Pro Tips: Swing Into SpringSwing Into Spring

After a long winter layoff it isn’t a good idea to rush to the driving range and hit several drivers the first day out. Try something different by starting with the short game to become re-accustomed to getting a feel back for your swing. Keep in min that the closer you are to the green, the lighter the club should be held.

Start with your 7 iron and hit chip shots so you can begin to get the feel back in your hands. Stand near the fringe of the green and make a chip stroke using very light grip pressure. Place the ball back toward the right toe with your weight on the left heel. There should be very little leg movement in this chip shot.

After hitting several 7 iron shots as noted above, select the 8 and 9 irons and the pitching wedge respectively while continuing to use the same stroke and set up. This exercise will assist in getting a feel for each club back into your hands.

Next stand approximately ten yards away from the green and use the sand wedge to experience how the stroke should feel when getting the ball into the air. Try hitting some higher shots by placing the ball forward in the stance. Place your weight on the left heel and your hands ahead of the ball.

Proceed to hit a lower trajectory shot by placing the ball in the center of the stance with your weight on the left side of the heel and your hands ahead of the ball. Try not to “flip” the hands. Keep the hands moving ahead of the club head and moving toward the target.

After accomplishing a feel for this swing, try to hit low shots that run across the green. This can be accomplished by placing the ball off the right toe with your weight on the left side and your hands ahead of the ball. There should be no lower body movement. Let the club swing through the ball allowing the club to do the work. Do not try to “help” the ball.

Lastly, it is very important to spend time getting your feel back in your hands for the putting stroke. This can be accomplished best by closing your eyes and feeling your arms and shoulders move together in one piece. Do not be concerned about making these putts, but focus on how the stroke itself feels. The stroke should feel smooth with movement only in the arms and shoulders.

Although working on the short game may not feel as rewarding and exhilarating as hitting a long drive, your score will definitely improve in direct correlation to improvement in your short game. These are just a few methods that are successful in shaking off the rustiness following a long lay-off. Practicing these exercises your first day out should help improve your short game as well as the feel of your body getting into the swing for another golf season.


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