long game golf tips


1. Keep your hands soft on the club. The one tip that always improves the games of my amateur partners is not to hold the club too tightly. It’s a simple tip but a good one.
Colin Montgomerie, Tour pro

2. Keep the clubhead low to the ground at the start of the takeaway. Don’t break the wrists. This promotes a good turn and weight shift. Do this and your turn and weight shift takes care of itself.
Alan Loader, TG reader

3. On your drives, brush your right pocket on the downswing. On the way through extend your right arm to shake hands with the target.
Joe Harris, TG reader

4. The best way to shape the ball is through grip pressure. For a fade (left-to-right) grip the club tightly, 9 or 10 out of 10. For a draw (right-to-left) soften your hold down to a 1 or a 2.
Nick Bradley, TG expert and Tour coach

5. Hit it hard, go find it, and hit it hard again. My dad told me that. It’s something I’ve tried to do throughout my career.
Arnold Palmer, King of Golf

6. Swing with rhythm. Anything you are doing wrong, rhythm can solveit. Rhythm is the magic key.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, Tour pro

7. Keep your weight on the inside of the right foot at the top. This helps you maintain balance, and stops you swaying about.
Peter Humble, TG reader

8. When you swing back, try to keep the gap between your knees the same as it was at address. When I was learning the game I had poor knee action – too soft going back, too active swinging through. But this tip helped me stabilize my swing and improved my upper body rotation.
Nick Clemens, TG expert and teaching pro, Portsmouth Golf Centre

9. Transfer your weight forwards on the throughswing. Your ability to move your weight forward in balance controls your handicap. End with your belt facing the target and your back sole facing the other way. It promotes impact with your weight on your front foot – the hallmark of every great pro.
Stuart McKane Head pro, Lilleshall Hall, Shropshire

10. Build width in the backswing. Width creates space in your swing which allows your body to rotate correctly through impact. Build width by keeping your left arm extended from address to the top and then through to impact. Many high handicappers let their left arm collapse and end up with a narrow and weak impact position.
Lee Pearce, Teaching pro, Gog Magog, Cambs

11. Keep the tension out of your arms. Lots of golfers are so tight at address and end up jerking the club back. But by gripping the club more lightly you will keep that tightness out of your arms and swing more freely.
David Leadbetter, Tour coach

12. Tom Weiskopf put a note on my locker on the final day of the 1970 US Open; it said: “Keep good tempo”. That note helped me win. Tempo – swinging the club with rhythm and timing – is virtually all that Vijay Singh works on. It’s also the hardest thing to maintain in the heat of tournament play but if you manage to slow down and not rush things you’ll be suitably rewarded.
Tony Jacklin, former Tour pro

13. Keep your body turning. That’s the key to the golf swing. Otherwise the club becomes very
unstable – and that’s why average club golfers hit so many poor shots.
Pete Cowen, Tour coach

14. Turn your chin a little to the right before starting your backswing. This very simple tip cured my longstanding fade. I have no idea why this worked (I think it has something to do with making the take-up smoother on the backswing), but it has certainly proved infallible for my golf swing.
David Kohn, TG reader

15. If you are struggling to gain height with your driver you should follow these steps:
1 Slowly tilt your right shoulder back
2 Keep tilting your right shoulder until
your right knee clicks inwards
3 Take a practice swing to feel how your
new set up promotes a new and much
steeper launch angle
Nial McFarland, TG reader

16. Don’t start your downswing until your left shoulder is under your chin (right-handers). Thisensures you have made a good body turn and completed your backswing. When you have completed your followthrough your other shoulder (right for righthanders) should be under your chin – or almost so.
Laurie Jones, TG reader

17. Here’s how I get good distance from a fairway trap:
1 Stand ON the surface of the sand (do not dig your feet in)
2 Grip the club two inches down the shaft and play a normal (ie fairway) shot. I frequently take a 7-wood and get 180 yards of distance from such bunkers this way. I’m sure you will too.
Keith Turner, TG reader

