golf tips

Golf Fundamentals – How to develop good swing tempo

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We have all seen it, and some of us do it on a regular basis. We stand over the ball, take the club back nice and smooth, and then lunge at the ball in a blur, only to see the ball scuffed a few yards down the fairway.

In this post we are going to discuss one of golf’s often overlooked fundamentals, swing tempo and give you a better understanding of tempo, and a drill that you can take on the course with you.

So what do we mean when we say a good swing tempo? A good swing tempo allows you time to fully complete your backswing and transition into the downswing without casting the club head at the ball. It means that your hips, shoulders and arms are all working in harmony to return the club head back to the ball. It should feel relaxed, and approximately eighty percent of your effort for a full shot. Also your swing tempo should be the same for every club in your bag you should not be thinking that your swing tempo increases with your longer clubs. However, good swing tempo does not mean slow. Many professional golfers have a quick tempo, that’s just their swing. Look at great players like Nick Price or Jose Maria Olazabal as examples. They both have great swing tempo and a faster than usual swing.  It is important for you to find the correct swing tempo for your game. One that is repeatable and brings consistent results.

Many golfers have a swing thought when they play the game. This includes a saying or phrase to help them with their tempo. One that we have used at Golf Talk is simply saying the words out loud ‘back and through’. ‘Back’ being the start of the backswing, ‘and’ being the transition, and ‘through’ the downswing. Try this out on the practice tee and see if it helps your ball striking. It may also help you out on the course saying it in your head.

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The Golf Talk team


Golf tips for beginners – Where to start?

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The GolferIf you are fairly new to golf and are just starting to get to grips with the game then you maybe feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of technical golf instruction out there on the web. For some of us we are not yet ready to consume this level of instruction and actually may find it detrimental to our game. In this article we want to give you our golf fundamentals of where to start to instantly start improving your game and hopefully your enjoyment out on the course.

Let’s start at the beginning. Can you teach yourself golf? Well yes of course you can and you may achieve a reasonable level of success. Many golfers never have any lessons at all and can get their handicap down to single figures. For the rest of us however there is a potential to build in some fundamental errors into our golf swing that may give us some kind of immediate success but also may leave us regretting not getting the basics right in the first place. So our advice to any new golfer is to seek out your local golf professional and book a set of lessons. This will give you a good start to the game and avoid any swing flaws that could creep into your game. You will notice that we said seek out your local professional. Your friends or relatives may be good natured and offer to give you lessons. Be careful that they are not teaching you their own swing flaws and doing more harm than good.

During your lessons you will be taught how to hold the club, the correct setup, the basic turn and co-ordination of movement and good tempo. Our second piece of advice is to dedicate time on the practise tee honing your swing and practising these movements. Little and often is what we would like to see. Hitting balls aimlessly on the range is not a productive way to learn how to play golf. In previous articles we have discussed deliberate practice which is a worthwhile read and should help you.

Many of us feel we need to rush out to the golf course to play eighteen holes and we are enthusiastic as to what score you can achieve. We seem to get obsessed by breaking one hundred or even ninety. For us playing the course and hitting good shots is more important than keeping a score. So our third piece of advice is to leave the scorecard behind and concentrate on good ball striking and mastering the fundamentals of the golf swing.

One part of golf that is not often discussed (except on Golf Talk) is the amount of concentration needed out on the course to play well. This is a learned behaviour so playing nine holes two or three times a week maybe more beneficial to learning concentration then trying to do this over eighteen holes. Why not give this advice a try for a few weeks and see what difference it makes to your game. You can then step this up to a full eighteen hole game.

Finally for the new golfer have a realistic target of where you want to be by the end of the season and accept where you are now. You are then in a strong position, along with your golf professional to put a plan together of how you are going to improve your game. This will consist of lessons, practise and of course competitive play.

If you have enjoyed this article please comment and share below. You can also email any questions you may have to

Also don’t forget to subscribe to Golf Talk to ensure you never miss a post.

