top golf tips

Published:

1. Learn the Vardon (overlapping) grip. It’s the most uncomfortable thing for a beginner to achieve but is the only thing that will guarantee that your bone structure and joints will perform correctly. Without the benefits of this grip it will put the swing out of shape.
Alex Hay, TV commentator

2. Get a lesson from a qualified pro and work hard on his advice. That way you eliminate the chances of getting yourself into bad habits – which is often what happens when you try to find the solution for yourself.
Lee Westwood, Tour pro

3. Practise putting. Spend time on the practice green playing games, maybe nine-holers against your friends. Make putting fun. Always enjoy the feeling of getting the ball into the hole. It’ll do wonders for your scoring too.
Nick Clemens, TG expert and teaching pro, Portsmouth Golf Centre

4. When things aren’t working, stick to one thing that you know can work. When I won my first Challenge Tour event I was hitting the ball really badly. But I had one safe shot. I was aiming left and cutting it. I won cutting ugly. I hit big low slices with the driver all day long. Most of my shots into the green were the same. And I shot 63. Everyone said “great playing” and it was ugly playing. But it was my ability to focus on one small thing. I decided this isn’t going to work unless I used what I had – which meant aiming left.
Henrik Stenson, Tour pro

5.Everything comes down to good tempo, so work on swinging with a smooth rhythm. You’ve got to
have it – it’s the glue that sticks everything together.
Nick Faldo, Tour pro

6. Flexibility is the physical key for a long and successful golf career. The one best thing you can do is boost the internal rotation in your right hip – that’s the move we all make in the backswing by rotating the body over an anchored right leg. Hold a club with the shaft parallel to the ground in front of you. Stand in a lunge position, right foot ahead of left, and practise rotating into your right side. That’ll boost flexibility.
Bob Wood, TG expert and chartered physiotherapist

7.You need to improve your short game. I have always liked people to practise their pitching because when you’re doing that you’re practising with a full swing. If you can control hitting 30-50 yard shots, you learn to develop the swing and control the linkage between the arms and body. You’ll gain control of the clubhead.
David Leadbetter, Tour coach

8. Warm up properly. So often you see club golfers arriving only just in time for their tee-off. Get to the club in time to spend 15-20 minutes hitting some balls and stroking a few putts. It can make all the difference.
Justin Rose, Tour pro

9. Learn to grip it properly and then learn to aim it properly. Once you’ve sorted out these two, everything else follows.
Peter Alliss, Voice of golf

10. Work on your address position. Most of your golf mistakes are before the swing has started, i.e. in your set-up or routine.
Jim Furyk, Tour pro

11. Practise like a champ to be a champ. When I was learning I was told to watch how the best practise and copy them. Great players practise with class – unhurried, smooth, poised, confident. When I practised I always tried to imagine how Nick Faldo would look – and it really helped. Don’t just stand there slashing shots away.
Lee Scarbrow, TG expert and John O’Gaunt head pro

12. Learn the game for yourself, along the lines of Hogan’s thing: ‘the secret’s in digging dirt’.
Vijay Singh, Tour pro

13. Get some good lessons! Start out right and you’ll avoid a lot of bad habits and pain later on.
Hank Haney, Tour coach

14. Work on your short game. If I had my youth again I’d spend more time practising short game. If you miss greens, like we all do, you’re still going to have to get up-and-down. Practise chipping and putting and the game becomes easier.
Darren Clarke, Tour pro

15. Know your own game and use it. Dad was never one to mince his words and when I left home for the first time to play the Tour, he said: “Boy, you’ve played good, you know your game – use it. But start listening to all those folk giving you tips... and there’ll still be a job waiting for you back home driving the tractor on my golf course.” Gurus have a place in the game. They’re professionals like me, and can help, but there’s so many good young players who go out on the Tour with a good game that just needs to be honed in their own way. They end up getting too much advice and, all of a sudden, they’re back cutting fairways on the tractor!
Arnold Palmer, King of Golf

16. Get a series of video lessons. I had squandered a small fortune on every golf gadget and gizmo under the sun without any marked or consistent progress. So I decided to invest £250 on a series of 12 video lessons over a period of 12 weeks. Thirteen weeks ago I struggled to break 100. Last week I scored an 11 over par 82 and am now breaking 90 on a regular basis. It’s the way forward.
Alan Brodie, TG reader