Alignment on the Golf Course…A Bi-Ocular View…Barney Beard Golf

Alignment

Identify your intended line with a bi-ocular view.

If you are lining up a two-foot putt or hitting your drive on a five-hundred-yard par five, both align the same way, with a bi-ocular view. When you want to provide your mind with the visual data needed to strike the ball accurately in the exact direction you want to go, you face your target to acquire that information.

What is bi-ocular alignment?

Bi-ocular alignment on the golf course is using both eyes to identify one’s intended line by standing facing the precise direction you intend your ball to travel. A skilled golfer will use this method for every shot on the golf course, for the driver, fairway woods, irons, wedges and for chipping and putting.

Let’s say you’re on the tee box of a long par four. You’ve decided to use your driver and hit the ball straight down the middle of a wide fairway. What is the process you would use to align your body for a accurate shot down the middle?

Here’s what you do:

  1. Tee your ball.
  2. Pick an object in the distance for a precise target, the flag on the green, a tree, a lamp post, a power pole, etc. Never, never just hit the ball ‘out there somewhere’ or ‘down the left side’. Never hit toward a group of trees, always pick a particular tree. Be precise.
  3. Stand six feet behind the ball with your ball on a direct line between your eyes and the chosen target.
  4. Stand with your face, chest, tummy, knees and nose, and thus both eyes, facing straight down the fairway towards your target, straight down the line you want the ball to travel.
  5. After you have chosen a far target, choose a near target. Choose an object on the ground about three feet in front of the ball directly on your target line, a leaf, a broken tee peg, a twig, an odd sprig of grass. This near target makes it easy to set your body and club to the ball correctly.
  6. Approach the ball and set your club behind the ball, squaring your clubface to your near target, the target about three feet in front of your ball.
  7. Set the club first, then set your body to the club. Set the clubhead first to precisely know where to set your feet.
  8. Align to your near target (and thus to your far target).
  9. Set your feet, torso and shoulders at a 90º angle to your target line.

You must not skip the bi-ocular view and stand sideways to your target line and choose your target with one eye closer to the target than the other.

Prepare your mind before every shot by giving your mind a balanced, bi-ocular view. Give your mind the highest quality information available to hit the ball on a precise line. Before you set up, SEE the line you want the ball to travel. See yourself hitting the shot you imagine on the precise line you have chosen.

Warning: Once you have determined your line and visualized your shot by using a bi-ocular view, never change your mind at address. Never change your mind when you’re standing over the ball in the address position, that is, standing sideways to your intended line. This is especially true for putting. A sideways view is NOT the same as a bi-ocular view. Trust your bi-ocular view.

Remember, a skilled golfer will use the bi-ocular method of determining line for every shot on the golf course, for the driver, fairway woods, irons, wedges and for chipping and putting. However, I must warn you, you’re not allowed to use binoculars. I don’t really think they would help you in any case and they’re much too hard to keep in place when you’re swinging. For golf, your eyes are sufficient.

Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game,

Barney Beard

 

P.S. I’ve just finished my latest book: The Amazing Adventure of Carter and the Pie Rats. Click Here

P. P. S. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee.

P.P.P. S. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.

P.P.P.P. S. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.

Copyright 2020 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

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Stand Close to the Golf Ball…Barney Beard Golf

Stand Close to the Ball

Stand as close to the ball as possible and still manage to hit it.

If you stand too far from the ball:

  • You’ll be leaning over, reaching for the ball.
  • Your head will be on your chest like a droopy cantaloupe.
  • Your spine will be curved in an ugly arc like a crescent moon.
  • You’ll often top the ball.
  • You’ll tend to spray the ball all over the golf course.
  • You’ll be a sucker for all the latest fads in golf equipment.

Let me explain:

The golf swing should be more Ferris wheel than carousel. The golf swing should be up and down, not around. The golfer takes the club back away from the ball and up into the air and then back down and through the ball and then back up into the air after impact, not around in a circle like a helicopter blade. The golfer must stand close to the ball to be a Ferris wheel.

Folks who come for lessons often stand too far from the golf ball. I don’t know why. Perhaps they’re unsure of their ability to turn their body as they strike the golf ball. Perhaps they feel they have more control when they stand too far away from the ball. Perhaps instead of looking at the golf ball, they want to smell it. Perhaps they have a mysterious fear of contracting a dread disease if they stand too close. Maybe they’re afraid the golf ball will explode.

