Coaching for the quick
Four Tips from the Drive Chip and PUT National Finals at Augusta National That Could Help Your Game
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
(Photo courtesy Augusta National Golf Club.
Drive, Chip, and Putt were born almost a decade ago through a collaboration between the Masters Tournament, United States Golf Association and PGA of America.
The results of the past few years have been nothing short of amazing.
There’s also much you can take from the 80 boys and girls who participated in this year’s Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals and apply it to your own game. These four tips are worth a try.
Strive for smoothness, but not too hard
The driving skill of the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National’s Tournament Practice Area is always exciting. I love seeing the kids put it all out there – a lot of them make mighty cuts and swing for the fences. But, they still swing within themselves while doing so.
Both can be done. Too many golfers try to white knuckle the driver. What I mean is that they try to steer it. They swing in fear, rather than fearlessly. This issue can be eliminated by being able to turn the ball around and pass it through without hesitation.
One of the most basic swing tips for the driver is this: Back to your target (on its way back), chest towards the target on the way through, and then hold your finish in equilibrium.
Focus on a routine
In all its simplicity, it’s amazing to see what an effect this concept can have on a golfer’s game. This concept is displayed at the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals every year. It works because the kids are committed to their own routines.
The hardest part is creating your own routine. Its easy to create your own routine, but it can be difficult to stick to it when things get a little chaotic. Give this a try: the next time you go out and play a full round, have a singular focus of sticking to your routine on every single shot – even if it’s just one thought, like a three-quarter practice swing, a club waggle or maybe the swing thought we just talked about.
I’m confident that doing so will show you how important this seemingly small thing can be.
Take a look at your chips and putts
These are the kids who seem to be the most successful at chipping and putting in the Drive Chip and Putt National Finals this season. Tour players do, too.
Most of us. . . Possibly, but not always.
The next time you’re faced with a tough chip or must-make putt, look at your shot from all sides. Pay attention to the terrain. Find that spot where the shot will break – the high point – and come back to the hole.
It is not enough to simply look behind a shot and believe you have all the information necessary to make a confident decision. Give it an extra look next time and you’ll be more situated to execute the shot you want.
Remember why you play
It’s a very special occasion to be able to drive down Magnolia Lane. It’s even more special to be able to compete on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National.
Although the full impact of the moment may not have hit the youngest competitors in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals this season, you can see that they are truly grateful through their big smiles and wide eyes. It’s not lost on them. These kids love golf. However, the National Finals experience fills them with even more joy.
Every time we play, we should remember what brought us to golf. The Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals starts a special week on our calendar that helps us remember these reasons. You will find that the game loves you when you learn to tee up on both the practice tee and the first tee.