Backspin Advice

Honestly, the first thing that you need to realize about creating backspin is that it’s a very tough shot to accomplish, let alone control.

The second thing that you should realize is that there are very few situations where this shot is actually needed.

In my opinion, the best shot to master is an approach shot that bounces once, and then stops on a dime. This shot is not easy to accomplish either, but is more realistic and much more effective in the vast majority of cases.

So I’ll get in to the basics of this shot now, but please realize that an entire book could be written on this subject, and it would still be very hard to incorporate into a recreational game.

Here are the basic conditions that must be met before the shot even occurs. If these factors are not in place, don’t try to create backspin.

Conditions must be completely dry – (the club face, and the ball included)

You must be on the fairway – (grass can’t get in between the club and the ball)

Green’s have to be very nicely kept – (very short)

Now, let me clarify. Those are the conditions that must be met before the shot even occurs. So hopefully, you are beginning to see just how difficult this shot is and why it doesn’t come highly recommended from someone who focuses on making golf simple.

I was thinking of ways to describe the action necessary to create backspin, and I came to the conclusion that the best analogy is one of placing spin on the cue ball in billiards.

Side Note: They say that good pool players are also good putters. So if you want to sharpen your putting skills, I would advise learning billiards as well. It will help you to develop steady hands, “learn to see the line”, and it will also teach you a lot about spin.

In Pool, to create backspin you have to hit downward on the cue ball with a significant amount of force. Notice that players chalk up before hitting a shot requiring a lot of spin (dry). They also go at the ball with a very steep angle. And they hit the lower portion of the ball.

All of this is necessary in golf as well. The ultimate goal is to “pinch” the ball between your club and the fairway. You must take a downward blow at the ball, you must add a fair amount of velocity to your swing speed, and you must make clean contact with the lower portion of the ball. It is all of these factors combined that make this shot so tough to complete with any accuracy.

It’s also essential to have a new ball (preferably a high spin/soft-cover ball), and a newer (clean) club that has some of the grip left on the face. As the ball compresses into the grooves on the face of the club, backspin is created.

On a final note; it’s important to realize that if you make course management the foundation of your game, you will rarely be in a situation where you need to use backspin. Course management is one of the true keys to golf. I’m going to publish a newsletter on it in the next few weeks as well, so be on the lookout.

Golf Swing Tips

Before you can make the decision to get yourself a golf coach, you need to define your goals and to what extent you are willing to pursue them and your budget for the activity.

One big advantage in hiring a coach is that your specific weaknesses will be addressed and corrected. Take that into consideration.

A Golf Coach will also be able to help you to get rid of any nasty playing habits which may lead to injuries like “golfer elbow”.

Talk to a prospective coach and learn how he might be able to help you before you commit yourself to him/her.

Consider the rate for a one-on-one lesson with a pro golfer. Often the range depends on the pro you will be working with and the golf club/school you will be joining

One option to consider if the golf lesson rates for an exclusive one-on-one type coaching is too expensive for you is to go with a group of other golfer so that you can share the expenses

If you choose to go with the expense sharing route, remember to join a class that is no bigger than 4 students in it with one coach. The reason being, if there are less students in a class, you get as much attention as a one-on-one session without spending too much.

One more thing to consider and always keep in mind when you are working with a professional coach is targeting quality over quantity. What I mean by this is that you need to focus on going for a goal of being excellent at a few good techniques than knowing so many that you are unable to execute them properly.

Any coach worth his salt will teach you things that you can ultimately do on your own even without his/her supervision. This includes both playing a better game on your own as well as proper warm-up and stretching routines.

Last, but not least, always try to improve on your game in your own time by watching other great pro golfers on television or tournaments or by watching tutorial videos of what makes them great at what they do

Golf and Calorie Burn

The amount of calories we can burn while enjoying golf, depends upon individual body weight, fitness level, intensity of the game, and metabolic activity. However, research and surveys focused on finding average calorie reduction in golf show that a person weighing 155-lb. will lose 281 calories (approx) per hour while on the course. So, playing a round at an average golf course will burn near enough 1,124 calories. For 3-par golf courses with 18 holes, the golfer will get rid of half the calories, as it takes half the time than any average traditional golf course to complete.

According to the research, the heavier you are the more you are supposed to lose fat on the green. This makes golfing the perfect sport for people who are looking to shed excess weight while enjoying the relaxing pace of golf.