Try standing close to the ball on the practice range.

  1. Take your eight iron.
  2. Put the ball up on a short tee to make it easy.
  3. Stand closer.
  4. Bend knees
  5. Flex hips
  6. Raise you head, neck and shoulders (straighten your spine)
  7. Pull your hands closer to your belt buckle.
  8. Both arms straight, hanging straight down from your shoulders.

When you stand close:

  1. It will force your trunk and hips to turn.
  2. It will force your watermelon BACK out of the way of your hands coming in front of your belt buckle and through the impact zone.
  3. It will force your head up above the shoulder turn.

Standing closer will help you hit the ball straighter, lower your scores, reduce your taxes, help bald men grow hair, give your complexion a more youthful appearance and make you more intelligent.

Of course, I suppose most people would stand closer if they weren’t afraid of exploding golf balls.

Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game

Barney Beard

P.S. I’ve just finished my latest book: The Amazing Adventure of Carter and the Pie Rats. Click Here

P. P. S. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee.

P.P.P. S. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.

P.P.P.P. S. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.

Copyright 2020 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

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Set-Up At Address…Barney Beard Golf

 

The golfer should assume a semi-squatting position.

Firm and Stable throughout the swing.

Power and Stability come up from the ground.

 

  1. Grip – Grip as far down in the fingers as possible, not in the palms, cover the left thumb with the right palm. See two or three knuckles on the backs of your hands as you look down at address. Your grip, how you hold the club, is the number one fundamental. Ben Hogan takes the first 19 pages of his book to help you with the grip.
  2. Feet – Shoulder width and no more, better a little narrow than too wide.
  3. Shoes – The golfer’s shoes remain flat on the ground throughout the backswing, downswing and then through impact. The golfer must have a stable table at impact. The golfer’s stability, power and control come from the ground. The feet should not move, roll, slide or the heels lift until after impact.
  4. Knees – Knees should be flexed. If you’re wearing trousers, the kneecaps would be plainly visible pushing out the front of the trousers. Bend those knees, better too much knee bend than not enough.
  5. Hips – The golfer’s hips should be flexed as much as the knees. Get your watermelon back out of the way. The watermelon, the part of your body where the bottom of the spine ends, should be back so that the golfer’s weight is on the heels. The watermelon and the golfer’s belt buckle must be out of the way of the golf swing and impact.
  6. The golf swing is a Ferris wheel, not a carousel. The golf swing is up and down, not around. Get your watermelon and belt buckle out of the way of your hands as they come down close to your tummy as you hit the ball.
  7. Spine – The golfer’s spine should be moderately straight, tilted towards the ball but straightish. The straighter, the better.
  8. Torso – The golfer’s torso should be tilted towards the golf ball. The spine should not be curved. The golfer’s cantaloupe should be up, not drooping down onto the golfer’s chest. A droopy cantaloupe is so unbecoming.
  9. Cantaloupe and Neck – The golfer’s head and neck should be up above the shoulders. The head and neck should be high enough to make sure they don’t interfere with the shoulder turn. If you want to give terrible advice, tell someone to keep their head down during the golf swing. It’s about the worst advice in golf. The shoulders can’t turn properly if the golfer has a droopy cantaloupe.
  10. Arms – At address the golfer’s arms should hang almost straight down from the shoulder joints. If the hip joints are flexed and the watermelon is back out of the way, the golfer’s torso will be tilted towards the golf ball making room for the arms to hang down and the handle of the club fairly close to the body.
  11. Shoulders, hips and feet parallel to the intended line of flight. You can’t line your shoulders to the left and then hit to the right, can you?
  12. Stand as close to the ball as you can and still hit it. If you want to top the ball all the time, hit the ball into all the water hazards and sand traps, stand farther away. However, if you want to hit all your shots long and straight, stand closer.

Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game,

Barney Beard

P.S. I’ve just finished my latest book: Letters to My Grandchildren Volume II. Click here to have a look.

P. P. S. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee.

P.P.P. S. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.

P.P.P.P. S. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.

Copyright 2020 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

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The Full Swing…One Swing For All Your Clubs…Barney Beard Golf

The Full Swing – ONE SWING for all clubs.

