Hello, and welcome to my everything about golf website!
My name is Pete Jones and I have over 30 years of experience teaching golf lessons. I spent my youth growing up in Florida, the land of one thousand golf courses, where playing golf is about as common as playing hockey in Canada.
Growing up, like most kids, my sporting influences came from my father, Bobby Jones! Just kidding…but how funny would it be if my dad’s name was Bobby Jones (Google him if you don’t get it)? Seriously though, my father would spend hours giving me golf lessons out on the practice facility next to our favourite golf course. We’d spend an entire day hitting balls and my dad was the person who taught me the best golf tips I have.
I was competing on amateur tours in my teenage years, usually against players much older than I was. I even managed to win a few tournaments! Once I went off to college, I played for my school’s golf team; and when I wasn’t playing or practicing, I was studying for my Fitness and Sport Management Program. After school, I went back on the amateur circuit, had some success, but got tired of all the travel commitments.
By the time I was 30, I was married and had my second child on the way. My wife, Jessica, was always left at home and it was causing a serious strain in our marriage. So, I decided to transform my lifelong passion for golf into a career where I could stay in one place and still be able to support my family. I decided to become a golf instructor.
Golf instruction involves a lot more than you might think. My golf instruction starts with learning about my clients limitations long before I even get them to lift a golf club. There are many different levels of skill in the game of golf. Learning about my students physical capabilities tells me what level of difficulty my teaching should involve with the same goals in mind, lowering their scores.
My experience involves all age groups, men and women, and dozens of different golf venues around North America. In my experience I have learned some golf tips that are helpful to any level of golfer that I will discuss later.
I picked up my first golf club when I was four-years-old. It may have been plastic but I was already making full swings and, according to my father, digging up divots in the backyard. Now, 50-years later, striking pure shots keeps be coming back time and time again. There might be only one thing I love more than striping a drive down the fairway: watching one of my students do it.
It All Starts with Fitness
Most people laugh when I say that it takes a physically fit person to be a good golfer. A lot of “tough guys” and so-called athletes think golf isn’t even a sport. Let me let you in on a little secret. There are only two types of people that don’t like golf: those who have never played and those who have played and weren’t any good. And I can’t blame anyone for becoming frustrated. Golf is a hard game. But there is no reason why, with a little instruction and practice, golf can’t be enjoyed by everyone.
The golf swing requires the body to twist and bend in ways it probably isn’t used to. My clients in the north always battle stiff muscles after their first rounds of the spring. That is why I always do a physical evaluation of my clients before I start analyzing their swing. There is no point in expecting a golfer that is just beginning to be able to hit 300-yard drives if they can’t even bend down and touch their toes.
Flexibility is extremely important to be able to make consistent golf swings. Being able to twist and make a full-body turn is essential for getting your body in the right position to hit powerful shots. It is important to warm-up and stretch before any physical activity and golf is no different.
Many golfers use specific exercises to elongate their muscles; some even do yoga. If you look at professional golfers’ physiques, it might not seem like they would be very flexible or athletic; but you’d be hard pressed to mimic their swings for several hours worth of repetitions.
Of course, putting on muscle is going to make you stronger and able to hit farther. What you might not realize, however, is that strength-training will keep you playing consistent golf.
Most people don’t consider golf a tiring sport; but when you’re trying to stay consistent over a round that takes several hours, fighting off dehydration and sunstroke, you’ll be glad I pushed you through that extra set of shoulder presses. Muscle leads to endurance. Pushing through limits in the gym will allow you to remain upright after a long round.
I remember when I was younger, playing a course close to home; there was this gigantic hill to reach the 15th green. To be able to make powerful swings on holes 16, 17 and 18, you needed to not be gassed after that treacherous climb. We used to call it “cardiac hill” because it would make you feel like you’re about to have a heart attack half way up.
