Your golfing questions answered 

golfing-frustration.001Been meaning to do this for a while …

What’s your biggest golfing frustration? Or what is the one golf instruction question you want answered?

Enter your question in the comment section below and I’ll answer it. Go on, try me. It’s completely FREE.

Don’t be shy. It feels good to put your issue in writing. And you might just get an answer that helps you… something that helps push you along your golf journey. A place where you find greater enjoyment, satisfaction and improved performance.

Further, I hope some of the experts out there that read this blog might contribute too. I know fitness gurus, skill acquisition coaches, putting experts, biomechanics and all sorts of golf experts. This is their chance to shine too.

I did something similar years ago (the page is long gone) but from memory that page got over 200 comments. I’d like to see if we can get to 300 this time around.

So don’t hold back. If you’ve got a question fire away. Let’s ALL make this a blog page something remarkable – a real online golf learning resource.

Leave your thoughts/questions/feedback below.

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48 Comments

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Thought I get things started…

    How do I stop missing those short putts?

    Answer: It’s not possible to get all those putts in. You will miss from time to time (did you see the recent US Open at Chambers Bay?). Accepting this is often enough to relax you a little and this helps you get into the right frame of mind.

    Almost always you’ll sink more putts if you stop thinking about the line/your stroke/or the consequences of missing. So my best advice is to look at the hole, get a feel for the putt and then walk in and hit it. It really is the best way.

    Yep, this simple approach can be hard. You’ll be nervous. Your Pesky mind will be telling you (screaming at you) to “slow down”, “take your time”, “have another practice stroke”, “be careful” etc etc.

    But you’ve got to ignore the Pesky voice and hit the bloody putt. The less interference the better you’ll do.

    Adult humans like to think and analyse, but it’s all the thinking that causes the problems. So think less. Putt the ball freely and you’ll make more putts.

    One last tip: When you’re on the practice green before you play, become aware of your thought patters. Report back with your thought patterns on the practice green versus the golf course.

    I’m willing to bet there’s going to be a difference.

    • trevor t

      Reply Reply June 24, 2015

      cannot take divot with irons pick ball clean off the turf

      • Cameron

        Reply Reply June 26, 2015

        Trevor T: You’ve got to ramp things up here Trev. If I held a gun to your head and told you that you MUST strike the ground on your next attempt, what would you do?

        You’ve gotta put thoughts of score and swing and results away. Focus on striking the ground. Take a divot. Take a large divot!

        Explore. Learn. Create something here… but don’t let fear hold you back.

  • Trevor Buckler

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    I have developed a bad habit of hitting the ball fat both with irons and fairway clubs. Help.

    • Allan Kenny

      Reply Reply July 27, 2015

      Cameron I have had an email from Todd Graves who is lime you a biomechanical engineer and has nearly exactly the same thoughts too save the body from stress.The only difference Is he starts the club at the at the impact zone, re-MUE NORMAN whats your thoughts.

      • Cameron

        Reply Reply July 28, 2015

        Allan, I was involved in a scientific study of the golf swing and part of that study was a fairly comprehensive look at Moe Norman. Please note that I’m not a scientist, but the guys who looked at his swing were “proper” sports scientists and biomechanics.

        Sadly, for a lot of golfers and those preaching radical theories, the consensus was that MN was pretty much a standard golfer – using fairly orthodox technique.

        Here’s a few other points:

        1. Moe Norman was told a heap of rubbish by a lot of people and he was very good at remembering some of the stories and BS he was told.
        2. He didn’t do much of what he thought he did – the grip was a huge one.
        3. He had his own idiosyncrasies that made his golf swing unique to him but there wasn’t anything so radical as to develop a swing model based on him.
        4. MN was a very good golfer because he hit a lot of golf balls and had automated his swing. I’m convinced when he swung the club he wasn’t thinking about technique or worrying about his swing. He was focused on hitting ball to target.

        Last thing: I don’t think it matters where the club starts. You need to find what feels good to you and go for it.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply July 28, 2015

      Trevor: stop hitting it fat! Hit the ball thin for a bit. Try whacking the top of the ball. Let go. Have some fun with your swing. You are trying so hard to stop hitting it fat that you are not playing the game.

