1. Backswing Advice
Being able to be synchronized is a key part of a solid golf swing and a solid strike. One of the best tips I ever received was that “when your shoulders stop turning in your backswing, your arms need to stop swinging”. There are a number of great players that do not follow this idea. The most famous or infamous would be John Daly. In his prime he was the longest “good” player to play the PGATOUR and his arm swing was longer than his shoulder turn. But keep in mind he was a world-class player. My recommendation is that when your shoulders stop turning your arms should stop swinging. Sounds simple but it takes practice. You will find that you will see some consistency in your ball hitting. Finding the bottom of your swing consistently will result in being able to control your ball flight. This is especially important in your senior years. Your loss of flexibility will result in a shorter than wanted shoulder turn. When your arms match your shoulder turn you will be pleasantly surprised to the quality of your golf shots. Remember it doesn’t hurt to move up to the WHITE TEES either - that is if you are eligible!
2.Maintaining Your Spine Angle
Back in the day when I learned to play they used to say “keep your head down” - one of the single biggest mistakes in golf. Watch Henrik Stenson, for example, he does not keep his head down. He does however maintain his spine angle throughout his swing. Your spine is the axis of your swing and maintaining it allows you to keep the club in perfect orbit around you. Change the tilt of your spine angle and the orbit of the club changes also. When the club is not in perfect orbit then you must compensate to save the shot. Trust me, your instincts will know when the “planets” aren’t aligned, instinctively you will make an adjustment. When making adjustments to a golf swing that takes no more than 1.5 seconds to make - that is the formula for disaster. Maintaining your spine angle takes practice but with practice you will start to feel more effortless power than powerless effort.
3. Using the Bounce
Bounce is the angle of the sole against the ground, when your wedge is properly soled at address. If your sand wedge has 14 degrees bounce, you will tend to have the leading edge sit off the ground. If your wedge has 8 degrees of bounce the leading edge will sit closer to the ground. There are plenty of short game shots at The Players Club where a golfer NEEDS to feel the bounce. Start out by not leaning the shaft toward the target. The shaft should run more vertically or perpendicular to the ground. With your pitching motion you can make swings and listen for the sole to “bounce” off the turf. If the leading edge hits the ground first the club will dig and that won’t be pretty. Your around the green shots will be more consistent using the bounce because the short shots will be hit with truer loft. The “hands ahead”, “digging” action changes the loft of the wedge. Spend more time at the short game area listening for the bounce and less time pounding balls on the range and your scorecard may be a little cleaner.