On The Tee: Benefits of golf instruction
On The Tee Extra: Putting Tip
Improving your golf game requires more than practice. A golf instructor can assess your game and pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
Chris O'Connell is a golf coach who has been ranked in Golf Magazine's top 100 teachers since 2013. Some of his students are PGA pros Matt Kuchar and Eric Axley to name a few. I spoke to Chris about the importance of lessons and some tips in lowering your score.
"When you are going to take a lesson, you're not going to get a prettier swing or a swing that looks like the swing of the week. You're really going to try and eliminate your bad shots. So it might be a slice, might be you don't hit the ball high enough, might be that you tend to hit behind the balls. Whatever your miss is, is really what you are trying to do when taking a lesson. You're trying to figure out what causes that miss and what do I need to feel to change my motion so that I can eliminate that shot," O'Connell said.
A good strategy out of the tee box could lead to a good score on a golf hole.
"Off the tee, I'm trying to strategize in terms I'm looking what's out there in terms of hazards, water, or bunkers. Where is the architect telling you to avoid and where is he trying to have you go into? You're trying to give yourself the biggest margin for error. So, if there's a bunker out there that you can reach and it cuts into the fairway, if I just play short of that bunker, then all of the sudden I am playing into a bigger fairway," O'Connell said.
Hitting onto the green in regulation means that you put the ball on the putting surface with enough strokes to spare to give yourself a chance to birdie or better.
Here's a tip when you're attacking the green:
"Where's the best place to putt from? Where's the best place to chip from? At Oakmont, the U.S. Open, it's really crucial because the greens have so much slope. They are firm and fast. You're really trying to look at the green. If I don't hit it close to the hole, where's the easiest place to be putting it from? Or if I don't hit it to the green, where's the easiest place to allow me to hit it up and in," O'Connell said.
These are just a few simple and easy tips that might take some strokes off your score.