  • People weighing more than 190-lb. can lose 259 calories per hour on an average, at the driving range.
  • 155-lb. weighing people will supposedly get rid of 211 calories per hour while swinging the golf clubs at the driving range.
  • An hour on the driving range will help people weighing 130-lb. to reduce 177 calories on an average.

These statistics prove that playing golf is a chance to stay healthy without intense workouts or regular visits to the gym.

Besides swinging an array of golf clubs to hit the ball, you can stay fit by walking from one point of the field to another. Research reveals that a golfer generally walks about five miles to complete a round on 18-hole course. Golfers can pull their clubs or carry them to the distance to use more calories while walking. Carrying the bag will reduce 387 calories per hour while pulling them will shed 352 calories.

Difference in the surface topography of golf courses can add to or deduct from your average calorie burn rate. Playing on smooth and plain greens will not be as hard as swinging golf clubs and chasing down golf balls on a rugged terrain. In other words, the harder it is to play golf on a course, the better will be your chances of reducing more calories.

Power of Selective Memory

If you’ve ever hit a perfect shot, then you have the ability. Obviously, the criteria for perfection depends on your skill level, but in this context, the only criteria is the feeling of effortlessness.

The chances of duplicating a perfect swing are based on your memory of a similar situation; the more vivid the memory, the greater the odds. We can’t always control the environment, but we can learn to control our memories.

Simply thinking about a desired outcome will only produce temporary results. The secret to consistency is adding strong feeling to the memory.

What do most amateur golfers do immediately after they hit a perfect shot? They dissect the swing, hoping to uncover the fortuitous combination of technical elements that came together for one fleeting moment. As soon as you start analyzing the swing – the feeling disappears.

How do you know that perfect shots are the result of a (technically) perfect swing?

One of the biggest misconceptions for the once-a-week golfer is that he/she can consciously control their swing. How often have you stood over the ball and sensed that something just didn’t “feel” right?

If you have the time, dedication and resources to hit five-hundred practice balls a day under the watchful eye of a qualified instructor, then in a year you might develop the ability to consciously control your swing. For the majority of amateur golfers, however, a more productive method would be learning how to recall the “feel” of a perfect shot. Let the feeling determine the result. It’s called trust.

Have you ever heard the maxim, that the secret to success is “getting out of your own way?” Do you ever wonder what that phrase actually means? Now you know.

The next time you watch golf on television, take note of any action, no matter how small, that a player performs consistently. This pattern is the player’s unique method of recalling the “feel” of success.

Natural ability varies considerably, but every golfer can break through the proverbial “glass ceiling” when they develop the habit of recalling past success. Learn how to recall the “feeling” of your best shots and you’ve found the key to unlocking your natural ability that lies beyond swing mechanics.

Correct Golf Shoes

Fitting

Very important! You won’t be happy if your shoes do not fit; and money doesn’t mean fitting. When I was a junior golfer, I had a top branded pair of golf shoes that didn’t fit properly. The blisters that I was awarded with were unbearable. Don’t make the same mistake.

I suggest measuring both feet before selecting a size – if you get two different measurements then choose the size that is bigger.

Golf shoes need to feel secure on your feet to aid stability but also need to give your feet room to breathe.

A lot of golfer’s use thick socks when golfing for added comfort, It’s probably a good idea when trying on potential shoes to wear the sock type you’re most likely to be wearing when golfing.

Style

When selecting a style, ensure you pick one that you are comfortable wearing. There are many options today to pick from such as traditional and athletic. Traditional shoes are made from leather and are very long lasting. The drawback to this style is the lack of breath-ability and flexibility. Athletic on the other hand, come in both spiked and without spikes, are lightweight and give plenty of flexibility. There are many styles to choose from, even sandal for the casual golfer.

Price

As I explained earlier, money doesn’t always mean better. You can always find great deals online throughout the golf season. Shoes generally range from anything as little as £20 to £200 plus. So stick within your budget and look for those deals.

Waterproofing

You should be looking for golf shoes that offer a waterproof element. You wouldn’t want to be walking the course with soaking wet feet. Many golfing manufacturers will offer 100% guaranteed waterproofed shoes for 12 months. Meaning if your shoes leak water within that time, you can get them swapped for a brand new pair; I have known golfers who have had their shoes leak water within a few months, after sending them back they get given a brand new pair. Be sure to check what the company offers.