The Golf Talk team


Golf Tips – How to play off a tight lie

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I’m sure you will agree playing golf in the warm sunshine is how the game should be played. This also gives the green keepers an opportunity to manicure the fairways and expose some bare lies. In this post we will teach you how to play off a tight lie so it does not cause you any problems out on the course.Golf club hitting a ball

So what do we mean by the term a tight lie? A tight lie is when the grass is cut very short or is non-existent underneath the ball which means there is a potential for the club to bounce on the hard ground slightly behind the ball and cause a topped or thinned shot.

For many golfers, when we find ourselves in this position we immediately try to help the ball in the air which only makes matters worse. Anytime we scoop at the ball the shot is less than perfect.

So how do you play this shot? Firstly club selection is important. Try to choose a club with a sharp leading edge. We are not saying that playing off a tight lie with a sand or lob wedge is impossible. However, there is a very small margin of error. The bounce of these clubs mean that it is more difficult to get the leading edge of the club face on the back of the ball.  So if you are feeling anxious over this type of shot then a pitching wedge or nine iron maybe a better choice for you.

Now that you have selected your club we need to play this shot with a steeper angle of approach. To do this place the ball a little further back in your stance and fix your eyes on the back of the ball throughout the shot. You may even want to close the clubface slightly to ensure a consistent strike. You are certainly less likely to hit behind the ball and thin a shot if the clubface is slightly closed. If you do this then don’t forget to adapt your stance and aim slightly to the right to compensate.

Finally good tempo is essential. You must not allow you swing to quicken up because of any worries you may have. Use your pre-shot routine, visualise the shot and swing with a smooth controlled action. If you take these recommendations then we are sure that you will soon build your confidence and success with a tight lie.

Try these tips and see how they improve you score and enjoyment out on the course. And don’t forget to try this type of shot when next on the practise tee.

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The Golf Talk team


5 easy steps to lower your handicap before you get on the course

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Can you lower your handicap before you even get on the course? Yes of course you can with these five simple steps to help prepare you for your game ahead.

  1. Get yourself in the right frame of mind, remove any distractions you may be thinking of for example work or to do lists from home. If you are feeling distracted then don’t be surprised if you do not play your very best golf. Try to keep focused on your game ahead.
  2. Get into a routine of arriving at the course early. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready for your game. My own routine is to get to the course at least 60 minutes before my tee off time. This gives me plenty of time to get set up, check in at the clubhouse and go to the practice range to hit a few balls.
  3. Go to the practice range. Don’t expect to hit one of your very best drives straight down the middle of the fairway when the last time you hit a ball was over a week ago. Hit a few balls with a PW, 7 Iron and 4 Iron, 3 wood and Driver. Aim to finish your practice with the club that you will hit your first tee shot. Don’t leave the range until you have hit a shot that you are happy with to give you confidence.
  4. Go to the putting green. For the same reasons as in point number 3. Sinking a few putts before your round will not only give you confidence but also help you get the speed of the greens. A few putts from long, medium and short distance should do.
  5. Finally have a score in mind that you want to shoot. We play more seriously when we are keeping score. Think about it how do you know what a good round is unless you have a target score that you are trying to achieve?

Follow these simple 5 step and have fun on the course!

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Five essential tips for playing your best winter golf

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Tip no.1  – Make sure you spend a few minutes warming up to get some flexibility and prevent any injuries. A number of injuries could be prevented by simply spending a few minutes swinging two clubs and a few stretches
Tip no. 2 – Clean groves on your clubs are essential for a good strike on the ball and a true flight. A groove cleaner or an old toothbrush will do the job.
Tip no. 3 – When the ground is hard from the frost the ball can bounce anywhere especially around the green. Choose to chip around the green as much as possible. You can control the flight of the ball, but not the bounce.
Tip no. 4 – Club up, club up, club up, in winter the ball is cold and does not have the same compression as in the summer. We recommend at least one club even two clubs when the temperature is below five degrees Celsius
Tip no. 5 – Enjoy the day and don’t take the game to seriously. Remember why you are out there, get some fresh air, exercise and keep your swing going through the winter months.