The wise golfer should use the same swing for the woods, hybrids, irons and wedges. The golfer should use one swing with all the clubs in the long game. Whether the golfer is hitting a full-swing 8 iron into the green, a 3 wood down the fairway, or a driver on a lengthy par 4, the swing is the same. Cultivate the same full swing for all clubs.

The position of the ball in the stance will vary depending on the loft of the face and the length of the shaft, but the swing will be the same for all your full-swing clubs. This game is easier than you thought, isn’t it?

Aren’t you glad you don’t have one club and 13 swings?

Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game,

Barney Beard

P.S. I’ve just finished my latest book: Letters to My Grandchildren Volume II. Click here to have a look.

P. P. S. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee.

P.P.P. S. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.

P.P.P.P. S. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.

Copyright 2020 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

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Greenside Bunkers…How To Break 100…Barney Beard Golf

How to Get Out of Greenside Bunkers

The first week of June I’ll be back from vacation.

Call: 352-638-4180. Email: barneybeardgolf@yahoo.com.

Go to my website for more information: barneybeardgolf.com.

Occasionally you’ll find yourself in a greenside bunker. Your first goal should be the same as that of the great Jack Nicklaus who was a poor sand player. He knew he wasn’t good out of the sand. What was his winning strategy? Your plan should be the same as his, don’t get into the sand in the first place. Harvey Penick would agree.

When you stand on the tee box or when you’re hitting your approach into the green, note where the trouble is and plan to avoid it. Aim away from trouble. You’ll never be perfect at avoiding trouble but if you avoid a few bunkers, along with avoiding a few other bad places on the golf course, you’ll find your handicap going lower and lower. Smart play will make breaking 100 easier than you might think.

When you find yourself in a sand trap, your goal should be to get out in one stroke and be somewhere on or near the green, close enough to the flag to get up and down. I know you can do it. I know you can.

My Daddy understands sand play. Daddy figures getting out of the sand is one of the easiest shots in golf. All you have to do, Daddy says, is open the face of your sand wedge, play the ball in the middle/front of your stance, lower your hands between your legs so you’ll hit the ground and pretend there’s half a grapefruit under your golf ball. If you hit the sand behind the ball and take out enough sand under the ball to equal half a grapefruit, the ball and sand will fly up and out of the sand trap in what will look like an explosion.

Here’s another way to think about it. Pretend your ball is lying on the center of a hundred page paperback book about the size of a dollar bill. Your ball is sitting on George Washington’s face on the cover of that unopened book. Open your clubface. With a full, firm swing, take away all the sand under the ball that would make up the thickness of the paperback book. If you take away that much sand from under the ball with a full swing, the ball MUST fly up and out of the sand trap.

  1. Use your sand wedge with a wide-open face. The clubface of your sand wedge at address in the sand trap will look like you’re going to miss the green to the right. Trust me. Open your clubface. You really can’t open it too much. Even though you have an open face, you’ll swing the clubhead on a line towards your target. If you open the clubface of your sand wedge substantially, the shaft end of the clubhead, the heel end, will hit the sand first and the head of the sand wedge will behave like a sled. The head of the sand wedge will slide through the sand and under the ball.  The sand wedge will take a layer of sand on the clubface that will cushion the impact. Because of the open face, the clubhead won’t dig deep. Sleds don’t dig. Plows dig. You don’t want to swing a plow.  A square clubface will plow the sand and go too deep. If you close the face of your sand wedge, as most beginners do, the toe will hit the sand first and your clubhead will dig like a plow and make it difficult to get the ball out of the bunker. Only close your clubface and swing your sand wedge like a plow when you have a buried lie in the sand.
  2. Hands and handle down lower to make the clubhead go lower. At address, push your hands straight down towards your knees to make the clubhead go lower, to make the clubhead describe a path under the golf ball. If you hold your hands up like a normal shot in the fairway off grass, you might only lightly brush the sand or not hit the sand at all. Hands and handle DOWN will help you take a nice, big divot of sand.
  3. The golf ball never touches the metal face of your sand wedge. You don’t hit the golf ball with your metal clubface. You take the sand out from under the ball. Your clubhead hits the sand a couple of inches before it gets to the ball and takes away a layer of sand. The clubhead comes out of the sand a couple of inches past the ball. If you take away a layer of sand under the ball, your clubhead will be covered in sand when it gets directly under the ball and the ball will be softly tossed out of the greenside bunker upon that lovely layer of soft sand. The golf ball NEVER touches the metal face of the sand wedge.
  4. Getting out of a greenside bunker requires a full swing. The sand absorbs a great deal of energy as the clubhead passes under the ball. You must not coast into impact when you’re coming out of a greenside bunker.  You must not be afraid to take a full swing. Learn to use a full swing and take plenty of sand under the ball. The clubhead slides under the ball. The golf ball does NOT hit the metal of the clubface.  You can’t be timid when you’re in a bunker. If you take a half swing at a ball in the bunker you’ll get half way out of the sand. Be firm. You can do this.
  5. You control distance by controlling the amount of sand you take from under the ball. The more sand you take, the slower the clubhead will be traveling when it gets to the ball. The less sand you take, the faster the clubhead will be traveling when it gets to the golf ball. Remember, never allow the metal of the clubhead to contact the golf ball. Once you begin getting out of the sand in one swing, you’ll learn to control distance better and better.