      Most are so worried about hitting a poor shot that they don’t get out of first gear. If someone held a gun to your head and said, “If you hit this ball fat I’ll pull the trigger”, what would you do?

  • bill

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    What are the best drills for an early release or Casting?

  • Ralph

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Other than ball position and length of swing,should there
    Be any differences in type of swing between driver,
    Fairway woods, hybrids, and irons?

  • Jim Vorp

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    1.NormallyI drive the ball fairly well. Straight, 180 – 200 yrds, sometimes further. Ocassionaly, I will pull the drive left. Not a hook as you might think but definitely a straight hit left. This might happen on 3 or 4 tee shots in a row. How do I stop doing this?

    2. When I miss putts its usually because I come up short. Is there a drill to help this situation?

  • Allan Kenny

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Cameron I have trouble over the last few holes I don’t know wether it is concentration or just plain tired. Do you have a thought process or a way to overcome this. Also I find chipping hard to keep the ball straight at the target. Allan

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Trevor B: A great drill is to exaggerate the issue in the opposite direction. So if you’re hitting fat, go out and see if you can just nick the top of the ball.

    It’s a lot harder than you think and will push your learning system a long way. When you can hit the top of the ball, your system will reset and find hitting the middle of the ball much easier.

    Obviously this drill is used in practice. I wouldn’t recommend doing this in competition.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Bill: The best drill is to throw the club towards the target. Science showed that the golf swing is a throwing motion. When you throw objects you don’t cast or release too early.

    Golfers tend to get too stuck on the nitty gritty of the swing. Throwing the club simplifies the task and allows you to play.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Ralph: I think trying to change your swing and making all sorts of conscious decisions is what gets golfers into trouble.

    Ideally, you want to be playing automatically and let your learning system do the heavy lifting. This way, when you’re hitting all those different shots, you can focus on where you want the ball to go, not on what you have to do differently.

    This is another case where thinking less will give you better results.

    Oftentimes when I tell golfers this they say, “But when I had a shot last week with my 3 wood I hit a bad shot”.

    My answer: You may need to play more and hit more of these different types of shots. Some practice will be needed.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Jim V: Stop fighting the odd bad shot. Almost seems you are waiting for the bad stuff to happen. Accept that golf in not perfect and you’ll hit some bad ones from time to time.

    You can also learn to move the ball the other way. Can you hit a nice fade? Start the ball left and then bring it back to the right.

    Or, maybe you can start the ball to the right and have it move left. The more shots you can learn to hit, the better you’ll do and the less of those really bad ones will appear.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Jim V2: This is a sign that you’re putting with fear. When you can relax and pull the trigger the ball will naturally find the target more of the time.

    You don’t want to override this and TRY and get the ball to the hole, this will result in the ball ending up miles past the hole. Try this.

    Take a deep breath, focus on where you want the ball to go (hole) and then walk in and freely putt.

    Report back with your findings.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Allan: I like to keep my game plan conservative. Especially when I’m tired and feeling nervous. It doesn’t mean I swing easy – no way. For example I’ll hit 3 wood from tee and let rip. Or I’ll aim away from the green edge and play for the middle.

    This all helps on having luck on your side. Mental errors tend to be when golfers bite off more than they can chew. I reckon if you play a little but more conservatively you’ll see better results. Your system will love you too 🙂

    Part 2: Is it going left or right? Most likely you’re closing the clubface. See if you can hit some shot with “passive” hands. The stroke should almost feel easy, like a big putt. There’s a little wrist cock but the shot is not aggressive.

    See how you go.

  • Mel

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Cameron,
    Regarding the takeaway, what do you concentrate on and when (if ever) do you think of your wrists? I know one shouldn’t think too much and just do it but my mind and body get confused. Do I turn with my shoulders only – should I use my body – should I break my wrists etc etc Should I turn my hips.
    Mel

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply June 24, 2015

      Mel, I really wouldn’t think too much about your backswing. I know it’s hard no to but I really don’t believe it’s that important. You don’t hit the ball on the backswing 🙂

      If you can let the club flow you’ll do just fine. Attempt to feel the club from start to finish – if you can become aware of the club then your backswing will be ideal.

