Golf Lessons: Drills Washington DC

A quiet body, a ball at rest, a short back-and-forth motion—how could something so simple cause so many headaches? It’s a question that occupies the minds of touring professionals and weekend warriors alike. If you need some help getting your past your putting fears, try some drills to help get your game in good shape.

University of Maryland Junior Golf Camp
(301) 403-4181
University of Maryland Golf Course
College Park, MD
 
4 Star Summer Camps at the University of Virginia
(800) 334-7827
PO Box 3387
Falls Church, VA
 
Turfgrass Trends
1775 T Street NW
Washington, DC
 
Landscape Architecture Magazine 
(202) 686-2752
4401 Connecticut Avenue
NW Washington, DC
 
East Potomac Golf Course
(202) 554-7660
972 Ohio Dr SW
Washington, DC
 
University of Maryland Junior Golf Camp
(301) 403-4181
University of Maryland Golf Course
College Park, MD
 
4 Star Summer Camps at the University of Virginia
(800) 334-7827
PO Box 3387
Falls Church, VA
 
Langston Golf Course & Driving Range
202/397-8638
2600 Benning Rd Ne
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
18

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Ft. Mcnair Golf Course
202/685-3138
262 3rd Ave Sw Sports Center
Fort Mcnair , DC
Type
Military
# of Holes
9

Data Provided by:
East Potomac Public Golf Course -Red
202/554-7660
970 Ohio Dr Sw
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
9

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Accelerate the Putter

Accelerate The Putter

Accelerate The Putter Accelerate The Putter
Acceleration is the increasing speed at which the clubhead moves through the ball and is important not only for hitting shots of substantial distance, but also for short putts. In fact, if you find that you’re missing too many short putts, the cause may be failure to accelerate the putterhead. Here’s a drill that will help.

On the practice putting green, find a hole that will permit you to set up for a flat and straight putt. Place a sand wedge perpendicular to the line of the intended putt so that the face is down and the thinner part of the shaft is on the line of the putt. The shaft should lie just at the edge of the cup.

From a distance of three feet, putt to the hole with sufficient speed so that the ball will hit the shaft, pop into the air and fall in the hole. If you decelerate the putterhead through the stroke, you’ll generate insufficient speed for the ball to overcome the shaft in front of the hole. However, smooth acceleration of the putter will produce enough speed to hole the putt over the shaft.

This drill should be part of your regular practice routine, as it will teach you to accelerate the putterhead and give you confidence to make those short putts that are critical to good scoring. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try this technique on a short breaking putt. Just remember to set the shaft perpendicular to the break in order to ensure the ball pops straight into the cup.

After a few practice sessions, you can take this drill to the course by visualizing the wedge’s shaft in front of the hole. Visualizing will not only foster proper acceleration, but also will have you focused on the process of making a putt rather than worrying about the outcome.

The key to accelerating and staying on line when making short putts is to keep your hands ahead of the ball, thus preventing excessive wrist motion on the forwardswing that can send the ball rolling offline. One technique I’ve employed to help me stay on track is the left-hand low grip (see right). By positioning my left hand low, I’m able to prevent my hands from releasing too much.

This helps me to keep the putterface facing the target, even after contact with the ball. Also, note how I hold the finish. That’s a sure sign I’ve accelerated and the ball is on the right line.

PGA teaching professional John O’Leary III is the director of instruction at the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy (APGA), located at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla. At the APGA, game improvement is directly related to the fundamentals that Arnold Palmer learned from his father, which were instrumental to his success. For more information, visit www.apga.com .

