Upping Your Game

Danny King Golf training

Training Tips from the King of Canadian Golf

By Danny King, Director of Instruction, Performance Academy

Every golfer can improve their game by becoming an expert by improving their soft skills during the set up and finishing positions while introducing an organic method to develop new motor patterns and while using a journal. Soft skills can be practiced throughout your golfing career and will lead to increasing your distance off the tee, closer approach shots and more birdies. Here’s a couple points to incorporate into your game and start changing the way you practice and play.

In golf, the grip is the most important contact point, ultimately becoming the engine of the swing. Proper grip pressure is essential for consistent and effective golf shots.

The golf grip is how you hold the golf club and is crucial for controlling the clubface and the direction of your shots. Here’s a step-by-step description of the grip:

Lead Hand Placement (for right-handed golfers, this is the left hand):

  • Hold the club in your lead hand (left hand for right-handed golfers).
  • Position the club grip diagonally across the fingers so the club runs from the base of the pinky finger to the middle section of the index finger.
  • The thumb should be placed slightly right of center on the grip (for right-handed golfers) or in the “1 o’clock” position.
  • The grip pressure should be firm but not overly tight.
  • The “V” formed between the thumb and the index finger should point towards your trail shoulder (right shoulder for right-handed golfers).

Trailing Hand Placement (for right-handed golfers, this is the right hand): Place the trailing hand (right hand for right-handed golfers) on the club, overlapping or interlocking the fingers with the lead hand.

  • The grip should run more through the fingers of the trailing hand, with the club resting mainly on the base of the fingers.
  • The thumb of the trailing hand should point slightly left of center on the grip (for right-handed golfers) or in the “11 o’clock” position.
  • The “V” formed between the thumb and the index finger should also point towards your trail shoulder (right shoulder for right-handed golfers).
  • Again, grip pressure should be firm but not too tight.

Overall Grip Pressure

  • The grip pressure should be consistent throughout the swing, firm enough to maintain control but relaxed enough to allow for fluid movement.
  • It’s important to note that while this description provides a general guideline for the golf grip, individual variations may occur based on hand size, grip preferences, and swing characteristics.

Absolutely understanding the dynamics of the golf swing and how ball position influences club face and club path is crucial for consistent ball striking and shot shaping.

Here’s how ball position can affect the club face and path in the golf swing:

Inverted Circle Swing Path: The golf swing is often described as a circular motion, where the club head travels on an inclined plane.

This inclined plane forms an arc or circle around the body, with the swing bottoming out at or slightly after the impact point with the ball.

Effect of Ball Position on Club Face:

  • Ball position influences where the club face makes contact with the ball during the swing. Placing the ball more forward in your stance (closer to your lead foot) tends to promote a more closed club face at impact, while placing it farther back (closer to your trailing foot) tends to open the club face.
  • Adjusting the ball position can help golfers achieve the desired club face orientation at impact, leading to more consistent ball flights and shot outcomes.

Effect of Ball Position on Club Path:

  • The position of the ball in relation to the golfer’s stance can also influence the path of the club head through impact. Placing the ball more forward in the stance tends to promote an outward (to the right for right-handed golfers) swing path, while placing it farther back promotes an inward (to the left for right-handed golfers) swing path.
  • The combination of club face orientation and swing path at impact determines the initial direction of the ball flight.

Accommodating Individual Swing Motions: Every golfer has a unique swing motion, and the ball position must be adjusted to accommodate that motion. Factors such as swing plane, angle of attack, and release timing all influence where the ball should be positioned in the stance for optimal impact conditions.

Experimentation and Adjustment: Golfers should experiment with different ball positions during practice sessions to find the optimal position for their swing. Making small adjustments to the ball position can lead to significant changes in ball flight and shot shape.

In summary, ball position plays a critical role in determining the club face orientation and swing path at impact in the golf swing. By understanding how the ball position influences these factors, golfers can make informed adjustments to optimize their ball striking and achieve desired shot outcomes.

React and Reflect

Using a journal can be a valuable tool for improving your golf game by helping you develop and reinforce new motor patterns. Take time to reflect after your practice session or round of golf noticing where your ball starts relative to your target and finish lines. Here’s how you can effectively use a journal to enhance your skills:

  • Set Clear Goals: Begin by setting specific and measurable goals for your golf game. Whether it’s improving your swing mechanics, reducing your handicap, or mastering a particular shot, clearly define what you want to achieve.
  • Document Practice Sessions: Use your journal to record details of your practice sessions, including the drills you’re working on, the techniques you’re focusing on, and any insights or observations you have during practice.
  • Track Progress: Regularly review your journal to track your progress towards your goals. Note any improvements you’ve made, as well as areas where you still need to work.
  • Reflect on Performance: After each round of golf, take some time to reflect on your performance. Note what went well, what didn’t go as planned, and any patterns or trends you notice in your game.
  • Identify Areas for Improvement: Use your journal to identify specific areas of your game that need improvement. This could be anything from your putting stroke to your course management strategy.
  • Experiment and Adapt: Use your journal to experiment with different techniques and strategies, and note what works best for you. Be open to adapting your approach based on the results you see.
  • Stay Positive and Motivated: Use your journal to maintain a positive mindset and stay motivated, even when faced with setbacks or challenges. Celebrate your successes and use any setbacks as learning opportunities.
  • Seek Feedback: If possible, seek feedback from a coach or experienced golfer and use your journal to record their advice and recommendations.

By using a journal to document your golf journey, you can gain valuable insights into your strengths and weaknesses, track your progress over time, and ultimately improve your game by developing and reinforcing new motor patterns. Whether you’re competing on a tour or competing against your friends on the weekend , enjoy the process and continue to accumulate good days on and off the course.

Danny is one of Canada’s most distinguished teaching professionals and players, named 2016 Canadian PGA Player of the Year. Danny is a 5-time Ontario PGA Champion, 5-time Canadian PGA Champion,

and currently an all-time Ontario PGA money leader. Danny is currently ranked # 5 by the PGA of Canada. His corporate, adult, and junior programs and private clinics set new industry standards.

Danny King, Director of Instruction The Performance Academy
14789 Leslie Street | Aurora, Ontario, L4G 7C3 | (905) 717-5006
[email protected]