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Golf is a Target Game

Greetings Golfers,

A lot of people hit a lot of wild shots.

I know … how insightful! But, why are they so wild? And why so often?

Because, they don’t swing at their target. In fact, they might not even have a target. They just swing at the ball and hope it goes someplace good. 

And, they think that if they make a “good swing” the ball will read their mind and go where it should.

I think you need a target … and need to swing at it. And, the secret is “extension”.

Let’s start slowly. Putt a ball at a target … and extend the putter at the target. As the putter goes through the ball it should stay on line until it’s pointing at the target. Don’t stop the putter at the ball.

The best way to practice this is with long putts. Long putts are how you develop a good putting stroke. Too often with short putts, we take it back too long and then quit on the forward stroke. 

Practice long putts … then keep moving closer to your target, so you get used to shortening your back stroke and keep a longer, accelerating forward stroke.

Next, take this concept to the chipping green. Start with long chip shots so that you extend your forward stroke at the target … and hold it.

Now, here’s the secret - on your next chip, use your hips on the forward stroke. See how the hips give you more extension. This is vital to your golf swing.

On your full shots, you need the hips to turn through the shot so that you can extend the club at the target.

Otherwise, the hips stop and the shoulders take over and the club probably won’t extend at the target. That’s where the wild shots come from.

Of course you can hit a wild shot with an open or closed club face even if you extend at the target. But you need a really open or closed face to hit a wild shot if you extend at the target.

A mildly open or closed club face will hit it pretty much on line if you extend at the target.

But, if you’re not extending at the target … it’s pretty difficult to hit the ball on line.

Practice taking half-swings and holding the forward swing at the target. Feel your hips turn through on the forward swing and help you extend at the target.

Then take this half-swing feeling into your full swing. Feel the hips during your full swing. Feel the hips extend the club at the target during your full swing.

I’m not saying that you’ll become a machine … but you’ll be able to give yourself a target … and give yourself a good chance of hitting the ball at the target.

Wild might be fun in some things … but not so much in golf.


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351

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