Mark W. Hopkins

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 PGA Professional
Mark Hopkins
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Golf Tip of the Month

March 2012........... Tempo

  I have heard it many times from golfers who have seen a really good player swing,  " Man,  I wish I could swing like that"   Truth is, you can.
Most of those good golf swings have flaws.  However, they are able to hide those flaws from the bogey monster by having a smooth, rhythmic motion.  Most problems as far as tempo happen as the club changes directions from backswing to downswing.  This is what we like to call the transition area of the swing.  A really good swing appears that way because the player has a pronounced pause at the top of the backswing.  If you can count "one"or say pause at the top of our swing,  you will never appear to have a quick or jerky swing.  Please don't mistake a slow pause at the top of the swing with a slow swing.  The only thing a slow  swing will produce is slow clubhead speed and a short drive.  Simply pause at the top and while maintaining a measure of balance,  accelerate to the ball.  The results: a swing that your playing partners will envy.

February 2012..........   Want to improve?

"The answer is the dirt" as Ben Hogan would reply.  What Ben Hogan was trying to say in his own way was that getting better at golf requires a lot of practice.   Can you remember taking musical lessons as a youngster and the teacher requiring you to practice at least one hour per day?  During that hour of practice it was non-stop and productive.  In golf, if you practice an hour,  it takes approximately one minute to go through a routine and make a swing.  Let's think about it,  that's only 60 balls per hour.  When you play a four hour round of golf and you score 90 for example, you will average 36 putts and approximately 54 other swings.  The problem is productivity during that four hour span.

   The one thing I have noticed over my 30 years of teaching golf is most people need to spend more time on the range and less time on the course if they really want to improve.  Touring professionals spend hours hitting balls and end up striking 400 to 600 balls a day.  It is these long training sessions on the range that allows you to trust your swing when you need it on the course.

 December 2012........
This month our topic will be driving the golf ball.  To be more precise,  making a more centered contact with the ball.  Have you ever wondered how the ladies on the LPGA Tour send the ball flying 250 straight down the middle?  Surely it is not brute strength.  Their secret lies in striking the ball in the center of the clubface.  All the mass is in the center of the clubface and once club head is put into motion, the ball will travel its' maximum distance. The bonus:  if the ball meets the clubface in the "sweet spot",  the clubface will not twist and the ball will travel straighter and further.

If this tip helps your game, let me know.  If you need more instruction, contact me at [email protected] or at 336-210-2582 to arrange a personal lesson.

Yours for better golfing,
Mark Hopkins
PGA Professional

Golf Tips Archive