These are 2 of my favorite no-fuss tips to help every golfer

A rolling stone gathers no moss, right?  

That has long been a mantra of mine and with the wintery December weather slowing golf lessons down. I’ve been trying to help with this by publishing daily “Advent Golf Tips” on my “On the Mark” PGA TOUR podcast, which I’d love for you to check out.

It has been fun to rack my brain for quick, helpful nuggets, organize my thoughts and then verbalize them in a way that our listeners can comprehend the tips and parlay them into improved golf scores. 

This daily endeavor has been enlightening in a way as my research of all of my lesson notes and experiences have uncovered insights that have long been “forgotten”.

In itself, that is a lesson and it reminds me of a quote by Bobby Jones: “One reason golf is such an exasperating game is that a thing we learned is so easily forgotten, and we find ourselves struggling year after year with faults we had discovered and corrected time and again.”

All too often, we learn something simple, that has a tremendous impact on our game, and then that thing gets forgotten and replaced by the newest shiny thing.  It is a golfing roundabout that everybody, at every level of the game, spends too much time on, and it really shouldn’t be the case.  

Anyhow, more about that at another time.  How about I share some of my Advent “gifts” for those of you that haven’t caught the podcasts?

1. Focus on the front dimple

This was a tip I learned from Gary Player, and it is guaranteed to shore up contact off adverse lies like hardpans, fairway bunkers, or a tight lies in the fairway.

It is as simple as training your field of vision on a dimple on the front side (target side) of the golf ball and keeping it there throughout the backswing and downswing.

This move will help to land the club a little later in the swing, essentially promoting ball-first contact. The reason being that with your eyes fixed on the front of the ball, your pivot is likely to be more centralized and that knocks on to a base of the swing arc that tends more toward the front side of your stance.  It sounds trite, but try it.  To this day I still use it out of fairway bunkers.

2. Change shot shape with your grip pressure

This used to be a secret I shared with very few of my lessons. It’s not so secret anymore now, but the world needs to know it, because it is an unreal way to eliminate one side of the target.

Basically, you can slow, or accelerate, the toe of the golf club through impact by just accentuating, or reducing, the pressure in your fingers on the handle of the club.  Slowing the toe will keep the face in a more “open” attitude and accelerating the toe will “close” the face more through impact.

Right-handers (Lefties do the opposite), to eliminate the left-side of the target, grip more tightly with the last three fingers on your Left Hand, i.e., the Pinkie, the Ring Finger and the Middle finger.  Then soften the pressure in the two middle fingers on your Right Hand, those being the Middle Finger and the Ring Finger.  Retain those pressure relationships from address through the finish of your swing and you will sense that the face is slower to close through impact.  Fiddle with the pressure amounts too – if you really want to eliminate the left side, grip super tightly with those last three fingers.

Conversely, to make it harder for the ball to go to the right, grip tightly with your Right Hand and lightly with your Left Hand.

I know it sounds too good to be true, but try it… indeed, I have been hit up on Social Media by a bunch of folks who heard this tip and have been shocked (positively) at the results.

Happy Advent Season!

NEWSLETTER Contributor

On-course announcer and analyst Mark Immelman is passionate about the game of golf. As a decorated instructor, award-winning NCAA college golf coach, and an accomplished golfer, Mark brings a robust knowledge and vast experience to his role as a television broadcaster and golf instructor. He is currently a Golf Analyst for CBS Sports HQ, and an Analyst and On-course Announcer for CBS Sports and Golf on CBS. He currently also serves as a Studio Analyst and an On-course Announcer for PGA TOUR Live  for PGA TOUR Live.

The older brother to 2008 Masters Champion, Trevor Immelman, Mark grew up in Somerset West, South Africa. After a successful amateur career in South Africa he was offered a golf scholarship to Columbus State University (Columbus , GA). He enjoyed a prolific collegiate tenure highlighted by his four-time All-America selections, two-time Academic All-America awards, and two NCAA Div. II National Championship victories. After graduation, Mark had a short season as a playing professional, but quickly turned his attention to his true passion – golf teaching.

As a golf instructor, Mark believes in cultivating ability and talent by providing comprehensive, holistic golf instruction that is easily understandable and of the highest quality to golfers of all abilities and skill levels. His passionate approach and keen knowledge of the game have led to him being a sought-after mind by leading Professional and Amateur golfers alike. Through his career he has taught and/or consulted to PGA TOUR and European Tour professionals and tournament winners such as: Larry Mize, Loren Roberts, Trevor Immelman, Scott Brown, Patton Kizzire, Louis Oosthuizen and Will Wilcox. He has been recognized as one of “Golf Digest’s Top 20 Instructors Under 40”, Golf Digest’s “Best Teachers in the State of Georgia” and Georgia Trend Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40 – Georgia’s Best and Brightest”.

As a NCAA College Coach at Columbus State University (since 2001) Mark continues to coach the Columbus State Men’s Golf Team and his program is a perennial contender for Conference and National Titles. He is a two-time NCAA Div. II Atlantic/Southeast Region Coach of the Year, two-time Peachbelt Conference Coach of the Year, and the 2009 NCAA Div. II National Coach of the Year.

In 2019 Mark was selected as Captain and Coach of the (Arnold) Palmer Cup International Team. His team triumphed over the United States Team in the Palmer Cup Matches held at The Alotian Club outside of Little Rock, AR.

Mark’s additional broadcast duties include being a guest analyst on the CBS Sports “First Cut Podcast”. CBS Sports also uses Mark’s unique voice for audio and promotional PGA TOUR advertisements and promotional reads.

He has also served a 6-year tenure as a Play-by-Play Announcer for Sirius/XM PGA TOUR Radio.

Additionally, Mark hosts “On the Mark”, a PGA TOUR Podcast, which to date has been downloaded more than 3 million times in more than 125 countries.

He has also written golf instructional columns and articles for Golf Digest SA, Golf Digest USA and is currently penning instructional pieces for Golf Magazine. As an author, Mark has published two e-Books on golf instruction: “Scandalously SImple – The Easy Way to Accurate Golf Shots” and “Golf is a Game of Recovery”.

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