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No-Frills Putting Drills

No-Frills Putting Drills

Nine easy ways to lower your score

Putting Drills A quiet body, a ball at rest, a short back-and-forth motion—how could something so simple cause so many headaches? It’s a question that occupies the minds of touring professionals and weekend warriors alike. Wouldn’t it be great if putting was as simple as it sounds, where every round was as automatic as the clinic Aaron Baddeley put on at Harbour Town this year (97 putts over 72 holes)? Jeff Ritter, director of instruction at the ASU Karsten Golf Academy in Tempe, Ariz., believes putting isn’t complicated. And to help solve your putting woes, he has put together his No-Frills Putting Drills—nine straightforward, no-nonsense exercises intended to be practiced on your own, without the aid of an instructor. Practice these drills and, before you know it, you’ll actually look forward to working with the flatstick.

1 Metronome
Have you ever noticed how smooth a touring pro’s putting tempo is? It’s as if his or her stroke was a pendulum swinging back and forth—rhythmic, free-flowing and uncomplicated. This kind of uniform movement eliminates any “herky-jerky” motions that might adversely affect a putt’s length and direction.

A great way to develop Tour-quality rhythm and tempo is to practice with a metronome. Simply place the metronome on the ground and time your stroke so it matches its “tick-tock” sound. On the “tick,” your putter should be at the end of your backswing, and on the “tock,” it should be at the end of your followthrough.

A metronome has adjustable speeds, a feature that makes finding the appropriate tempo a snap. Once you find the speed that matches your natural stroke, continue to practice matching your tempo to the metronome until you can consistently reproduce it.

The next time you play, I suggest grooving your tempo while making a practice stroke. It’s easy. Just repeat to yourself, “tick-tock,” as you putt. When you step up to the ball, your rhythm will be right for the putt at hand.

One-Hander 2 One-Hander
Some players like to feel as though one of their hands is guiding the stroke through impact. For example, Tiger Woods wants his dominant right hand to control the stroke, so he frequently practices with only that hand on the handle. Whatever your preference, practicing with just one hand is a great way to unlock the feel and flow of a pure putting stroke.

Hold the putter with one hand only and make a stroke. At first, the sensation of a one-handed motion might feel unusual, but as you practice, you’ll find it’s actually fairly natural. As you practice from a variety of distances, don’t be afraid to put a little wrist action into your stroke, as it promotes a true roll. Also, allow yourself to be loose—a tension-free stroke usually produces the best results.

Remember, a natural wrist cock is common in every ball sp...

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Short Putts

Short Putts

The three simple keys to consistently sinking short putts are: making contact with the center of the putterface, making contact with a square putterface that’s on-line to the target and accelerating the clubhead through impact. If you learn to do these three things, your short putting, and overall putting, will improve quickly and should stay solid for good.

To ensure that you learn to make center contact, begin by placing two tees on the sides of your putterhead (one on the toe, one on the heel). Practice stroking putts without making contact with either of the tees, and continue until you find you can strike the ball cleanly every time. Work on this drill regularly, and you’ll soon find the center of the clubface regularly.

Once you feel comfortable with the first part of the drill, place a shaft on the ground next to the tee that’s outside the toe of the putter, and make sure it’s parallel to the target line. Practice stroking putts, being certain to avoid contact with either one of the tees, while also keeping the putterhead perpendicular to the shaft on the ground through the impact zone. Keep working until you can do both things at once, and you’ll have the clubface square at impact while also making center contact with the ball.

The final element to conquer is finding a way to keep the putterhead accelerating through impact, which is critical to imparting a tight, end-over-end roll on the ball. Most golfers make the mistake of taking the club too far back, which leads to a decelerating clubhead through impact. To prevent this problem, take a third tee and place it behind the ball (at address), relatively even with your right toe. This tee will serve as a barrier and prevent you from taking the putter too far into the backswing, forcing you to accelerate the putterhead as it swings into the ball. Practice stroking putts combining all three elements of the drill (swing between the tees, along the target line and not too far back in the backswing), and soon enough, you’ll feel confident on the short ones, which, in turn, will give you more freedom and confidence
to go for those 12- and 15-footers for birdie.

Kevin Scheller works with PGA and LPGA professionals, as well as recreational golfers.

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