18. To get the right break in your wrists, swing the club baseball style. Stand upright and hold a 5-iron at the bottom of the grip, out in front of you. Then imagine you are about to whack a ball baseball style, the club ending across your shoulder blades. From this you get the feeling of your wrists rolling through impact, helping to keep the ball straight and even hit a draw.
Nigel Owen, TG reader

19. Picture a white line from the ball to your target. Then pick something on that line three or four feet in front of you and use that to square the blade. Once you get your face at right angles to your target line the rest of your alignment follows.
Dean Lintott, Head pro, Puttenham GC

20. I like to imagine the clubhead moving smoothly in a circle, and the ball just happens to be on that arc. Thinking this thought stops me lashing at the ball and losing rhythm and tempo – and control.
Chris Jones, TG Assistant Editor

21. Smooth tempo covers most sins – if you’ve got that you can get away with most things. If you’re going to make any mistake, swinging smoothly will help you minimise the damage. Keep your swing smooth and rhythmic at all times.
Dennis Pugh ,Tour coach and head pro, the Wisley

22. Try to create the widest arc possible with the clubhead throughout the swing. Do it with your arms. Aim for a firm left arm going back, two extended arms at impact and firm right arm moving through. Width stops you picking and flicking at the ball, and gives your swing a wide and powerful action. Practise width by sticking a tee peg two inches past the ball and knocking it out of the ground as you swing through.
Brian Barton, Head pro, Copt Heath

23. Keep your posture. Don’t change it midswing by straightening up or dipping. Achieve this and you’ll have to make fewer compensations in your swing.
Fred Funk, Tour pro

24. As you swing back keep your right knee still, weight on the inside of your right foot. You’ll build a powerful coil and a rock solid swing.
Jason Brant, TG expert and pro, East Berks GC

25. When you’re hitting driver, hover the club off the ground at set-up. It keeps your forearms relaxed, which gives you a smoother takeaway. It also lets you start the club from the position you’re trying to find at impact. Finally, you won’t catch the ground as you move the club back.
Jonathan Bullas, pro, Dartford GC

26. ‘Hit down and through’. When I’m struggling with my irons, this is the thought that gets me back on track. I try to take a divot. This stops me lifting up, gives me better extension and helps me complete the swing.
Toby Keel, TG staff writer

27. The best tip I ever had was ‘Let gravity work’. At the top of the swing, if we did nothing but let gravity take over the club would accelerate at 10 metres per second squared – in other words FAST! – without us doing anything. It’s always been a great image to stop throwing myself at the ball from the top of the swing.
Karl Morris, TG expert and Tour psychologist

28. Don’t hit AT the ball – let it get in the way of your swing. Most amateurs hit the ball too hard. Lee Trevino once described impact as an accidental collision between club and ball. This is a great way to think of it.
Paul Dennis, Teaching pro, Dunham Forest G&CC

29. For keeping your head still, think rather than still, that there is a javelin stuck horizontally through your head! Your head can slide along the javelin, but cannot rotate until your hands have passed the level on your follow through. It helps me a great deal with a clean impact and also prevents your shoulder over rotating, causing slices, duck hooks etc. Unorthodox, but it works!
Jeremy Tattersall, TG reader

30. When using your fairway wood from a reasonable lie aim to bring the heel of the club to the ball first. I’ve always found this a help with ballstriking.
Ray Pipe, TG reader

31. Hit the ball at 80% of your power capacity. Most amateurs I play with tend to try to hit the ball too hard, especially off the tee. They’d be much better off swinging more gently and concentrating on making solid contact at impact.
Ernie Els, Tour pro

32. Swing with your right foot (left foot for lefties) back behind your feet line. You get the feeling of starting the downswing from the inside, which is great for anybody who usually starts over the top.
Mark Andrade, TG reader

33. Hit shots with a fiver between the heel of your hand and the grip of the club. I used to have trouble losing my hold of the club and regripping, which shut the clubface. I was taught to keep my grip secure by slipping a note between the last three fingers of my left hand and the grip. All I had to think about then was holding the note in place. It works brilliantly.
Gary Casey, TG expert and teaching pro, Thorpe Wood GC, Peterborough reader