Improve Your Approach Shot

There is nothing more satisfying than piping a drive down the middle with a slight draw, right?  Now you’re left with 83 yards to a middle pin and you’re already thinking about chalking down a birdie on the score card. As you approach the ball, reality sets back in and you grip the club, take your stance and hit.  You catch it fairly clean and when you get up to the green the ball is 65 feet from the hole. 

What’s wrong with this scenario above? It’s not only that we probably didn’t make birdie, but it’s the fact that we just hit an 83-yard shot as close to the pin as we hit our 7 iron. That shouldn’t be the case. The average proximity to the hole with a wedge from tour players is around 19 feet. The average for a 20 handicap is 83 feet. Honestly, I was most surprised that a 20-handicap hit the ball nearly 100 feet from hole from 100 yards. A 100-yard shot is a shot everyone should be decent at, no matter the handicap.  If you commit to working on this shot, you will notice the good habits you learn will leak into the rest of your game and you will see overall improvement throughout the bag.

TIPS:

1.  Do not hit your wedges 100% unless you absolutely have to. This means swing easier with these shots and grab a stronger lofted club to allow a less tense swing. This lowers the flight slightly and will allow for more control to your yardages

2. Grip down slightly, the shorter the shot the more you should grip down. This will allow you more control over the club now that your hands are closer to the balance point in the wedge. 

3. Be more aggressive and stay committed during the shot. This is accomplished by following tip 2 and allowing yourself to bend at the waist slightly more. Bending will allow us to have a steeper angle of attack to ensure we make solid contact.

Chipping Check Up

I teach roughly 30-40 people a week at our facility and I would say 1 out of every 18 lessons does a student ask for a short game lesson.  Before each session we talk about the students game and I always ask how their putting and chipping is.  Most every time they say it is pretty good and not the problem but yet they are a 10 to 25 handicap!  Let’s get real everyone needs work on their short game and most of us miss more greens than we hit. Even the best in the world only hit 70% of greens in regulation. So how do the pros shoot low scores so consistently? One, their misses are not as bad as ours. Two, they have incredible scrambling skills. My advice to you today is to dedicate more time around the practice green this year and that alone will lower your scores!

Today we are going to cover the basics for chipping around the green.  Specifically, we will touch on the chips that we have plenty of green work with. Typically, we have this shot 6 times a round but only save par maybe twice.  These type of shots may not be memorable to your or your buddies, but your buddies will remember that low score you keep shooting!

DRILL

First, grab your ball and a towel then pick the shot you want to hit. Then select the appropriate wedge to get the job done.  I aways recommend getting the ball on the putting surface ASAP, the longer the ball is in the air the more can go wrong.  How much green you have should influence which wedge and shot to hit. 

Next, let’s get our towel out. Fold the towel and place 2 to 3 inches behind the ball.  The idea here is to not scoop the ball or decelerate. If you hit the towel that means the club was beating the hands at or near impact. The goal is for the wedge to come into contact with ground between towel and ball.  The towel will force you to lead with your hands through the impact zone and steepen your attack angle so that the loft and the bounce of the club can do its job.  Remember, the club doesn’t need our help.

After hitting with the towel behind the ball a few times I want to take this a step further. It is important to narrow your stance and choke down on the club around the green. Also we need to put 70 to 80 percent of your weight on front thigh/foot.  The best way to get this feeling is to put your back leg behind you, make sure your back toe is on ground for balance! This will help you get weight on lead side and keep it there.  This will cause you to steepen you angle of attack and help with deceleration issues.  Remember to check you equipment and make sure you have the tools to best fit your game.  Ask your local golf Professional for more advice on what wedges that best fit your conditions and technique.

Get Your Swing Back For Spring | Driver AOA

To get the most out of your driver you need to have a few key data points nailed down. These data points are launch angle, spin loft, smash factor. We will not talk about smash factor today but launch angle and spin loft have a few things in common and that is Angle of Attack (AOA). AOA influences both and both are critical to getting the most out of your driver.