As you learn how to get out of the sand in one swing, you’ll learn how to get the ball closer and closer to the flag. There are lots of folks who know how to show you this on video but there’s no better way to learn how to get out of a greenside bunker than to take your sand wedge and a bucket of balls and go to the sand trap at the practice range. With a little work you’ll end up getting out of the sand with your first swing most of the time and you’ll break 100 more times than not.

Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game,

Barney Beard

ps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee.

pps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.

ppps. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.

Copyright 2020 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

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Pitching Around the Green…Short Game…Barney Beard Golf

Putt from off the green when you can.

Chip when you can’t putt.

Pitch only when you can’t putt or chip.

What is pitching? Pitching around the green is a ‘part shot’. It’s a shot with less than a full backswing. Pitching is a high, arching lob shot that stops quickly when it hits the ground. The pitch shot spends more time in the air than rolling on the ground. Imagine tossing a ball underhanded over a high volley ball net. That’s the trajectory of a pitch shot.

When should you pitch? If you want to break 100, pitch only when you can’t putt or chip.

Why? Executing a pitch shot requires more precision than chipping or putting. When possible, choose putting or chipping over pitching if ground conditions allow. Pitching should be the amateur’s last option. It is the most difficult shot to hit and control around the green.

When should you use a pitch shot? The golfer should pitch when faced with a shot around the green over an intervening hazard, such as a sand trap, that requires the ball to stop quickly. A pitch shot requires a high trajectory shot from a highly lofted club.

Which club should you use when pitching? Choose the highest lofted club in your bag for pitching. A sand wedge has about 56º loft. Some golfers will also carry a lob wedge which has 60º. The pitching wedge is  NOT for pitching.

Why don’t I use the pitching wedge for pitching? Because now-a-days it isn’t the highest lofted club in your bag.  The club named ‘Pitching Wedge‘ used to be the club with the highest loft before Gene Sarazen invented the sand wedge in 1932. In the olden days you would use your pitching wedge for a pitch shot because no one had a sand wedge.  If you have a pitch shot around the green you should use your sand wedge because it has a lot more loft than your now mis-named pitching wedge. Never use your pitching wedge for pitching around the green. The sand wedge has about 12º more loft than the pitching wedge. The pitching wedge is simply the carry-over name from the old days. The modern pitching wedge is more accurately described as the 10 iron in your series of numbered irons. The pitching wedge has only 4° more loft than your 9 iron. The modern pitching wedge has about 45º loft as opposed to your sand wedge with 56º loft or the lob wedge with 60º. If you want to hit a shot high into the air that will stop quickly, you should use the highest lofted club in your bag which will be the sand wedge or lob wedge.

Note: Club manufacturers have lowered the club lofts substantially over the years. I gave a lesson to a lady who had a pitching wedge with only 36º loft—a 6 or 7 iron in the old days.

How do I hit a pitch shot? When you pitch, you have chosen a shot in which the bottom of the club MUST disturb the soil. The bottom of the club MUST disturb the soil directly under the ball in order for the ball to hit the center of the very large face of the sand wedge.

To execute this shot you should have a lie with at least a little grass under the ball. If you have a ‘tight lie’ around the green you probably won’t choose to pitch the ball. If you have a tight lie, if your ball is lying on the bare soil, you probably won’t be able to pitch the ball high into the air.

