Women & Golf writer and PGA Professional Charlotte Ibbetson shares three of her all-time favourite golfing tips that she promises will transform your game.
By Charlotte Ibbetson
Ever since taking up the game at 11 years old, I’ve had regular golf lessons, though admittedly they are quite few and far between now.
Since Saturday morning group sessions as a junior, I’ve worked with only a few coaches as my game has improved; two or three team coaches with my county, England Golf and at university, as well as three or four coaches who I worked with individually.
I’m not a hugely technical golfer, and for me, it was more important that I got on with the coaches I worked with. Golf is so much about your mental state, so having someone who can support and pick you up mentally and emotionally is just as important as what they can do technically for your swing.
Through my golf, university and through my PGA studies, I’ve been very fortunate to work with some fantastic and hugely knowledgeable coaches. Whilst each has had their own unique style and approach to the golf swing, I’ve been able to pick up some tips along the way that have without a doubt improved my game, from the weird to the totally wonderful.
- The lumpy donut
I’ve started with this one because it’s the one that has the ability to make the most impact on your game – and it’s super simple: Hit every putt firmly to within a footprint of the hole. The theory behind the lumpy donut is this: Every time someone picks their ball out of the hole, they tread around it making a lump with their feet, hence, the lumpy donut. You’ll need to hit the ball firmly to make sure it stays on track through the lumps and bumps, but your aim if you miss the hole is to get the ball to finish somewhere within the donut. Follow this tip and you’ll find yourself hitting putts much more confidently and leaving them within a few feet of the hole every time.
- A sandwich of sand
When you practice bunker shots, everyone will tell you to draw a line a few centimetres behind the ball and hit the sand along the line. What you’ll then see a lot of golfers do is stab into the sand and decelerate as they get to the ball. The result? The ball will very rarely get out of the bunker if you’ve hit the sand or it will rocket out if you haven’t. Instead, draw a square around the ball, and imagine slicing the sandwich of sand under the ball and hitting it on to the green. That will make sure that you accelerate through the shot and hit the ball with just the right amount of sand.
- Stick the Velcro of your glove to the target
OK, not literally, but that’s the idea. Whether you’re hitting a full shot or a chip and run, imagine that you’re going to stick the Velcro of your glove on to the target. That way, your club face will stay square through impact and you’ll reduce the amount that you flick your wrists as you hit the ball, making your strike stronger and more consistent.