First let’s talk about launch angle, this is the angle created by AOA and dynamic loft. Dynamic loft is the amount of loft on the club face at impact and is measured relative to the horizon. Dynamic Loft actually has a greater influence on launch angle but can be fixed by simply changing your loft on the driver. Spin Loft is the other critical data point to hitting further drives and is a 3-dimensional angle created by what direction the club is moving and where the club face is pointing at impact. Spins loft is made up of club path, angle of attack, face to target, and dynamic loft which when all are put together create the backspin on the ball. The backspin on the ball will influence overall distance and also influence how much the spin axis affect the curvature.

Today we are just going to talk about one of these data points and that is AOA. To correct your driver’s AOA, this requires a swing change and today I have just the drill for you to get immediate feedback on whether your AOA with your drive is good or not.

DRILL

Use an empty sleeve of balls and place in front of your driver 5 to 8 inches. The closer you set the sleeve to the ball the more difficult the drill and the more you have to hit up on it to miss. This drill is a scare tactic and will force you to get the fill of hitting up on the ball the correct way which will decrease spin rate while increasing your launch angle! Make sure when you are making contact you are hitting the sweet spot or above sweet spot to get most out of this drill. Hitting on the bottom of driver even though your AOA is positive could have a negative affect on spin rate and increase it rather than decreasing.

Get Your Swing Back For Spring | Alignment

The foundation to the golf swing happens before you even pull the trigger on your swing.  It starts with your set up!  There are several things that make up your setup and today we will be discussing alignment.  If you ever watch a tour event and see the pros warming up on the range, you will see that each of them set up some type of alignment station to make sure their alignment is good.  The reason for this is if your alignment is off, then your body will figure out a way to compensate in the swing in attempt to get your ball to the target.  Usually, this compensation goes unnoticed and will affect your game negatively. 

 I like to set up my alignment station using 3 rods, one for the club face, one for my feet and one to help guide my club on takeaway.  You don’t have to have the 3rd rod but I find it helps my students correct any take away issues.  I also recommend that my students use the stick closest to them (foot alignment) to guide their hands on take away as well.  A lot of golfers don’t realize we have a hand plane and club plane in the swing, it is critical to keep both in check. 

Station Set Up

To begin, put the stick furthest from golfer down first and align it to target, this is for your club face alignment.  Make sure this is set up directly at target because this stick determines how well your others are set up.  Now put the foot alignment stick down 15 to 20 inches away from club face alignment rod.  Make sure these sticks are set up parallel to each other which will set your foot alignment rod slightly left of target (neutral).  Thirdly you can put the last rod down in the middle of the two rods on ground in the back 1/3 of your station.  Now you are all set to practice on a neutral alignment station.  Work on this until it feels natural to you and then you’re ready for outdoor play.

May Bonuses

We’re bringing you new giveaways just for playing and the HIO bonus is making a comeback! Read more details below.

5/2 -6/5

We’ll be doing weekly giveaways, so make sure to play in a cash tournament to get automatically entered to win a $50 gift card to Stance.

5/2 – 6/5

Score $100 of new gear from Pins & Aces just for playing! Play in any cash or free tournament and you’re automatically entered to win. 

HOLE IN ONE BONUS

Secure an extra $100 for sinking an ace at the Juniper Weekly. 

5/2 – 6/5

PINSEEKER ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP

PinSeeker, a first of its kind app for golf lovers to compete and make a difference, has partnered with Sports reporter Amanda (Balionis) Renner and will host a tournament that benefits her charity, Puppies & Golf on Wednesday, May 11th in Plano.  

PinSeeker is an app that provides access to online closest-to-the-pin tournaments benefiting charities.  Unlike traditional golf tournaments, PinSeeker uses networked golf simulators to open up the tournaments to anyone in the world.  Today, it is played on simulators across North America where golfers can compete and win cash in real-time.

The app is now on E6 connect software that is utilized on many different simulator devices and indoor golf facilities. To get started, simply download the app, select your tournament, and swing at a compatible golf simulator.  View the real time leaderboard as you take your swings, and join the over 2,300 golfers winning cash each week.  Prizes are awarded down the leaderboard and all tournaments highlight the charity that benefits each time.

