Practice tip from Phil Tanham

May 2020

|Practice Tip|

By identifying these specific numbers you can start to spend more time on them during practice and begin simulating some on course situations.

This will increase your confidence heading into your next round and may lead to more greens in regulation!

 Lockdown Learning Day 10 – Do you play with your eyes closed?

Lockdown Learning Day 10

Do you play with your eyes closed?

A strange question, I’m sure! What I mean by this…

Lot’s of you will take lessons, watch videos, maybe
even read books ?, where you will quite often learn
a new TECHNICAL skill or movement, but how many
of you know how YOUR swing works????

Of course, we need to have technically sound swings,
and sometimes need technical adjustments to help us improve or get back on track, but from what I often see, is that players know what they think they should be doing, or what they are doing wrong, but have no idea why!!

We all have tendencies, quite often from when we first started,
or due to physical limitations, and you need to understand them, and know what to do when they appear, or to prevent them! It’s more important to understand how YOUR SWING works than to know what other players are doing in there swing!

To celebrate the re-opening of the shop (whenever that might be) I am offering the first five people who email a FREE 30 minute swing assessment, using Skytrak, in our indoor hitting area.
First come, first served!! Let me help you understand your swing a little better…

Lockdown Learning Day 9 – Using a variety of clubs around the green

Lockdown Learning Day 9

Using a variety of clubs around the green

I see a lot of players that are obsessed with lob wedges!!
“I have a 60 degree, but I need a 64 really”

This is what I hear, day in, day out!

My answer is usually along the lines of “Is your surname Mickelsen?”

People watch the TV Pro’s using lofted wedges around the green, but seem not to realise two key differences –

1.The rough is left much longer around the tournament courses to make it tougher for the professionals to get up and down.

2.The Pro’s practice the short game for HOURS and have done for YEARS. By putting the hours in, they know exactly how the ball will come off the clubface, the amount of spin, and know where they need to land the ball each time.

The majority of amateurs rarely practice, and when they do, they spend limited time on the short game, and that time is usually with a lob wedge!!

I would always recommend that you try chipping with different clubs in your bag. Each club will vary how much the ball lifts and runs, and if you reduce the amount of time the ball spends in the air, and therefore spins, it is a lot easier to gauge your distances. A less lofted club also requires a
shorter length of swing, so generally less can go wrong!

You can chip with any club in your bag, but 7,8,or 9 iron are ideal, then experiment with the putter, hybrid, or even a fairway wood!! (Tiger Woods and Justin Rose have famously used them with great success)

You carry all 14 clubs with you each time you play, so why not use some of them a little more. It might even save you some shots!!

Lockdown Learning Day 8- The power of visualisation


The power of visualisation

Hopefully all of you will have developed a pre-shot routine that you use religiously before each shot you hit ? As part of this routine, do not underestimate the power of visualising the shot before you hit it. The amount of people who, when asked, do not do this, which for me is astounding!!

I always recommend at some point in your routine, you stand back behind the intended line of flight, and picture the ball flying exactly how you want it to – the start line, trajectory, shot shape, and watch it finish right on your intended target!

This will give you a confident feeling before setting up to play the shot you have just seen in your mind. All top players use this as part of their routine. Some even close their eyes, like Jason Day!

Remember, you can’t do all the things the worlds best players do, but you can do the simple things, so start by adding visualisation to your routine!

Lockdown Learning Day 7 – The Grip

The Grip

Take a few minutes of your time to learn a little about the grip.
Now is the time to make any changes!! Use the time to improve your
grip and improve your golf! You don’t have to be on the range, just in
your house or garden. Leave clubs lying around and pick them up at
every opportunity. You will be surprised at how quickly you get comfortable
with your new grip!

Lockdown Learning Day 6

Are you playing the right course?

If you are a 20+ handicap player, but would love to play to 18 or less,your mental game is probably the only thing below par!

Golf is a difficult game, and when you are in your early years,players tend to try to force things to happen, when, really it’s quite a simple game. All you are trying to do is hit the ball around the course, using the skills that you have, in as few shots as possible.Most players think they are better than they actually are, and try things that they see on TV, or their lower handicap friends can pull off.

So let’s make it a little easier for you guys, let’s take the pressure off a little…

Create your OWN SCORECARD!!!

Change the Par on each hole to one more than it states on the card. So no more Par 3’s, Par 4’s become Par 5’s, and those never ending Par 5’s now become Par 6!!
By doing this, it changes your mindset. You now have two shots to get to that 220 yard Par 3.Instead of trying to force a fairway wood trying to get to the green, you can plan your way more effectively, and with less danger. The same happens on the longer holes…think about it, you now have three shots to get on/near those long Par 4’s, which mentally,is a much easier task, than getting there in two. Even if you have the odd three putt, I am sure you will sink the odd putt for par too, so all in all, I believe the score at the end should be a few shots less than normal, without the usual stress!!

Prepare yourself for your next game by making your own Par, and see where it gets you!

Lockdown Learning Day 3




You will have heard the saying “Never up, never in” before, but did you know that from 5 feet and longer, handicap golfers leave a staggering 84% SHORT!! That means the ball has ZERO chance of going in 84% of the time!! (Data taken from the Shotscope database of 30 million shots)

There are a few reasons why we leave so many putts shorts –

  1. Poor strike. A ball struck from the heel/toe or bottom of the putter will not travel the same distance as one struck from the centre of the face, even with the same length and pace of stroke. This is often the case in higher handicap players.
  2. Lack of confidence. A fear of three putting, particularly on fast/slopey greens, gives a negative mind-set, leading to tension, which will give indifferent strokes.


The ideal pace of putt should take the ball 12-18 inches past the hole if it misses. The ball has the best chance of dropping at this speed, even if it’s not dead centre of the hole!

Ways you can improve your distance control on the greens-

  1. Tee peg drill. Place a tee peg in the ground, either side of the putter head (heel and toe) Leave a small gap, with just enough room to move the putter back and through without hitting either tee peg. (Golf ball boxes can also be used instead of tees).If you avoid the tees,

you will be striking from the centre of the putter face.

  1. Practice putting looking at the hole. Line the putter head up behind the ball as normal, then turn your head so you are looking at the hole as you make your stroke, like you would when bowling. This will improve your feel, and distance judgment.
  2. Place the flagstick, or a club on the ground 18 inches directly behind the hole. Try to get the ball past the hole, but not so far that you hit the flagstick/club.

Let’s see if you can get the ball rolling at a better pace towards the hole? Please let me know how you get on after trying these drills…….I’m off for some indoor putting practice!!

Lockdown Learning Day 2

How dirty are your grips?

You all know by now that we offer a re-gripping service, and recommend you replace your grips once a year (or every 40-50 rounds) but how often do you clean them?

You will be amazed how much dirt and grime comes out of the grips when washed.You should do this every 6-8 weeks. Grips are usually made of a rubber compound, and will deteriorate over time, but regular cleaning will have them feeling like new again, and prolong their life span.

Most of us “Never have time”! but none of us have that excuse at the moment, so go grab your clubs and get cleaning!! Four easy steps, and using materials we all have in the house –

1. Fill the sink with hot water and add some washing liquid.
2. Scrub each grip with a firm brush.
3. Rinse off with clean water
4. Dry with a towel

Once cleaned, feel how tacky they are again, and if not (Like in the last photo – either hard or shiny still) you know they need re-gripping!

Clean grips feel like new grips!!