Here’s how to play the pitch shot:

  1. You have determined you have a good lie for pitching.
  2. Play the ball in the middle of your stance or slightly to the right. Never play the ball towards the front foot. When you hit a pitch shot the club head must be on the downward path all the way to impact. The clubhead can never be on the upward path at impact. You can scoop ice cream but you can’t scoop a pitch shot.
  3. Grip the club normally with a firm grip. 
  4. Open the clubface slightly. You need all the loft you can get usually. Better to have an open face than a closed face when you pitch.
  5. Swing through the ball. Never stab at the ball.
  6. Making certain the bottom of the club skips off the dirt. In other words, imagine the golf ball sitting on a silver dollar.  The leading edge of the clubhead must knock the silver dollar out from under the ball. The leading edge of your club must pass UNDER the golf ball. The bottom of the clubhead MUST bounce off the soil directly under the golf ball.
  7. The handle of the club should be in the middle of your body at address. At address, the handle of the club should be in line with your sternum if you want the ball to go high. Your hands and the handle of the club must not be to the left of your belt buckle unless you want the ball to go lower. Hands positioned well in front of the ball are for a shot you’ll learn next year.
  8. Lean slightly to your left heel and keep the weight there. There is no weight shift in short shots around the green. If you shift your weight to your right during the backswing you will hit the ground behind the ball. Lean to the right and you’ll have a fright. Lean to the left–be your best self. Here’s a visual to help you understand why your clubhead MUST hit the soil under the ball when you pitch around the green. Pick up the sand wedge vertically with the handle straight up in the air above your head. Hold the club so that the clubhead is at eye level. Place a golf ball on the middle of the face of the wedge—right in front of your eyes. As you hold the ball in the center of the clubface with the head of your sand wedge or lob wedge at eye level, notice how much of the clubhead is BELOW the bottom of the ball. You MUST skip the bottom of the club off the soil in order to hit the ball in the center of the club face. You do not want to take a fat divot before you strike the ball. You simply want the club head to skip  like skimming a stone on water at the lake. In this case, the soil is the water. Get the bottom of the club down to the soil.
  9. Take a LOW backswing. If you take a low backswing and make a low follow through this will insure the club will skip off the soil. If you take a steep backswing you’ll stick your pick in the ground, won’t you?
  10. Remember: Short shot–short backswing. Longer shot–longer backswing.

Always putt when you can. If you can’t putt, then chip. If you can’t putt or chip, then you are forced to pitch. Learn to skip that big bottom of your sand wedge off the soil with a slightly open clubface. That’s called pitching.

Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game,

Barney Beard

ps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee.

pps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.

ppps. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.

Copyright 2020 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

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Chipping…The Hop Shot…A Short Game Part Shot…Barney Beard Golf

Putt onto the green when you can.

Chip onto the green only when you can’t putt.

What shot do you choose when you have determined unpredictable ground conditions prohibit putting from off the green? When you can’t putt, the wise golfer’s second choice will be to choose the low trajectory chip shot. A chip shot hops over unpredictable ground conditions. A chip shot travels for a short time through the air barely above ground level and then rolls to the flag. It’s a low shot.

A chip shot is a knee high or lower shot. A chip shot never goes high. A chip spends more time on the ground rolling than in the air. A chip behaves much like a putt when it’s rolling on the ground.

Chip with your 7 iron. Golfers are allowed only fourteen clubs. Therefore, some clubs do double duty. Experienced golfers can hit a long approach with their 7 iron–a full shot. They can use that same 7 iron for chipping when close to the green—a part-shot.

When you’re chipping, you’ll hit the ball with your 7 iron with almost the same lateral force you would use if you were using your putter from that same distance. That’s why you need to become proficient with your putter from off the green. Putting from off the green and chipping from off the green are brother and sister. You’ll use practically the same lateral force with both. The feel you will develop when you learn to putt from off the green will serve you well when you are forced to chip from off the green.

The set up for a chip shot is different from the set up for a putt because of the difference in the loft of the two clubs. The 7 iron has a good bit of loft. The putter no loft.

You play the ball more off your front foot when you putt from off the green because the putter has no loft. You play a chip shot off your right foot because you have a club with loft and the 7-iron must brush the soil in order to hit the ball in the middle of the clubface.

