June 2018 Newsletter

www.martinrathbone.co.uk – martin@martinrathbone.co.uk – 07958785326

With the sun shining as much as it has and the lack of rain, how does that affect your game?  Well the course is running very fast, some of the bounces are sideways and the greens become very demanding.

This situation places a big emphasis on your shot game, especially from 100 yards and closer.  Below are a few ideas to make practicing that a little more fun.

Tour players do these all the time to keep their game sharp and spend more time on short game drills than hitting balls on the range.

Drill: Feel The Shot

To become more accurate from 100 yards you need to develop a good feel for the shot.

Start at 100 yards and hit your normal club for that distance (just a couple of balls) Take 10 steps forward and hit 2 more shots to the same target.

Move to 80 yards and hit a couple of shots to the target.
Take 10 steps forward and hit 2 more shots to the same target.

Move to 60 yards and hit a couple of shots to the target.
Take 10 steps forward and hit 2 more shots to the same target.

Some players hold down on the club and change their ball position for distance control and others use swing length and tempo. Experiment with both and see what works for you.

You can also repeat this drill and create more distances by starting further away and using 5 step increments.

100 Yard Markers

When coaching I always ask several questions so I have a better understanding of my pupil but one question I always ask is, How often do you / can you practice? The determined golfer will always find time to work hard but here is a little tip for those that have very little time to practice.

Short Game Drill:

Take 10/20 golf balls and drop them around the practice green, do not adjust any lies you get or re-position any. Now imagine you are on the course in a competition, go through the shots one at a time and make sure you do exactly as you would on the course including all your pre-shot routines. If you are within 2ft give yourself the putt, if not try to hole out but again make sure you go through your putting routine.

This drill not only helps with the shots you are making but also, pre-shot routines, imagination and visualisation, pressure practice and above all else, adds some enjoyment to the drill.

Pyramid of balls

I have been playing a game called “Par 18” for many years and this really helps lower your scores.

Par 18 Drill:
From reasonably close to the green you are going to pick out 9 positions to play a chip from, let’s make it 3 easy, 3 medium and 3 hard. Each hole is a par 2; multiply that by 9 holes equals “Par 18”

Try chipping and putting every shot and keep your score no matter what it is. Next time you are at the course try to beat that score.

Again make sure you go through routines/ visualisation etc on every shot.

Putting Green with balls

When I was an amateur, and yes I can remember that long ago, I was always one for experimenting with shots, what happens if I do this, what happens if I do that , that process got me to the next tip.

Drill: Visualise it – Feel the Shot – Trust what you are doing 
On the practice green find a longish distance to one particular hole, somewhere between 20/30ft would be good, now hit chips to that hole with as many different clubs as possible. See what happens when you use a hybrid club all the way down to a sand wedge. Work out in you mind how much roll will be on the ball and therefore where must I land it?

Make sure you Visualise it, feel it and trust what you are doing. Go through your normal on course routine on every shot.

After a sort period you will be amazed at how good you can get with every club and also how much feel you now have, never a bad thing in golf. You will also realise that you have a favourite club to chip with and that will help you in making decisions on the course. Use your favourite club whenever you can but be careful to not use it when another club is better for that shot.

Circle of Balls

Thanks for all the support, happy golfing

Martin Rathbone PGA (AA) - Head Teaching Professional - Surbiton Golf Club