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Author: Bruce Dowell

Attitude on the Golf Course: “Greens must have been good enough for Lee”

07/26/2016 It’s the middle of summer, and for golfers, that means tournament season. We all know golfers are not going to play well every week, whether it’s the pros on the PGA Tour, or the average amateur playing in their club championship. But what I often hear from golfers who didn’t play well in a tournament round is an excuse for their play. Here are some excuses I hear on a regular basis: It was hot. It was cold. It was windy. The greens were slow. The greens were fast. The greens were bumpy. The greens were hard. It...

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Why Being “Consistent” Is So Misunderstood

06/15/2016 Several times a day, I hear golfers mention the same word, and the frustrations that go along with it: “Consistency.” This word is the bane of most golfers, including the Tour players you see every week. The first thing I hear golfers say they would like to hit the ball “straight, consistently.” If you’re trying to hit the golf ball straight on every shot, that is a formula for disaster. Golfers need to have a “predictable curve” to their shots. Of course, the smaller the curvature of the shot pattern, the better the golfer will usually play. My...

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The Importance of the Pre-shot Routine

04/27/2015 Something I see missing from many golfers is a solid pre-shot routine. A pre-shot routine is very important, and should be followed on every shot in a round of golf. Without it, the steps involved in performing a good swing and hitting a good shot can be overlooked. Many golfers are afraid of taking their time on the golf course. When they started playing golf, it was often the older or more experienced golfers who pushed fast play or “ready golf” on them until it became a nervous habit. Now, I’m not advocating slow play at all. The...

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5 Common Mistakes Made on the Golf Course

04/22/2015 When most of my students start taking lessons with me, they’re trying to improve on two things: A better, more consistent ball flight, and shooting lower scores. Most believe that the consistency will lead to lower scores. While consistency will definitely help, it doesn’t always equal the lowest possible scores. Golfers also have to learn to PLAY the game of golf better than they have before. After years of taking students out on the course for playing lessons, the things I see are pretty predictable. Here is a list of mistakes that I see on a normal basis...

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How to Warm Up Without a Driving Range

03/18/2015 I often have players tell me about their recent rounds, and I hear the same type of stories. It’s some variation of “it took me a few holes to warm up and figure out where it was going.” But after the first few holes, they’ve either figured it out or it never got any better. Of course, my first response is “did you hit any balls before you went out?” Sometimes there is no driving range available to the player. Then what? In this blog, I will teach you how to warm up and go through a pre-round session....

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Yips: 3 Tips for Beating the Yips

02/20/2015 The buzz word in golf so far in 2015 has been yips. Thanks to Tiger Woods and his struggles around the greens, the yips have garnered more attention than ever before. Golfers talked about them even more than the dreaded shanks. As a player who has had the yips (to the point of whiffing shots from just off the green and sweating from 175 yards away from the green because I knew I was going to have to chip) I know the battles going on both physically and mentally. If Tiger does have the yips, he’s got a...

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Distance with the Driver– Where is it?

02/09/2015 Take a guess…. What is the number one thing that students are constantly looking for? The answer is more distance, especially distance with the driver. The chase for huge gains in distance is important to most players and their improvement, but it’s not always about clubhead speed, as many believe. The things that I’m looking for include ball speed, smash factor, angle of attack, backspin rate, and vertical launch angle (VLA). Surprisingly, clubhead speed ranks down the list of importance for me when both teaching and clubfitting. How does spin rate, vertical launch angle (VLA) and ball speed...

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Short Game Par: What Is It and How Can It Help?

01/16/2015 I’m always amazed at the number of students that are always searching for that extra yardage from their full swing shots. While it’s true that another 25 yards off the tee and another 10 yards with iron shots would help, it’s not always the key to lower scores. On a regular 18 hole golf course, during normal conditions with nothing extraordinary happening, you have to hit the following number of shots, whether you hit it 220 or 270 yards off the tee. 18 tee shots 14 approach shots to greens 4 second shots on par 5’s 18 putts...

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Develop and Play to Strengths

01/01/2015 One of the most overlooked parts of the golf game (and instruction) is course management and the ability to make a game plan. I take many of my students out on the course for a playing lesson, and for most of the first few holes, all I do is listen and watch. What I see too often is the “hit and hope” approach, as there is no game plan. The golfer hits a shot and just goes from there. The idea I try to express during a playing lesson is that we should always try to play to...

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