This Week In Golf

Written by Duane Borcherding. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on August 11, 2010 with No Comments

3 Simple Steps to a Better Game

By Duane Borcherding, PGA Golf Pro

A Simple Thought
Evaluating golfers’ skill levels when they come for lessons boils down to one major factor for me: How often do they hit the ball in the center of the club face?  It is hard to get ball flight feedback unless decent contact is being made.  With this in mind, I offer one simple thought, “The farther you take the club away from the ball, the harder it is to hit.”  Distance is not created by taking the club back far.  The challenge of hitting the ball in the center of the club face increases the farther you take the club back.  You need to excel at hitting the golf ball with small swings and then lengthen out your swing as you improve.

Progression of Improvement

Improvement in golf requires that we get better in these three areas:

No Dubs – When you swing at the ball and then take 10 steps and hit the ball again, that would be a dub.  In baseball they call them bunts.  I ask all my golfers to “run out their bunts”, so after a half hour of running, their concentration improves in the area of moving the ball forward.

Center Face Contact – Topping the ball, hitting it fat, and shanking it are examples of miss hit shots.  New golfers should start at the green and work their way back.  The swing becomes bigger as we move away from the green, and center face contact becomes more difficult.  If you lose good contact, start moving closer to the green, and shorten your swing.  If you take a quarter backswing and a quarter finish, like a chip shot, and can’t hit the ball in the center of the club face, why try and blast a 5 iron to the back of the range?

Short Game and Putting – With numbers one and two out of the way, your ability in the short game area will help you get your scores into the 70’s.  The short game requires that you make solid contact with the ball and control the ball’s trajectory and distance.  Putting requires a number of skills, most of all controlling your movements for precise control of distance and direction.

No dubs got me from shooting in the 100’s down to the 90’s.  Hitting the ball a little more solidly helped me take the next step.  Saving shots with my short game and being the world’s greatest putter took me to the level of shooting even par scores.  I think it is important to understand that your scores will improve when your bad shots are not as bad, more so then when your good shots get that much better.

Try This

I try to help golfers by using my one, two, three viewpoint of the golf swing and giving them good practice habits.  A practice range is not mandatory for improvement.  Actually, a beginner golfer will benefit from practicing their set-up (number one) and just swinging the club without hitting balls.  There is no negative feedback from a bad shot, and you can practice good form.  Or, just try chipping the ball 10 yards. With a good set-up and a small swing you should be able to hit the ball in the center of the clubface every time with practice.  How about some of these drills:

Two Tees – Place two tees in the ground about five inches apart.  Practice hitting the ground between the two tees.  Set-up Number one, backswing Number 2, finish Number 3; keep correct form.

Big Ball – Practice hitting the biggest ball, the earth.  Take out your dandelions with your fabulous technique and wonderful eye-hand coordination.

Tennis Ball Pull – Set up to a tennis ball and, with no backswing, just pull the ball to your target with a full finish.  Contact is guaranteed; learn how the body turns, the hands and club move forward, and you pull the ball toward the target with a complete finish.

Underhand Toss – Regular set-up with no club and just a tennis ball in your right hand.  Little bit of arm swing back, step and turn toward your target, and let the ball go with your arm pointing to the target in a nice finish position.  This sequence of motions is used in every sporting activity we do.

Whoosh Drill – Turn the club upside down and hold the shaft with your left hand only.  Make a half backswing and a full finish and see how loud your whoosh is.  The louder the whoosh the more speed in the swing.

Duane Borcherding is a PGA golf professional with 28 years of experience at courses in Northwest Indiana, Florida and Arizona.  Borcherding has been with The Brassie Golf Club for six years.  Any golf questions, ask Borcherding at thechroniclenwi@comcast.net.


The Brassie Golf Club

The Brassie Golf Club is a semi-private 18-hole championship facility featuring some of the best greens in the area. Designed by architect Jim Fazio, the course opened in 1998 to rave
reviews. Featuring gently rolling terrain, strategic bunkering and sparse fescue rough areas, The Brassie has a very distinctive links style “feel”. Stretching 7,008 yards from the black tees (rating 74.3, slope 137) to 5,493 yards from the green tees (rating 72.0, slope 126), the four sets of tees at The Brassie provide a challenge for all skill levels. In addition to a well-conditioned golf course, you will find a fully stocked golf shop, complete practice facilities and a comfortable snack bar dining area with the patio overlooking the course.


Dennis Richardson

Dennis Richardson

Dennis Richardson of Valparaiso aced the eighth hole at Forest Park Golf Course on July 17 at a distance of 183 yards. His shot was witnessed by Chuck Leer and James Lewis, all of Valparaiso. The Valparaiso Department of Parks and Recreation congratulates Richardson on his hole in one. Richardson will receive a certificate from the PGA, Indiana Section, to commemorate this special event.

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About Duane Borcherding

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Duane All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Duane Borcherding is a PGA golf professional with 30 years of experience at courses in Northwest Indiana, Florida and Arizona. Borcherding has been with The Brassie Golf Club in Chesterton for nine years. With golf questions, contact him at 123Duane@pga.com.

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