  1. You choose to chip the golf ball onto the green when unpredictable ground conditions prohibit the use of the putter.
  2. A chip shot hops over unpredictable ground conditions and then rolls onto the green.
  3. A chip shot does not go high into the air. (A short shot high into the air is called a pitch shot).
  4. A chip is executed much like a long putt but using a lofted club, usually a 7 or 8 iron.
  5. The heavy head and flat bottom of the 7 iron makes it easy to use in the longer grass around the green.

How do you chip with a 7 iron?

  1. Grip down the handle of your 7 iron. Grip down so the 7 iron is the same length as your putter. When chipping I always touch the steel shaft of my 7 iron with my right index finger so I can be assured of the exact same balance point every time I chip.
  2. Feet very close together—almost touching.
  3. Point your right toe at the ball. Place your right foot perfectly square to the intended line of flight. Thus, your right foot is at a perfect right angle to the target line. Kinda like a T-square would look.
  4. Stand very close to the ball. The ball should be no more than 12 or 14 inches from your right big toe.
  5. Stand a little more upright than a full-swing shot because you’re standing so close and you’re gripping down the handle all the way to the shaft.
  6. The top of the handle of the club almost touching your clothing. Standing too far from the ball makes your arms unstable and you’ll tend to spray the ball.
  7. Let the top of the handle of the 7 iron be pointing toward your left shoulder joint in a line with your left arm. This will put your hands and head in front of the club head and the ball.
  8. Have more weight on your left heel than the right.
  9.  No weight transfer during the shot. NEVER let the weight transfer to your right leg during the backswing. There is NO WEIGHT SHIFT in chipping. NONE. Your weight is on your left heel throughout the swing. There is no need for a weight transfer. This is a delicate part-shot. Don’t complicate things with weight shift.
  10. Use very little wrist action. (no flipping of the wrists)
  11. L-o-w to the ground backswing with very little wrist action.
  12. Swing through the ball with a smooth stroke (not a jabbing motion). Almost let the club swing itself.
  13. Steady head throughout the swing just like the putting action.
  14. See the spot under the ball after impact. After you swing through the ball and the ball is on its way, make certain you see the ground where the ball was. This will insure you keep a steady head throughout.
  15. Strike the ball with a downward blow. Because you’re playing the golf ball on the right side of your stance in front of your right toe and you’re leaning left with your weight on your left heel, the clubhead will contact the golf ball with a downward motion. (if the ball was on the left side of your stance you would tend to contact the ball on the upswing)
  16. The bottom of the club will go through the ball and down into the grass to the soil—this is why using the putter from off the green is easier than chipping. The putter doesn’t contact the soil.
  17. Control distance with length of backswing. The golfer controls distance on all part shots by using a shorter backswing for short shots and a longer backswing for longer shots. Short shot around the green-short backswing. Longer shot around the green-longer backswing.

WARNING-Any weight shift to the right leg in an attempt to help the ball into the air with an upward, scooping-flipping motion of the club head will be bad—very bad—really bad. Scooping is excellent for ice cream but dreadful for chipping.

Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game,

Barney Beard

ps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee. My Momma would be proud of me. My book, Golf for Beginners won two awards, the silver from FAPA  and the Elit bronze.

pps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.

ppps. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.

Copyright 2020 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

My historical novel about the Cherokee deportation, A White Killing Frost, is on the shelf ready for you to check out in the Lady Lake Library and the Sumter County Library in Wildwood. It’s also available in almost every public library system in both Georgia and Florida. How good is that?  The digital book is $2.99.Click Here.

I’ve been collecting useful golf instructional books for my students. I keep them in my truck. If you are interested in any of the following titles come by the range and purchase any  for $2.00. All books are used and in good to excellent condition. Some appear to have never been read.  Here’s the list: Golf Begins at 50 by: Gary Player, Augusta National & The Masters: A Photographers Scrapbook, David Ledbetter’s Positive Practice, Dave Peltz Short Game Bible, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by: Bob Rotella, Little Red Book by: Harvey Penick, From the Fairway by: Michael Hobbs, Trouble Shooting by: Michael Hobbs, For All Who Love the Game by: Harvey Penick, And if You Play Golf You’re My Friend by: Harvey Penick, Are you Kidding Me? Rocco Mediate.

 

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Let’s Take a Few Weeks Off…Barney Beard Golf

Good Morning!!

Beginning immediately I’m taking a week or two off from my normal golf teaching activities. I love golf. I love to teach golf. I love to play golf. I love to hit golf balls. I love to talk about golf.