      Last resort is to let the hands lead and the body will follow.

  • Kassu

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Cameron,

    I’ve been trying to get rid of slicing, obviously do my worst the longer the club is. Played last summer mostly without my driver or 3 wood, teeing with long irons and hybrid.

    Decided that will try and get the hang of it this summer. Started practising with drawing the ball with woods. Took a while, but can now hit nasty uncontrollable hooks and most of time fade driver instead of slicing. This all at the range, at the course successrate is not as good.

    Original goal was and is to do my best to learn to hit controllable draw. Most fairways at my local tilt right and hard to keep the ball from rolling off fairway otherwise.
    Any advise on my endevour?

    Kassu

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply June 24, 2015

      Kassu, please keep going. You’re on the right track. It takes courage to learn a different shot but it’s worth it. Unfortunately learning can be messy. It takes time. It can feel awful. But if you hang in there you’ll reach your goal. So keep being brave. Keep hitting new shots and keep enjoying the journey. Well done!

    • MichaelS

      Reply Reply June 26, 2015

      Hi Kassu,

      First of all, I’m no expert like Cameron, just an average golfer, play off 10-12 handicap, but I’ve lived your plight.

      I found the slices were because I was not completing the swing (having played a lot ot cricket in my younger days, it was the perfect cover drive!) and so focused on truly turning the body (belt buckle to the target) but still I get lazy in the swing and finish incomplete.

      I went to the technology path and bought firstly the Taylor Made R1 and then the Slider. Set to shape for a draw (weights and slider) and this helped greatly to overcome the dreaded slices. It’s not an easy set up as you look like you’re addressing the ball with the clubface way open but I find now that even on the odd incomplete swing that still creeps in, the combination of the technology and the set up helps me keep the ball down the middle nine times out of ten. Added benefit is that both these drivers are LONG!

      Hope another thought helps. Although we often have too many of those in our head at address…perhaps the John Daly mantra…grip it and rip it… 🙂

      Good luck and good golfing!

      Rgds

      Michael

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Geoff Rogers: I reckon it’s got little to do with the club head passing through the ball. Try this…

    Focus your attention on where you want the ball to land/finish and then go for it. It seems from distance that you’re focused too much on technique and this is never a good thing.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Godd Ard: this is easy. Stop going to the driving range. Your practice should be out on the golf course. This is the best practice you’ll do.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Steve R: your best bet is to keep focusing on what you want to achieve. It’s easy to get caught up in you don’t want – but you’ve got to focus on the desired outcome. This is what positive thinking is all about. From here you’ll gain confidence.

    Confidence also comes when you realise you can play your best golf without a lot of technical thought. For a long time I’ve been telling golfers to swing freely. This makes golf fun and definitely breeds confidence.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Eric L: putting the correct distance isn’t much harder than throwing a ball to someone. In this case we look where we want to throw and then we fire. We don’t get caught up with how hard to throw, arm positions or head position etc. my strongest advice is to look at the hole and then react to what you see. It’s very simple but very effective.

    Do this for a few weeks and I’m sure your putting distance will improve.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 24, 2015

    Pieter, it’s time to ramp things a little. Stop tring to fix your slice. See if you can move the ball the other way. Can you impart a different spin on the ball? Learning to exaggerate our issues in the opposite direction is a very good way to learn and improve. Start slowly and see how far you can take it.

  • Ray

    Reply Reply June 25, 2015

    Cameron, 15 years ago I was a 1 hcp. I have had to many injuries since then and have played about 12 times a year keeping my hcp from 9 to 10. I’m having surgery next month on my dominate hand and will be out for another 2 months for rehab. I’m going to install rubber inserts in the butt on my shafts and arthritic grips. I bought the Callaway FT Ibrids to also help dampen the vibration. I have always hit down on the ball. Should I try to swing vertical on the back swing and flatter on the down swing? I would like to just pick the ball off the turf to keep my hands from injury.
    Thank you for any advice.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply June 25, 2015

      Ray, this is a hard one because I’m not a medical professional and I don’t want to make your injury worse. I do think the new grips will help.