Create Unstoppable Confidence

In contrast to most sports, golf is the one game where a players confidence tends to wane the longer they play. How long have you played the game? Are you more confident now than you were two years ago?

The first key to building confidence is understanding that the game is inherently unfair; the odds are stacked against you. Golf is played on variable surfaces under constantly changing conditions. The player has to wield fourteen clubs of various lengths and lofts (compared to one tennis racket), and try to filter through all the (often contradictory) swing theories on the proper way to swing a club.

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the game, is the unpredictability of cause and effect. No matter how many lessons you take or how much you practice, there are no guarantees. How you played the day before, the hole before or even five minutes ago has no direct bearing on the impending shot, however, the odds of success are greater when you stop beating yourself up!

Most golfers take lessons for the first two or three years and see gradual improvement. Their confidence level continues to rise. At this stage, a well-meaning friend may give the ebullient student a golf instruction book and/or video. Now the learning curve takes a serious dip and the aspiring student’s confidence level often plummets.

Assuming you have the underlying technical skill, believing you can carry two-hundred yards over water is a matter of confidence. How you often have you duffed two shots in a row and then blasted the next drive down the middle?

Stop worrying about how you look or what fellow golfers think. In golf, cockiness is a good thing. The choice is yours. Why wait for the next perfect shot in order to feel confident? Decide on a club, pick the target and just hit the damn ball!

Golf is the ultimate game of feel. Learning how to create a feeling of confidence is the first key to unlocking your true potential. Results are beyond your control. Accepting the good shots and the poor ones with equanimity is the key to confidence.

Sciatica Exercises Alleviate Discomfort

If you experience sciatica, a few days of bed rest or lying on the couch is not the answer. Inactivity actually aggravates the problem. Weak or inflexible muscles can cause or intensify sciatica, so it is important to keep your back and abdominal muscles in good shape. While you don’t need to spend hours at the gym, some strengthening and stretching of these muscles can provide a lot of good and get you back out on the golf course.

Before you begin an exercise program to treat sciatic pain, it is important to understand what is causing the pain. Usually this will need to be diagnosed by a medical professional. For example, if you have a herniated disc your pain is being caused by disc material bulging out and applying pressure on your nerve, which in turn irritates or compresses your sciatic nerve(s). If this is the problem in your case, stretching your back can be helpful. You can do this while lying on the floor on your stomach and raising your torso up off the floor.

If, however, your sciatic is caused by spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the nerve’s passageway, then different exercises will be more useful in alleviating your pain. These include stretching your back by kneeling and bending your head toward the floor with your arms stretched in front of you. Also try lying on your back and gently pulling your knees to your chest for relief of your pain. The right exercises can alleviate your discomfort and help you better enjoy your golf game.

As with many lower back problems, a good preventative measure is to maintain good posture, stay within a healthy weight range, and exercise regularly. An appropriate fitness routine can help keep you pain-free while playing golf. The sciatic nerves are especially prone to flare up when you have weak muscles, poor posture or are overweight. Keeping your back in good shape before you have problems goes a long way in reducing your likelihood of future back pain. Whenever you experience pain or discomfort, you should always seek out the diagnosis of a physician so appropriate precautions and a diagnosis can be made for corrective strategies.

Golf Weight Training

There is a HUGE misconception of what and how this type of program should be done. It does not take going into a gym and lifting heavy weights; nor does it take a 2-3 hour daily commitment.

I have seen many “so-called” golf weight training programs, books, and videos etc that do in fact show the golfer in the gym and on machines. Sitting on a machine, isolating one muscle group is not golf-specific or sport-specific for that matter.

Golf is a dynamic movement done on your feet. Sitting in a machine in a “controlled” environment will not improve your swing.

The golf swing incorporates most of the muscles of the body in a sequential motion. I hope you can now see sitting in a machine won’t improve that.

So what truly is a ‘golf-specific’ program?

For starters, doing a lot of exercise ‘on your feet’ and in your golf posture will help. The more you can get in your posture and strength train, the quicker the benefit to your game.

Golf also involves balance and stabilization. To improve this takes a concentrated effort on core work and exercises involving balance (such as one-legged exercises).

The more popular golf-exercises are done on a stability ball; using exercise tubing; handweights; and even weighted medicine balls.

This allows you to do many dynamic movements similar to your golf swing, directly relating to more power, distance and accuracy.

