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Answer How Can I Improve My Feel

Many golfers become so transfixed with achieving a great technique they forget that feel is equally, if not more important.

Feel becomes a vital part of the game when playing shots from around the green. Successful pitching, chipping, bunker shots and putting are all dependent on a high level of feel. Players looking to develop their feel can use the following tips.

  • Soft hands – Gripping tightly will kill feel so players need to hold the club very lightly. To do this, think about keeping the hands very soft at address and throughout the swing. Here is a mental image and feeling golfers can use. Imagine you are holding a small bird with enough strength to stop it flying away but soft enough so it doesn’t get hurt. This thought will provide enough force to hold the club but also softness in the hands to maintain feel.
  • Focus on the landing area – Many players ignore one of the key fundamental aspects of feel and distance control, where will I land the ball? This is important because identifying where the ball will land engages the brain which in turn will pass on the information to the body. The first thing any player should assess on any shot around the green is where they want the ball to land and where they want the ball to then roll.

To help engage both soft hands and the mind when focusing on where to land the ball, players can use the underarm throw drill. This involves standing by the side of the green throwing the ball underarm onto the putting surface. Players need to identify where they want the ball to land and where they want it to run to. After a few repetitions of this drill, switch over to a lofted club and try to replicate the same feeling and results. For shots slightly further away such as a 50 yard pitch, players can place down a towel on the green where they want the ball to land. Hitting pitch shots onto the green focusing on a specific point where to land the ball will significantly improve touch.

By practicing feel and thinking about the short game correctly, golfers can quickly lower their scores.

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Wrong! Like most sports, holding onto the club (bat, racquet, etc) with a soft grip will increase not decrease control. This is because the muscles in the arms and hands will react and judge distances better when relaxed.

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Forged wedges will give more feel to the golfer than any other club because of the soft feeling at impact. But having soft wedges is not the only thing players should consider with their equipment. Clean sharp grooves, a new grip and soft balls will also go a long way to increasing the amount of feel a player has.

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Although many people don’t think it, usually more than half the shots played during an average round by amateurs are within 100 yards of the hole. Practice time should be divided accordingly; more than 50% of practice time should be given over to the short game and practicing feel.