Brian Fitzgerald

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Improve Your Putting Distance Control With The 4 By 8 Drill

 

Hello I’m Brian Fitzgerald The Golf Doctor.

Today we are going to look at a really good putting drill to try and get some control over the distance that you hit the ball.

I call it the Four By Eight Drill. I hope you enjoy it.

So I have set up my Four By Eight Drill here.

Basically I set up four balls here all pointing at the hole. That’s eight paces away. I put a circle of tees one club length around the hole. So my target is to get my ball inside that circle.

I’ve also done similarly here. I’ve set these four balls up four metres or four paces from the hole and I’ve set up a circle of tees one putter length around the hole. The object is to see how many of the eight balls I can get into the circles. That’s the plan. Lets see how I go.

A little bit to the right.

Almost.

That makes it easy.

Oh. Nearly.

OK the last short one.

Ok, so that’s how we do it.

Now what we do is we go up and we have a look and we try and count how many balls are inside the circle. so I have all four in the circle there and one in the hole.

And over here I have got all four well and truly in the circle.

So by doing that we are working on our distance control. If we can control our distance, we stop 3 putting and we are going to be better off.

Ok so that was the Four By Eight Drill.

If you practice the Four By Eight Drill regularly. You’ll find you get better distance control. If you get better distance control you won’t have as many 3 putts. if you don’t have as many 3 putts you will definitely lower your score.

So do it regularly. It’s a fantastic Drill. Look at some of my other putting drills.Which also deal with distance control.I’ll put links to the video up there.

Thank you for letting me help you with your golf. I’m Brian Fitzgerald “The Golf Doctor”.

 

 

The Simple Concept Of A Pitch Shot

Hello, I’m Brian Fitzgerald “The Golf Doctor”.

And today we are going to have a look at pitching, and just the simple concept for pitching.

Pitching is actually one of the simplest shots in golf. All we need to do when hitting a pitch shot is to start with the club down near the golf ball and then we try and return the club underneath the golf ball.

If we can do that we are going to hit a good pitch.

I’m going to show you a funny way to do it.

So here’s a strange way of teaching people how to hit a pitch shot. I quite often say to kids when I teach them “What makes the ball go in the air”?

It’s actually quite a simple thing. What makes the ball go in the air is the loft of the golf club. Provided there is loft on my club. And provide the club comes down underneath the golf ball. The ball will go in the air.

I’m going to show you how it’s done.

As you can see there, there is definitely loft on my golf club. I’ve got the ball in the middle of my stance. All I need to do is let the club get under the ball and the ball goes in the air. It’s pretty simple really isn’t it. Try that one at home.

Thank you for letting me help you with your golf.

I’m Brian Fitzgerald The Golf Doctor.

Hello I’m Brian Fitzgerald The Golf Doctor.

Today I’m going to teach you how to improve your pitching.

It’s a little bit of a strange drill, but you are used to me using strange drills now.

Today is one of my better ones. I hope you enjoy it.

[MUSIC]

Okay, we are going to do some pitching today.And when I play with amateurs, most people go wrong when they try to hit pitch shots because they are trying to help get the ball in the air and they are lifting up. They are not necessarily lifting their head, that’s what their playing partners are actually telling them.

But it’s lifting the whole body so they are hitting it on the up and I’ve got a 56 degree sand wedge here. There is enough loft on that 56 sand wedge to get the ball in the air. What I have to do is get the club down underneath the golf ball. So provided my golf club can get down underneath the golf ball, I have a chance at getting the ball in the air so I am looking for a downward strike. I am not looking at hitting it on the up. So the drill that I use to teach people how to hit with a downward strike.

Is to take a normal setup and then get their right foot back here with their toe on the ground and their heel up.

That forces your weight to go on to the left foot, it moves my upper body slightly to the left and that encourages me hitting the ground. So you can see there I’m easily hitting down under the golf ball.

And that’s the type of swing we want to use when we play this shot.
So we take our setup and then I just hit down and the ball went up in the air quite nicely.

It’s a simple drill, it’s effective. If you use that on a regular basis I think you’ll find your pitching will improve.

Thank you for letting me help you with your golf.

I’m Brian Fitzgerald The Golf Doctor.

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What should you think of over the ball.

That is a very common question.

When you are on the golf course (playing in a competition) where score matters (as opposed to a few holes after dinner in the evening) you should think of as little as possible.

The golf course is for scoring and as my golf coach Alec Mercer often said to me “The box on the scorecard is not big enough to paint a picture. Just put a number in it. Make it the lowest one you can”.