      If you’re taking huge divots and this is causing you pain then you should stop. One way you could do this is to see if you can hit the ball a little thin…

      Take some balls to the fairway and have some fun with it. Become aware of how much ground you’re hitting and see if you can reduce it. Play around. Don’t think too much about it – just swing and notice what is happening.

      The bottom line: there’s nothing stopping you from picking the ball clean. You just need to get out there and start learning 🙂

      But again, please be careful.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 25, 2015

    Dean (and anyone else that wants distance): I have said many times that the easiest way to hit the ball further is to play automatically. When we stand up to the ball and try and bash it far we almost always fail.

    But our best drives seem effortless. This is automatic. You hit the ball well (and further) because you weren’t trying too hard and thinking too much. You hit the ball by keeping out of your own way.

    Drill: Go out into the backyard and place a tee in the ground (no ball). Now try and smash the top of the tee as hard as you can. Do this for a few minutes a few times a week. Don’t overdo it – maybe 2 or 3 minutes will be enough.

    If you focus on the top of the tee and can hit it hard, you’ll naturally hit the ball further (and straighter). This is a simple drill and works because it stops you thinking about all the rubbish that golfers like to think about:

    – grip
    – stance
    – swing plane
    – pivot
    – wrist cock
    – etc

    Swing freely and naturally and you’ll hit the ball further. Simple.

    Further. Long drives are a bit of a myth. I know the tour players all hit the ball a mile – but they’re pros and we are not. And, inside the tour there are pros that hit it a long way further than others. And I’m sure that those that don’t hit it far would like to hit it further.

    But this can cause problems. Ian Baker-Finch ruined his game by searching for more power. Got to the point were he couldn’t play.

    Luke Donald has done the same thing. Was the best player in the world and decided he needed more distance. Lost his game compared to a few years ago.

    If Jordan Speith tries for more distance then I reckon he’ll lose the plot. He doesn’t need more power. He just needs to keep playing his game.

    I’d even go as far as saying that some of Tiger’s problems are because he too is obsessed with distance. But distance isn’t the game. It can make golf more fun but only if you don’t ruin your game in the process.

    My best advice: Swing freely.

  • Larry

    Reply Reply June 26, 2015

    Cameron, as I set up to hit a shot, I try to swing smoothly and slowly but I seem to actually black out during the swing resulting in a primeval slash as fast and as hard as I can.

    Any thoughts on how to stay awake during the swing?

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply June 26, 2015

      Larry, you don’t want to be “trying” that much. You’ve got to let the swing flow. Your golf swing needs to find you. This is the best way. This is Automatic Golf.

      Try thinking of something else when you swing. I reckon you might just surprise yourself at the results you’ll get.

      Report back here with your findings.

      Cameron

  • Tom

    Reply Reply June 26, 2015

    Hi Cameron,

    My biggest frustration is the driver. No other club can have such a variance in outcome for me. Some go striping down the middle with a small draw, some are wide pulls left and then even some are fade / slices. It is very hard to set up on the tee box not knowing which one is coming. I try to play auto as much as possible and aside from picking a target am not really thinking about much or the consequences of a poor shot during my swing. I feel positive over the ball but the results are wildly varying. What is the solution?!

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply June 26, 2015

      Tom, I reckon the solution is fairly easy. You’ve got to choose a shot. A huge part of AG is owning a shot shape. I reckon if you lock in on this your golf will improve greatly.

      Driving the ball is vitally important. Many will say that one drives for show and putts for dough. But if you can’t get the ball in play you’re stuffed. Just look at Tiger.

      So pick a shot shape, stick with it and you won’t look back.

      • Tom

        Reply Reply June 26, 2015

        Unfortunately I wish I could pick a shot shape. I feel like my setup is the same, the results are always different. There seems to be no consistency in outcome.

        • Cameron

          Reply Reply June 30, 2015

          Tom, you’ve gotta chose. What’s stopping you? A huge part of the process is being clear on what you want to do. Not choosing, while an option, is not a very good one.