Becoming stronger in all areas of my body was one of the best golf tips anyone ever gave me. It’s important to realize that strength training means having a stronger body, not just strong arms. The golf swing requires all of your muscles to fire at max effort, all while maintaining balance and timing. This requires an extremely strong core, back, shoulders and legs.
I would argue that your arms are the least important muscle group to improve when trying to get the most out of your swing. Golf clubs aren’t very heavy. My four-year-old nephew can lift one. So, you probably already have the necessary arm-strength required to make a golf swing. In fact, your arms are only required to get the club into an ideal position. It’s the torque in your body and the club itself that are going to do most of the work.
For anyone new to weight lifting, my workouts may seem difficult. You might hate me the morning after our first workout. This is because you’re really using muscles that you haven’t used before, at least not in this way. However, you can be sure that all my exercises are chosen to help create a powerful, balanced golf swing that can be repeated over and over again. And I guarantee, no matter what your skill level is, after a few weeks of my workout program, you will add distance to every club in your bag. Your new swing will seem effortless once you train your muscles to respond when you need them.
My golf tips are not so much rules to live by as guidelines. I have general tips that, by following, can make anyone shoot lower scores. I also have dozens of tips that can be used out on the course. It is important not to try and memorize every tip. The golf swing is complicated enough that you don’t want to have to try and remember 10 things every time you address the ball.
Trying to incorporate every suggestion given to you would probably make a mess out of your swing. You need to find a good balance of easy to remember tips that still leave your swing feeling comfortable for you. Every instructor has their own theories and ways to teach them. When trying to combine them all, you’re sure to apply contradicting movements that will leave you confused and frustrated.
General Golf Tips
There are plenty of common sense golf tips that you can figure out on your own. I still like to go over them with my students so they know what it takes to get the results they desire.
The first is to find a golf venue suited to your skill level. Too many people think any golf venue can be made easier by using a beginner’s set of tee blocks. However, distance isn’t the only thing that makes a course difficult. Check out your desired golf venue online or pick up a scorecard to see the layout of the course. A venue with crooked fairways, a lot of water and plenty of bunkers is not suited for a beginner.
Finding the right golf venue for your skill level can make the difference between enjoying your learning process and giving up the game entirely. There are plenty of golf venues around today. You shouldn’t have to travel too far to find one that challenges you without making you want to throw your clubs in the garage and never look at them again.
My second tip should come as no surprise, find a golf venue with a practice facility. Practicing for golf is no different than practicing anything: Repetitions are key. You wouldn’t want to try and take everything you learned in a golf lesson and try to perfect it out on the course.
During a round, every shot is different from your last. You don’t have the ability to repeat the same shot over and over again. And if you hit a poor shot, you don’t have the chance to try and correct it. Finding a golf venue with a practice facility will allow you to take what you learned in your last lesson and commit it to muscle-memory.
Specific Golf Tips
There are too many golf tips to write on one page. You will find dozens of specific tips for specific clubs throughout the website. Golf instruction is not just about how to swing, but how to manage yourself around the course. For now, I’ll share some specific golf tips that can be used for anyone that finds themselves in these particular situations.
The golf tips I’ll cover here have to do with hitting off a lie that isn’t flat. Now, since roughly 90 per cent of golfers are right-handed, I’m going to talk like I would to a right-handed golfer. If you’re a lefty, the same rules apply, just in reverse.
Even perfect shots can find the ball sitting on ground that is below your feet or on a side-hill lie.When the ball is sitting below your feet, you want to aim your shot to the left. This is because it’s going to take a split-second longer for your club to reach the ball, leaving your club face open, causing the ball to fade (move left to right). Conversely, if the ball is above your feet, you want to aim to the right, as the club face will now be closed at impact.
Hitting from a downhill or uphill lie follow the same principles about the clubface as mentioned earlier. For these shots, you’ll want to aim left for a downhill lie (where your left foot is lower than your right). As for an uphill lie, just the opposite, aim to the right. It will take practice to know how off-target you will have to aim. I usually tell my students to aim for the edge of the green in these situations.