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Monday, April 07, 2008
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Golf Swing Aids Make A Huge Difference

By: Joe Tierney

The swing is one of the critical aspects of golf training, and the perfect swing can mean the difference of many strokes. It is a basic technique of the game, and needs to be practiced with patience and care. For people who would rather train in privacy and at their leisure, many companies offer swing aids.

The swing aid is generally a circular guide mounted vertically on its stand, which offers support and guides the club in a neat arc, as perfect as you can get it. Repetitive use of this device trains your muscles to move in the correct arc, the end of the club outlining the circumference of a perfect circle. Using a training aid is a good idea when you don't want to waste time at the course, practicing the basics. The device is portable to a limit, and can easily be installed in a backyard or even a garage for uninterrupted training time. Most of the units come with a training video, which demonstrates the correct usage, and the difference it makes etc.

The perfect swing involves maintaining the correct posture, rolling the wrists in the follow through and the correct grip. The swing aid cannot teach you how to grip a club, but it does make it awkward for you to make a complete swing if you hold the wrong grip. It is important to note here, that swinging away with the wrong grip, on a swinging aid can lead to awkwardness, maybe even a sprain. It is advisable to initiate lessons with a pro, and then practice on a swing aid machine, fully knowing the posture and the grip you are supposed to maintain.

Like everything else during the last few years, there is a digital aid in perfecting your swing, called the swing tempo device, which helps calculate the time duration of upswing-downswing, so you know you are doing it right with every club that you use. This is made for somewhat advanced users, but is a useful tool to graduate to. Of course, many die hard golfers would say they never needed a machine to teach them golf, but that is an argument that many people have about digital-manual equipment, and is not one that will ever have a conclusion! The better way to look at it is, whatever it is that helps you achieve the desired swing, go for it!

Finally it is good to remember that golf isn't a game very easy to master, and it is a combination of variations like the correct stance, the right grip - not too hard not too soft, and the right swing and follow through, to name a few, that will make you a better golfer. It is indeed necessary to constantly evaluate yourself, and to use the right methods to improve your game. The golf swing aid is a definite advantage in the learning process, but the sooner you are independent of it the better. Of course it can always be kept for practice, but dependency on the device wont give you confidence in the long run.

One last device I'd likes to mention is the 'thumb caddy' endorsed by the PGS tour pro Brad Faxon. It is a little device made of nylon and rubber, that fits on your club and guides your thumb into a perfect position to deploy power as well as control, helping you to maintain a firm grip, and the right position on the club, making you avoid hook shots.

It's easily carried in your pocket, and may be just what you've been wanting, check it out! At the same time, it is worth remembering that this is intended for practice alone, and not allowed in tournaments.

Joseph Tierney is a golfer and college student from Florida. You can find out more about improving your golf swing at Golf Swing Tips http://www.simplegolfswing.info/

Additional Info On Golf Today

The right knee should remain flexed, but it must rotate on the backswing to allow the hips to complete their turn. When done properly, this allows the weight to work into the right heel.
...Golf Tips magazine

Don't grip the club too tightly. A tight grip inhibits a smooth swing and follow-though. Also, keep the grips on your clubs in good condition. Worn grips force you to hold the club too tightly. Replace the grips on your clubs as they get worn and smooth. When first learning the grip, keep a club around the house and practice gripping and regripping the club a few minutes each day. Remember to keep fingers secure and arms relaxed.
...Golf Instruction Guide

The club is indirectly tied to the shoulders, therefore shoulder movement will determine the direction the club will travel.
...US Open

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Bunkers And Sand Traps - How To Play Them

By Lee MacRae

Are you afraid of sand bunkers on the golf course? Do you panic when you see one near where you need your ball to land? Follow along as we detail some tips and tricks to make sand play much easier for you.

When your ball is sitting up in sand on a rise that is caused by someone's footprints, don't be fooled into thinking this is an easy shot. Players tend to try to get the ball off the surface of the sand, or take too much sand in an effort not to hit it too far. Do the former and you may blade the ball. Do the latter and you may hit it fat. This is an instance where you want to hit not under the ball, but down and through it. Take your spot, about two inches behind the ball and slightly below it [because of the rise] and swing as you would for a normal chip shot. If you're still worried about getting it too far, move your weight back to your right foot. This will force you to swing more with your arms and will take some power out of the shot.

In general, a sand shot should be hit with a sand wedge, with both the stance and the clubface opened wide. The idea is to hit the sand and let it carry the ball out of the bunker. You should aim to make contact with the sand about two inches behind the ball and hit under and through. An important point here; with few exceptions, you should make a full fall through.

When sand is wet or really firm, your sand wedge, with it's wide flange may very easily bounce off the surface and blade the ball. In such circumstances, it's better to use a pitching wedge or, when the flag is a long way off and you want your ball to run more, then use a seven, eight, or nine iron. Play your ball back in an open stance [much as you would do when playing a chip from the fairway] and position your hands just ahead of the ball. Unlike most sand shots, this one requires that you concentrate on hitting the ball first and not the sand. Work out your "landing area" before hitting the shot, and try to hit that area. If you miss it, don't worry. With all sand shots, it's far more important to get out the sand and to leave your ball close to the hole.

And no matter what the circumstances are, don't allow tension to ruin your techinque. Tension will ruin even the best of golf swings. Keep your body and your mind loose and positive. Always imagine yourself handling the shot with success. What the mind sees, the body will do. You golf game will improve immensly when you add these tips.

Improve your golf game with improved golf fitness before you hit the links again!

Additional Info On Golf Today

Snap It For More Power
The powerful tension built up in the backswing needs to be unleashed into the ball. Before the club finishes at the top, the body must begin moving toward impact with the arms and club lagging behind (the body should drag the arms and club, not vice versa). The unwinding body should stop sharply before contact, whipping the arms and club powerfully into impact.
...Golf Tips magazine

The Hands
The hands should completely reverse themselves from address to impact. Notice how the left wrist is flat while the right has moved from flat to bent back (Above right). This position is a must.
...Golf Tips magazine

Set up your shots correctly
You won't get very far in a car without knowing how to use its controls. And it's exactly the same for golf. It's really no more complicated than feeling comfortable and balanced over the ball. The first place to start is making sure you aim correctly. As a general rule, you should keep club face square to the target. The exception to this is when you are deliberately trying to hook or slice the ball. It should be square to your body - wherever you are in your backswing. Try stopping your club at a variety of positions in your swing. The most important thing to remember is that the club head should be square to your body at all times.
...BBC golf

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