Improving your Inner Game is one of the keys to lowering your handicap or score. It’s what gives you consistency.

Let me paint a scenario for you.

A tour player Joe Schmo is playing the 72nd hole of a tournament and is 1 stroke behind. The 72nd is a par 5 and he has a 235 yard carry over water to the flag. Joe hits his 3 wood to 10 feet, cans the putt and wins by 1 shot.

At the Press Conference a journalist asks Joe “What were you thinking standing over the 3 wood on the 72nd Joe”?

Joe smiles and answers “I just pictured the shot and I hit it”.

On another occasion Joe might have had the following inner conversation ” Gee I have 235 over water. I hit my 3 wood 230. I better take the club back slow, stop at the top of my back swing, have a slight pause, rip my right hand through impact.” This results in a miss timed 3 wood that fails to carry the water, resulting in a bogey.

To help improve this part of your game I suggest you try the following:

  1. Stand behind your golf ball (about 3 meters back).
  2. Picture the shot you are trying to hit and have an inner conversation describing exactly the shot. Where it starts, how high it flies, which way it spins etc.
  3. Move into the ball and keep the picture fresh in your mind.
  4. Hit the shot.

This takes a bit of practice but is well worth it. If you still have trouble try saying the word “Back” in your mind as you take the club back and then say “Hit” when your club makes contact with the ball.

Try it on the range in practice and then put it in to play on the course socially (maybe 2 or 3 holes) and see how it goes. When you have confidence in it put it into play on the course.

Regards

Brian
Brian Fitzgerald – The Golf Doctor

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So do you know how far you hit the ball?

I am not talking about your driver. Although it is handy to know how far you can carry the driver so you can determine whether you can comfortably carry that lurking fairway bunker or not.

You really need to know how far you hit the ball with each club on average. Most people think they know but they totally overestimate how far they hit the ball. The result is less greens in regulation. Either because they are coming up short of the green or they are trying to hit it too hard.

I use a Flightscope Launch Monitor at Morack to measure the distances of each club in what I call a Gapping Session. I then make up a little card with the distances written on them so you take the guesswork out of choosing the right club. Many people to go to the trouble of using a GPS device to measure the distance they have to the flag but they are letting themselves down by not knowing how far they hit the ball.

If you only hit 3 more greens in regulation in your next round (by hitting the right club) that is going to at least save you 3 strokes a round (probably more) for little effort.

 

During the US Open, I found it interesting to see Martin Kaymer choose the putter from just off the green instead of chipping.

Putting is an easier shot than chipping as it is much easier to make solid contact resulting in more consistent distance control.

A highlight for me was when he was playing the 16th hole in the last round he had a shot where there was a bunker between him and the flag. If he had chosen to play a little pitch over the bunker it would have been a great shot just to get it within a couple of flag sticks from the hole. If he miss hit it the bunker was an option or going over the green bringing the possibility of a double or triple bogey.

Instead Martin chose the putter (taking the bunker out of play and making his worst score a bogey), hitting it to 20 feet with little risk.

My suggestion to golfers is the first choice is to putt, second choice is to chip and third choice is to pitch.

If you use this rule as a guide you will see your scores improve and become more consistent.

 

 

Back in 1983 when I was a 2nd year trainee golf professional I had my golf club construction theory exam. To this day I can still remember the standard lofts of golf clubs. I have created a table below showing the different lofts of the same clubs 31 years apart. It makes interested reading.

 

CLUB 1983 2014
1 iron 18 degrees Hybrid
2 iron 20 degrees Hybrid
3 iron 24 degrees 20 degrees
4 iron 28 degrees 23 degrees
5 iron 32 degrees 26 degrees
6 iron 36 degrees 29 degrees
7 iron 40 degrees 32 degrees
8 iron 44 degrees 36 degrees
9 iron 48 degrees 40 degrees
PW 52 degrees 45 degrees
SW 56 degrees 54 degrees

From the table above. A Ping G25 7 iron is the equivalent of a 5 iron from 1983. So if we allow a 10 m difference per club, we are looking at a modern 7 iron going some 20m difference in distance to that of one from 1983.

As you can see down the bottom of the table there is a 9 degree difference in loft between the present day PW and the SW. This gap is difficult to cover and requires a great deal of skill touch and feel.between these clubs. So the golf club manufacturers have created new clubs called things like a Gap wedge, U Wedge, A wedge etc to fit in between this gap.