How to improve everything this summer, with Lucas Bjerregaard

Play better this summer

Lucas Bjerregaard is a European Tour player from Denmark who turned pro in 2011 off a +5 handicap. 

On the European Tour we are lucky enough to follow the sun around, so we get used to the conditions and adapting our games to courses that tend to be firm and fast.

I'm going to show you four ways to fire up your game as the sun shines this summer – but there are other keys to beating the heat. 

Water is crucial and, while I rarely feel hungry in really hot conditions, it is important to eat protein bars, bananas or similar foods that will give you a release of energy throughout your round. 

At the height of summer, I’ll eat two bars and a banana and drink five litres of water during a round. When it’s humid – in Malaysia for example – I’ll dissolve electrolytes in water and endeavour to find shade as often as I can. 

I’m not telling you to hit it in the shady trees, but take cover under them when you’re close by and waiting to play. I’ll also carry a couple of towels in my bag – a damp one to cool my neck and face and a dry one to remove the sweat from my hands and grips. In between rounds it’s important to cool down and rest, making sure you eat well and stay hydrated off the course. If you get behind on that it will affect you the next day so I’ll drink a bottle of water last thing at night and first thing in the morning.

The other crucial factor in playing great when it’s warm is the clothing you wear. You don’t want to feel sticky and sweaty walking 18 holes. That’s why I wear Galvin Green’s high-performance Ventil8 range, which makes use of carefully selected materials to transport moisture and excess heat away twice as quickly as conventional polyester golf clothing.

 


 

1. Drives that just keep on running

 

The ball can run forever on the summer’s sun-baked fairways, so taking advantage by maximising your distance is a key skill. When I play in pro-ams, I see lots of guys hit the ball miles in the air with the driver. In hot conditions we want the opposite – a low, penetrating flight that will see the ball take a big first bounce and keep on running. A couple of simple changes will allow you to do this and getting it right could add 40 to 50 yards to your tee shots, allowing you to take considerably less club for your approach. 

Drives

Full rotation:
Rotating your hips fully on the way back will give you maximum power. Work on getting your belt buckle pointing back away from the target for a full turn.

Wide backswing:
Create width in your takeaway and backswing to give you a shallow angle of attack into the ball. A steep angle will see the ball spin up in the air, so it won't roll as far when it lands.

 Tee it down

 

 Safe play

Play better this summer
  Play better this summer

To hit a low one, I would tee it down slightly and have it a couple of centimetres back in my stance. Any more than that and you’ll get too steep. 

 

If you want a running drive on a narrower fairway, gripping down a fraction will give you an ever lower flight and more control. My safe shot is to aim slightly left, tee it down, grip down and hit a low fade. A softer swing and the fact the ball is back in my stance means I don’t have to manipulate my path to get the ball moving left-to-right. 

 

NEXT: Two ways to get it close >>