For the next while I’m going to stay around the house and write and garden.

For the next while I’ll answer any question you have if you’ll send it to my email: barneybeardgolf@yahoo.com.

I also love to write and to garden. Maybe I’ll post some pictures of my books and my flowers?

We’ll reschedule your lessons when the time is appropriate. I plan on resuming my teaching activities on the other side of this thing.

Be safe. Be wise.

Barney Beard

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Putting From Off the Green…Short Game…Barney Beard Golf

Putting from off the green

Always your first choice.

I want you to learn to play well enough so you can break 100 on an 18 hole golf course.

You can do it. One of the tools you should have in your golfing arsenal is the ability to putt to the flag from off the green when you hit an errant shot.

Putting from off the green should always be your first choice when you have missed with your approach shot. Chipping is your second choice and pitching is your very, very last choice.

Your first choice: Putt from off the green

Your second choice: Chip when you can’t putt

Your last choice: Pitching with a lofted club

You should putt from off the green when you can. When you have predictable ground conditions, putt your ball to the flag. Practice putting from off the green. Learn when you can and can’t putt. Knowing when ground conditions are acceptable or not acceptable for putting from off the green comes from practice. You’ll have to go to the practice green to hone this skill, but it’s well worth it. Ask the pros.

When you begin practicing putting from off the green, you’ll find it easier to get the ball closer to the hole than you might think. You’ll also flub far fewer shots when you use your putter from off the green.

The secret is to learn when you can and when you can’t putt from off the green.

Go to your practice green and practice putting from off the green. Learn when you can and cannot putt from off the green.

When you have determined ground conditions are unpredictable, your second choice from off the green will be to chip with a 7 iron. We’ll talk about that in our next lesson. Chipping with a 7 iron will fly the ball a short distance in the air OVER the unpredictable ground conditions. A chip is a low-trajectory shot. It’s only about knee high.

Chipping is more difficult than putting and should never be your first choice. Chipping will be the next lesson. This lesson is about putting from off the green. Using your putter when you miss the green is the easiest way to get the ball close to the hole.

When you practice, hit your putt from off the green and then see if you can make the next putt. See if you can get the ball ‘up and down’, that is, getting the ball into the hole from off the green in only two shots. You must learn to get the ball ‘up and down’ with some frequency if you want to break 100 regularly.

Make a game of your practice.

  1. Take one ball to the practice green.
  2. Putt from off the green.
  3. After you make your first putt from off the green, hit the same ball again and see if you can make the putt.
  4. Continue hitting that one ball with your putter until you get it into the hole. Remember, golf is a game.
  5. Putt from various places around the practice green.
  6. Learn what ground conditions are conducive for putting and what ground conditions prevent putting from off the green.
  7. With practice you’ll learn when you can putt from off the green. You’ll also learn when you’re FORCED by unpredictable ground conditions to chip. Learn to assess ground conditions around the green.
  8. When you practice, practice with one ball all the way to the bottom of the cup.
  9. See how few strokes you can use. Learn to get up and down with your putter.
  10. Golf is a game. Have Funl

Here are a few tips.

  1. When putting from off the green play the ball a little bit more forward in your stance. This will help the ball up, and rolling on top of the grass. Playing the ball forward gives your putter just that little bit of loft it needs to get the ball up and rolling on your target line.
  2. When putting from off the green, have a stable table. Put 99% of your weight on your heels with no weight shift.
  3. Use very little wrist break. The wrists are used to develop power. You generally don’t need much power when putting, do you? It’s difficult to keep the ball on line if you’re using a lot of wrist action.

Note: The more you learn to putt from off the green the better you’ll be at chipping. Putting from off the green and chipping are brother and sister. They both deliver energy to the ball laterally. Pitching, your last short-game choice, is a distant 4th cousin. The technique and form used in pitching is not related to putting from off the green and chipping.

Remember: Putting from off the green is your first choice. People who use their putter from off the green live longer, have more money in the bank, drive nicer cars, have more fun and generally are better looking!

Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game,

Barney Beard

ps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee. My Momma would be proud of me. My book, Golf for Beginners won two awards, the silver from FAPA  and the Elit bronze.

pps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.

ppps. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.