These pieces of equipment are very inexpensive and portable. You can have a complete golf weight training gym in your home for under $100 easily.

For example, exercise tubing is approximately $20 and you can immediately do golf swings with it. This is as golf-specific as you can get. Doing your actual movement with resistance will dramatically increase your power output.

There are dozens of simple, golf weight training exercises you can do with the above equipment (and in your home). The beauty of this type of golf training is saving time and money, but most importantly making it fun and enjoyable.

When you do these types of golf weight training exercises you will be encouraged that it will be the missing link to your best game.

Often, we try to get on the fitness, weight-loss bandwagon, only to quit after just a week or so. With the above type of training, your doing both. You not only see a dramatic improvement in your game, but the icing on the cake is looking and feeling better.

I have worked with hundreds, if not thousands of golfers via the web who have sent me emails stating how they have stuck with their programs longer than any other time in their life. They say the connection between health and golf is what did it.

So don’t get overwhelmed the next time you here about golf weight training. With a little research, you can be doing your golf weight training program in your home in no time.

Correcting a Golf Slice

Correcting a golf slice is not difficult, but may require plenty of practice, patience and more practice.

There are three ways to correct a slice. Hire a golf instructor, purchase some DIY books and/or grab a golfing buddy to follow you around the fairways and tell you what you’re doing wrong.

In the meantime, practice these simple guidelines in the backyard or out on the course.

  • Line your feet up correctly – square yourself up with your feet approximately shoulder width apart and the golf ball about half way between them
  • Point your leading shoulder in the direction of the hole. Wherever your shoulder points is where the ball will go
  • Keep your swing even and relaxed, knees slightly bent. Don’t try to hit the golf ball too hard, jab at it or over-correct
  • Head should be down and eyes fixed on the ball. Don’t look to see where the ball is going, your aim should already be lined up with your body positioning. Lifting your head will destroy your aim
  • Always remember to follow through. When the ball is hit and the club is over your head, then you can look up

Afterward, don’t forget to shout your golf buddy some liquid refreshment at the clubhouse. Important tips can be traded and your golf slice discussed with all the minutiae a relaxing cold drink allows.

Golf Exercise Routine

Don’t let your clubs get dusty and forget about your game. Prepare your body in anticipation of next spring. It’s no fun to come off the course feeling spent (in more ways than one) when you could have energy to spare. You have between 4-6 months to greatly improve your strength, flexibility and stamina. It would be the wisest thing to do to improve your golf for next season.

When you begin the season with a “broken” body, you’re taking two steps back. Take a leap forward and prepare your body by getting your golf exercise routine in motion. Think of it this way. What a great opportunity to get the edge on your playing partners and win all the money. Wouldn’t that get their goat?

Finally, you’ll get the chance to redeem yourself from a previous season that found you paying out more than receiving and being the brunt of all jokes in the clubhouse after every round. We’ve all been there – but no longer right? This is the winter to make the commitment and do it! No excuses. No more reasons to put it off. You may realize it’s not easy – but nothing worth getting is easy.

Golf exercise is a very popular topic these days among all the pros, teachers and even amateurs. It’s no secret that if you get your body fitter, stronger and more flexible you will swing better and hit longer drives that produce lower scores.

That’s what we all want right? What a feeling to be the longest (and straightest) hitter in your group. Always hitting your approach shot last because you were the furthest down the fairway. Those are the kinds of thoughts you should have this winter while you’re working out.

The simplist way to implement a golf exercise routine is to look at the golf swing. First off, it’s standing on your feet. Not sitting down, like on a machine in your local gym. So try to do most of your exercises on your feet.

Secondly, you should be in your golf posture. Which is a bend forward at the hips, with your knees slightly flexed. Doing exercises in this position will create a very strong, stable golf swing.

A good example of a golf exercise would be the Golf Posture Lateral Raise:

  • Bend forward at hips just beyond normal golf posture.
  • Hold dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing each other.
  • Slowly raise dumbbell to the side and up.
  • Slowly bring back down to pre-stretch position.

Do you see how this would quickly build up the strength in the back of your shoulders for a strong take-away and downswing? The only equipment required was a pair of dumbbells (hand weights), which probably cost about $10. No fancy gym. And in the convenience of your home, saving you time.

This is just one example of a simple golf exercise routine you can do quickly and conveniently in your home to dramatically transform your game!