water and will not provide a solid shot. A sand wedge is a better bet, as it will disperse the water away from the club face, much like it would do as it moves through the sand of a bunker. Water and bunker shots, in this way, have a lot in common.
In the end, practicing this shot can give a real boost to your game should you find yourself in this watery predicament.
One of the hardest shots in golf is the bunker shot with an extremely downhill lie. Basically the idea is to hit the ball so it comes up quickly against the slope.
To avoid having to cop out with a side chip, adopt a proper stance in order to hit the ball straight and work against the incline. Playing the ball very far back in an open stance is the key here. If the slope is really high, you could be playing it as far as your right toe. This puts your hands before the ball and will concentrate your weight on the left leg. Compensate for the loftiness you will lose in this position by opening up the blade of the club wide. This type of shot requires one to lift up the club quickly and then deposit it quickly into the sand. Strike the sand at a point closer to the ball than normal.
A tricky spot to play from is just off the green in Bermuda grass, the slightly thicker grass beyond the fringe of the green itself. These shots are typically in the range of 10 meters. The instinct is to chip, but in actual fact, a blast shot, as one would play in a bunker, is your best bet. Using a sand wedge, take an open stance and clubface and take a short upright swing. Slide the club an inch or so into the grass behind the ball as you do so, popping it up slightly.
If your ball is lying in any other kind of grass in the fringe or further out, use a stroke that is more like a putt: smooth and with a pendulum-like motion. Hit the back of the ball in order to cut down on the chance that it will suddenly accelerate. Use anything from an 8 iron or pitching wedge, and adjust the shot by simply changing the length of your backswing.
Growing up in Southern California, one of Neil Haboush’s favorite pastimes was surfing. He enjoyed the feeling being out on the water, having a sense of connection with the ocean, and using the power of the wave to bring him back to shore. As with his approach to other sports, Neil Haboush emphasizes the philosophical and spiritual connection and a deep understanding of what the sport is all about and how it serves to connect one’s mind body and soul. This is apparent in his writings about golf, but is also relevant to his experiences with surfing, as the two sports have a very important connection to nature and the environment.
It is clear from his writing on weight training tips that Neil Haboush believes people should understand some of the science behind muscle growth and strength training. Most experts agree that sustained anaerobic strength training, coupled with a gradual increase in the weight and number of repetitions, produces consistent results. Widely considered one of the guiding principles in strength training, progressive overload holds that muscles must be overloaded in order to stimulate the natural adaptive processes of the human body. In the presence of new strength demands, the body responds by increasing blood flow to affected areas, stimulating the development of more responsive nerve connections between the brain and muscles and strengthening muscles and bones.
Aside from the obvious interest Neil Haboush has in golf, weight lifting and surfing which is clearly illustrated by his many enlightened posts and tips about the subject, one of his sports passions is actually basketball. Neil Haboush is an absolute basketball fan, not only as a spectator following the NBA, but also as a player, and a thoughtful scholar on the sport as well. While basketball might be a more fast-paced and athletically demanding sport than say golf, Neil Haboush nevertheless applies the same thoughtful and technical approach to his view of the game, espousing simple, straightforward tips that reflect a deep understanding of the game that only a true fan of the game can display.
Developing a proper golf grip is perhaps one of the most subtle aspects of the game. It’s mostly based on feel, so it’s extremely difficult to describe. It can also be difficult to achieve since there aren’t many methods than can be universally applied to this crucial part of your swing.
One tip that can ensure proper pressure in your left hand is what is often referred to as ‘short-thumb’ technique.
Taking one’s usual grip on the club, with the left thumb extended straight down the shaft, slide the thumb upward about an inch. This will increase the tightness of the hold in the last two fingers of your hand. This is precisely where you want a firm grip.
Grip, stance, posture –all these things are important when setting up a golf shot, but perhaps the single most important feature is alignment. After all, a tiny change in the alignment of your shot can result in massive differences in where the ball ultimately lands –as in the rough instead of the fairway. Pay close attention to the alignment of your shot, it has the biggest impact on how you aim for the target.
A good tip is to focus everything on your clubface. Before you adopt your stance and grip, and set your club behind the ball so that it’s facing the target. Adopt your stance, and adjust your club face gently until it’s in the precise position aiming at the target. When that’s locked in go through with the rest of your grip and address.
The short golf game can provide quite the challenge when it comes to figuring out what kind of swing best fits the circumstances. It tricky to tell what exactly needs to be done to take off a few meters from your distance, for example.
A common recommendation is to change the force of your swing depending on the distance you are trying to cover. Some pros are against that sort of thing, insisting that pace and tempo should be kept constant. They would rather recommend varying the length of the swing.
Shortening the length of the swing as the distance of the shot decreases while maintaining a steady tempo can result in more accurate and predictable results as you approach the green. Gripping down on the club as you approach, and switching clubs for the job help to maintain a consistent game as well.
Two qualities that you should try to focus on in your golf game are consistency and simplicity. While this can apply to all aspects of your game, your swing is a good place to start. Once you are comfortably in your address position, don’t make any swing adjustments. Most importantly, make the same swing no matter what club you use. The length of the club will shape your arc naturally, so you don’t have to consciously correct. In this way, the length of your shots will be determined solely by the length of your clubs.
Consistency in tempo is also key, but the specific tempo you choose is up to you. Depending on what kind of person you are, your temperament and natural tendencies, you need to find a tempo that works for you, and keep it consistent. Everything from your swing speed to the rate at which you take positions and walk the course should fit into an overall consistent tempo.
This year has seen record low snowfall in the Northeast US, a huge change from last year’s numbers. Although in some cases a decent amount of snow is actually falling on hills and mountains, the lack of it in valley and metropolitan areas dissuades people from actually going skiing. Temperatures have been relatively warm as well so far.
This uncommonly dry, warm weather has sent people reaching for their golf clubs instead of their skis. Country Clubs across the US have remained open through the winter and have been reporting increased business activity because of this unseasonal weather. Take it as a tip if you’re in the area, this might be a good time to work on that handicap and surprise your golf buddies come spring.