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Good tempo is as much mental as it is physical. You get too fast because you’re trying to stretch more out of the shot. Remind yourself that every club has a distance limit; when you need more distance, take a longer club. And don’t think you have another gear for the driver. Use one speed for every full swing.
One way I check tempo is by rating my balance at the finish on a scale of 1 to 10. Pia Nilsson, who coached me on the Swedish national teams, taught me this practice drill. Hold your finish and grade your balance. If it’s coming up less than 7 out of 10, you’re swinging too hard.
When I lose my tempo during a round, I’ll step off to the side and make right-handed swings. With only one hand, you can’t accelerate too quickly. You can’t rush the club down from the top. Try some swings like this, and you’ll see how it teaches you to build speed gradually.
I talk a lot in my clinics about the importance of routines – especially pre-shot routines. The steps you take before each shot are as important as the shot itself. Its all about finding a routine that works for you and something you can repeat consistently during practice and competition.
During your pre-shot routine you must first pick the shot and club you’re going to hit. Here are a few things to consider when doing so:
1. Check out the lie, the distance, the wind, the target and any trouble in your way; but keep it simple.
2. Make a decision and focus only on what you need to do – the execution of the shot. There should be no second-guessing or hesitation. If you doubt the decision, start the process over.
3. When you’re ready to play, first visualize the shot and take a practice swing similar to the one you plan to make.
4. Finally, get over the ball and swing with determination.
This is just one simple tip that I share often. As you can imagine after so many years of playing, I have plenty more to share. The best way to learn more is to sign up for a program at the ANNIKA Academy! Be sure to visit the “Golf Programs” tab to explore all we have to offer.
1. Stroke with your shoulders. Because these putts require only a short stroke, there’s a temptation to just pop them with your hands and arms, but don’t let that happen. Be disciplined, and control the motion by rocking your shoulders. Do this and you’ll be much more consistent.
2. Focus on a square face. Direction is everything on putts from four feet and in. Remember that the ball will go wherever the face is pointing at impact, so make sure you start with it square. In fact, square the face before you even take your stance. On longer strokes the face should rotate open and closed, but on short ones it should point at the hole from start to finish. Read more →
This drill is great for golfers who tend to come over the top during their swing. This drill will help you to keep your posture and body alignment in the correct form throughout the swing while initiating a powerful swing from the correct area of your body.
Set up like you were going to hit a regular shot. Make sure you have an activated core. We call it “abs in.” This will straighten up your spine and connect your upper and lower body. Make sure that your weight is on the balls of your feet. I recommend that you do this drill with your 9, 8, or 7 iron. Read more →
Getting the right grip is one of the five swing fundamentals we teach here at the ANNIKA Academy. It’s so important to get this right, and there is a very easy way to find that grip for you. Watch the video below, and you’ll be on your way to a better golf grip, and a lower handicap.