Copyright 2020 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

My historical novel about the Cherokee deportation, A White Killing Frost, is on the shelf ready for you to check out in the Lady Lake Library and the Sumter County Library in Wildwood. It’s also available in almost every public library system in both Georgia and Florida. How good is that?  The digital book is $2.99.Click Here.

I’ve been collecting useful golf instructional books for my students. I keep them in my truck. If you are interested in any of the following titles come by the range and purchase any  for $2.00. All books are used and in good to excellent condition. Some appear to have never been read.  Here’s the list: Golf Begins at 50 by: Gary Player, Augusta National & The Masters: A Photographers Scrapbook, David Ledbetter’s Positive Practice, Dave Peltz Short Game Bible, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by: Bob Rotella, Little Red Book by: Harvey Penick, From the Fairway by: Michael Hobbs, Trouble Shooting by: Michael Hobbs, For All Who Love the Game by: Harvey Penick, And if You Play Golf You’re My Friend by: Harvey Penick, Are you Kidding Me? Rocco Mediate.

 

 

 

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Lag Putting…Putting From Long Distance…Hula Hoop…Barney Beard Golf

 

Be a Hula-Hoop putter from longer distances.

When you’re on the green and more than 20 feet from the hole, learn to stop the ball close beside the hole by being a hula hoop putter. It’s a wonderful thing to walk up and confidently tap your second putt into the hole with one hand on your putter, a wonderful thing indeed.

Professionals know if they are more than 20 feet from the cup they’re probably not going to make the putt. Professionals make about 14% of their putts from 20 feet and only 7% of their putts at 30 feet.

If you’re 20 feet and closer to the hole, try to stop the ball within six inches of the hole on either side. Since the hole is 4 1/4 inches in diameter, that makes a circle around the hole of 16 inches, doesn’t it? That’s a circle about the size of the steering wheel on your car. That’s a pretty big circle. If your first putt is inside the steering wheel circle you’re going to have a very short second putt, aren’t you?

When you get beyond 20 feet from the hole, give yourself a slightly larger margin of error. You should make your circle bigger than the steering wheel on your car. When you’re 20, 30 or 40 feet from the hole and beyond, be a hula-hoop putter.

At those longer distances, pretend there’s a hula hoop lying on the ground around the hole. Get your putt to stop inside the hula hoop. If you’re inside the hula hoop you’ll have a short, makeable second putt.

Remember, when you’re putting from longer distances you’re not going to make many putts. Your goal is lag the ball up close to the hole so you rarely 3-putt. It’s hard to break 100 if you’re taking 3-putts every time you’re a long distance from the cup.

Like everything else in golf, you’ll need to practice to improve your lag putting.  The more time you spend working on your short game on the practice green, the more quickly you’ll develop a feel for lag putting, and the easier it will be for you to break 100.

Here’s my advice.

  1. Each time you play go a few minutes early and practice lag putting.
  2. Take four balls to the practice green.
  3. Hit all four balls to the same distant target.
  4. Practice different distances.
  5. Learn to stop the ball inside the ‘hula hoop’.

I enjoy making a game out of my practice. I like to putt to a distant hole and then see how many of the four balls I can make on the second putt. If I make all four, I do a little hula dance and pretend I’m ready to play in the Masters.

Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game,

Barney Beard

ps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee. My Momma would be proud of me. My book, Golf for Beginners won two awards, the silver from FAPA  and the Elit bronze.

pps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.

ppps. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.

Copyright 2020 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

My historical novel about the Cherokee deportation, A White Killing Frost, is on the shelf ready for you to check out in the Lady Lake Library and the Sumter County Library in Wildwood. It’s also available in almost every public library system in both Georgia and Florida. How good is that?  The digital book is $2.99.Click Here.

I’ve been collecting useful golf instructional books for my students. I keep them in my truck. If you are interested in any of the following titles come by the range and purchase any  for $2.00. All books are used and in good to excellent condition. Some appear to have never been read.  Here’s the list: Golf Begins at 50 by: Gary Player, Augusta National & The Masters: A Photographers Scrapbook, David Ledbetter’s Positive Practice, Dave Peltz Short Game Bible, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by: Bob Rotella, Little Red Book by: Harvey Penick, From the Fairway by: Michael Hobbs, Trouble Shooting by: Michael Hobbs, For All Who Love the Game by: Harvey Penick, And if You Play Golf You’re My Friend by: Harvey Penick, Are you Kidding Me? Rocco Mediate.

 

 

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