Friday, December 11, 2009

Tips To Help You Make More Putts

Let’s talk a little about putting.

All top professionals stress how great putting is necessary to win tournaments. Whether a major championship is on the line or a two dollar bet among friends, it all comes down to making putts. As a teaching professional, people ask me all the time, “how can I lower my handicap?” The answer is simple. Make more putts. It might not be the answer they want to hear, but it is the truth. I think 30 putts or less per round is an achievable goal for everyone.

I have been through thousands of putting thoughts and very few have stood the test of time. I am always trying to simplify the game. If your putts are not dropping, try these simple thoughts.

1. Stick to your putting routine. (if you do not have one, we need to talk).

2. Always visaulize the ball dropping into the hole.

3. Have a small forward press to start the stroke.

4. Hold the finish.

Here's a technique to ensure a good putting grip:

With the left hand on the club, leave the index off of the grip and slide the right hand down:

In the completed grip, the left index rests over knuckles of the right hand. This grip minimizes any breakdown of the wrists.

Bobby Hinds is a Teaching Professional at Woodley Lakes Golf Course with over 10 years of teaching experience. If you have questions about your golf swing, email Bobby He is available for lessons through the Pro Shop. For more information, go to

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Don't Skip the Grip

It has been said many times over that a good swing starts with a proper grip. I am always pleasantly suprised when I meet a new student on the tee line that has a sound grip. These students usually have few compensations in their swing and tend to adjust to swing changes with much less difficulty than those with poor grips.

With the proper grip, a free release (and longer and straighter shots) come easily

Here is a checklist that you should pay close attention to if you are serious about improving. I like to keep things simple I am a firm believer that if you improve your grip, you will improve your golf swing. The best view of your grip would be to hold the club directly in front of you with your arms extended and your hands chest high (fig. #1). The web­bing between your left thumb and forefinger should be together with the thumb pad on the right center of the shaft. Notice how the second knuckle of the forefinger and the thumb nail are even with each other. A very common error I see is when the left thumb is extended down the shaft. This causes the club to lay in the palm of the hand which increases grip pressure and decreases club head speed.

To check your grip, place a tee between your thumb and forefinger

The fleshy part of the right hand should cover the left thumb nail (fig.#2). The webbing should be close together and the thumb nail should be on the left center of the shaft. If these positions are accomplished, it does not matter which of the three grips are used (vardon, interlock, or ten finger). You should never see any of the grip from this view. All you should see is hands and fingers.

The left hand is on the club properly, thanks to use of the tee

Bobby Hinds is a Teaching Professional at Woodley Lakes Golf Course with over 10 years of teaching experience. If you have questions about your golf swing, email Bobby at He is available for lessons through the Pro Shop. For more information, go to

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hold Your Finish For Better Balance In The Golf Swing

A great drill to teach you better balance during the golf swing which will result in straighter shots on the course.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Play Better Golf With A Solid Pre-Shot Routine

In the last post, we talked about a couple of things that separate a low handicapper from a high handicapper. We dis­cussed “positive” swing thoughts, and selecting a “swing key” during warm‑ups. This will help immensley when you hit a poor shot and help you react to it.

From observing golfers at all levels, it seems that balance is a key element that separates the low handicap player from the vast majority of golfers. Good balance keeps the club and the weight shift moving in the same direction and in the right sequence. Balance also encourages good technique. Many swing flaws send the body into positions in which it is impossible to maintain balance and decrease the chances of solid contact between the club and the ball at impact. Next time you are on the golf course, think about finishing each swing by holding the follow through for a few seconds. You will soon start to feel the correlation between good bal­ance and solid contact.

If you can hold your finish for three seconds, you hit a good shot
(click to enlarge)

Pre‑shot routine
Many golfers who lack consistency have overlooked the pre‑shot routine as the most important part of the swing. A golfer’s routine is what builds the set‑up for each shot. If the routine is not consistent the shots will also be inconsistent throughout the round. By building a sound routine you can improve your swing and eliminate flaws before they begin. Your pre‑shot routine should contain these elements:

  • proper grip and grip pressure
  • precise alignment of club and body
  • correct ball position for the club and the desired flight
  • continuous motion to encourage a smooth start to the backswing
  • a mental image of the shot currently being played

(click to enlarge)

The Golf swing is a chain reaction of events. For more consistently good play, try to keep in mind a systematic method for setting up to each shot that includes all of these factors.

Bobby Hinds is a Teaching Professional at Woodley Lakes Golf Course with over 10 years of teaching experience. In each issue of the Wedge, he will ,share with us some helpful thoughts and tips to help lower your index and make the game more enjoyable. He is available for lessons through the Pro Shop. For more information, go to

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fix Your Swing When The Wheels Come Off

All golfers know that playing this game is often a struggle. Sometimes the challenges are external circumstances be­yond our control, while other times we seem to get in our own way. After twenty years of playing golf, I know what it feels like when your game has deserted you.

In every round of golf we face some sort of adversity that tests our will. What separates low handicap golfers from high handicappers is how one reacts when the poor shots appear. It is a golfer’s greatest temptation to “fix” his or her swing on the course, but when we start fixing our swings we fill our heads with swing thoughts and lose our sense of feel. The golf course is not the place for any sort of experimenting. The average golfer accumulates so many swing thoughts throughout a round that good play becomes nearly impossible. I’ve come up with a few “emergency thoughts” that help me get my game back on track while on the golf course. These positive swing thoughts will prevent poor play or turn things around as soon as possible when your game is in trouble, adding to your enjoyment on the golf course and lowering your score.

A Swing Key That Works

Before beginning a round of golf, select a swing thought for the day. The best place for thinking of a swing key is at the driving range during warm up. The most effective swing keys are simple and not specific to any part of the body. When golfers resort to manipulating certain parts of the body in hope of finding that ‘perfect move’, they can easily start over thinking. An example of a simple swing key would be “balance”, “soft hands”, or “swing within yourself” After committing to a single swing key, do not change to other swing keys. Proper preparation for a round of golf should include these positive, non‑technical thoughts. A player’s warm‑up session serves as a time to stretch the body and focus your mind. When you plan a day of golf, show up early enough to hit a small bucket and get all the experimenting out of your system. Free your mind from all the needless tinkering and play golf, not golf swing. In the next post, we’ll discuss “balance”, “soft hands”, and the importance of the “pre‑shot routine”.

Bobby Hinds is a teaching pro at Woodley Lakes Golf Course and has over 10 years of teaching experience. In each post, he will share with us some helpful thoughts and tips to help lower that index and make your game more enjoyable. To schedule a lesson, or for more swing advice, email Bobby at