  • Bill Cover

    Reply Reply June 26, 2015

    Hi Cameron
    The thing that bugs me most is not what I am doing but the comments of my playing partners about their game like “why do I do that its just like I did last time” I find this very off putting to my game.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply June 30, 2015

      Bill, I learned a long time ago that listening to and taking in comments from others (while playing) rarely helps. You’ve got to playing “your game”. Forget about what others are saying and doing. Focus on where you want your ball to go and on what shots YOU want to hit and you’ll do just fine.

  • Chris Coston

    Reply Reply June 26, 2015

    I play a course which is 5500 yards and shoot in the low 80’s. Sometimes no doubles. Then I play a course which is 6300 yards and shoot low 90s and make many mistakes, usually over swinging. What swing thoughts should I work on to get to the mid 80s.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply June 30, 2015

      Chris, you’ve got to approach the game as the same, no matter where you play. I learned this lesson the hard way.

      I used to play each Wednesday with mates. And I played very well for two years in these “fun” games. Rarely did I shoot over par. But on weekends, when things got serious, I played like an idiot. It was frustrating and I got angry.

      But then I worked out that I had to play freely and stop trying so hard when things mattered. I bet you’re treating the bigger course like it’s life and death. Relax and swing like there’s no tomorrow.

  • Matt

    Reply Reply June 29, 2015

    Hi Cameron

    I’m a reasonably decent striker of the ball with my irons for someone playing off 18 hcp. When the ball is above my feet I almost always catch it flush. I become less consistent when the lie is flat and it worsens from there when the ball is below my feet. I have a hunch the problem may relate to either my alignment or standing too far away from the ball at set up. Appreciate any thoughts you may have on this. Chrs, Matt

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply June 30, 2015

      Matt, I’m willing to bet you’re playing off 18 because your short game is letting you down. Ball striking is only part of the issue. If you spent 2 months hitting chips, pitches and bunker shots your handicap will come down. I bet it will.

      Also, if you mixed this with a smarter course strategy you’ll surprise yourself, getting close to single digits and then beyond.

      I have a hunch it has nothing to do with alignment or standing too far. What you need to do is grab some balls and spend an hour or two (over a week or so) and hit a lot of these different type of shots.

      Have some fun. Explore. Work out what you can and can’t do. You need some actual experience here that’s not on the golf course (when you’re competing. By all means venture out on the golf course to practice).

      If you follow the above I have no doubt your golf game will go to a new and exciting level.

      Cheers,

      Cameron

  • Tony Lucas

    Reply Reply June 29, 2015

    When picking a target Cam what are your thoughts on then taking an intermediate target to help with alignment
    Cheers Lukey

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply June 30, 2015

      Tony L: I don’t have too many thoughts on this because I think this secondary target is optional. Do it when you feel the need but don’t get caught up on it.

      Sometimes you’ll be able to go with the flow and smash the ball – your body will react to the target and do well. Othertimes you may feel the need to use one to help you align. The choice is yours.

      The big thing with the target is to not let it stop you from swinging freely and naturally. Pick a target and then let the swing flow!

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply June 30, 2015

    Mike: re divots. I really don’t know. Maybe if you hit the fairway you should be given a perfect lie. I can’t imagine the powers that be changing the rule here.

  • david

    Reply Reply October 20, 2015

    Hello Cameron,
    I have been playing golf for 40 years and 20 years as a golf pro. I made the mistake of going to a lot of different coaches and now I have no idea which way to swing.I decided the only way to get back on track is just play golf. I came across a book of yours called golf my way,bu cant seem to purchase it.Please can you mail me on how I can buy it.many thanks,dave

  • Adrian

    Reply Reply November 12, 2015

    Hi Cameron,
    I hit a lot of hooks. I have the club head at centre and the ball just in front of that. Like some of your fat and thin thoughts, Ive tried to do the opposite and learn how to hit more fades. I have the ball further forward and go after the ball a bit more aggressively which helps change my swing plane, I guess. Am I right to focus on the opposite in order to stop what I’m doing here?

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply November 12, 2015

      Adrian. In a word YES. You should take some time out and hit lots of fades. Slice the ball. Get it moving to the right, but start it left.

      Don’t let fear hold you back. And while you’re at it chuck in some low, high and mid flighted shots too.

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