PinSeeker has already donated over $125,000 to charities since the launch in August 2021, supporting their mission to build a global network of golfers, inspiring players to be both competitive and socially impactful.

“We are thrilled to partner with Amanda because she aligns seamlessly with our team and our vision. I don’t think there is anyone in golf, maybe anywhere, that doesn’t like Amanda and appreciate her outstanding personality.” said PinSeeker Founder, Sean Breslin. “With such a rich history and legacy as a sport, we believe we can be a key ingredient of the evolution of golf in the virtual world while simultaneously making a social impact.”

On May 11th, PinSeeker and Amanda will be on site at the PGA Tour SuperStore in Plano (8700 Preston Road, Suite 100) competing in several tournaments that can be played throughout the week benefitting Puppies & Golf.  There will be multiple tournaments that day and a puppy adoption drive on-site through Dallas Pets Alive, where people can play virtually and still compete against Amanda to support the cause.  On top of typical cash payouts in the tournament, three players will each win a $100 PGA TSS gift card and are automatically entered to win by just playing.  Total cash available to win that week is $4,175 with $500 donated to Puppies & Golf.

“PinSeeker is one of those things where you think, how did this not exist before?”, says Amanda. “I’m excited and honored to work together and partner across our shared love for competitive golf and giving back to causes that make a difference.”
For more information on PinSeeker or to download the app, visit https://pinseekergame.com/.

Media Contact:

Lynsey Trager

[email protected]

859.421.0423

Get Your Swing Back For Spring | IRON AOA

Angle of attack (AOA) is one of those data points people ignore and take for granted due to they just don’t understand how it really works and what other areas it affects in the outcome of your golf shots.  A lot of your launch monitors do not read this data and a lot that do don’t do a very good job.  This is why I wanted to bring you a video with a simple drill that will keep your AOA in check.

First let’s talk about what AOA is.  AOA is the angle created by the direction the club is moving relative to the horizon (the ground) at impact.  Sounds simple but if you really take a deep dive into AOA and the ripple effects of AOA you will see it can be complex and is a critical data point that dictates start direction and curvature of the golf ball.  AOA help makes up something called the D-plane which is a whole other article.  Today I just want you to understand what is AOA and why it is important with your Irons to hit down.

If your AOA is poor then it will be virtually impossible to reach the goal of improving.  The reason is simple, the golf club is designed for you to hit down on the ball and to let the natural loft to get ball in the air.  The golf club does not need your help getting airborne.  Even the bottom of the club has something called bounce to help you hit down on the ball and the club not get stuck!   So understanding that a steeper attack is actually what clubs are designed for us to do could just be the ticket to you hitting better iron shots.  I have made a quick video which will give you immediate feedback on whether your AOA is ready for the course or not!  

For this drill all you need is some electrical tape or painters tape a golf ball and golf club.  I recommend starting with a 9 or 8 iron.   Put a small piece of tape in front of the golf ball about 3 to 4 inches, the further you put the tape the hard the drill is and the more down you will have to hit to complete drill correctly.  If you are doing drill outdoors substitute a tee for the tape and stick in the ground in front of ball.  Once you get drill set up you are ready!  This is a great way to ensure your ball striking stays at its best!

April Bonuses

April is here and bringing the 🔥, check out everything new coming to PinSeeker this month!

  • Ladies Only Free Tournament – You asked, we answered. Starting competing against other women in the Ladies Only Tournament on 4/11 at Pine Canyon from 111 yds for a chance at PinSeeker swag! The tournament ends on 4/17/22.
  • Instagram ONLY Giveaway with TeeBox Coffee – Follow @PinSeeker_Game on Instagram for your chance to enter and win.

DICKS SPORTING GOODS GIFT CARD

4/4 – 5/1 | WIN $50 TO DICKS SPORTING GOODS

Play in any cash tournament and you’re automatically entered to win! We’ll choose winners weekly.

STITCH GIFT CARD

4/4 – 5/1 | WIN $100 TO STITCH

Each week we will be giving out a gift card just for playing. A new winner will be chosen weekly to up their game with help from Stitch.


Product Updates

We’re excited to bring you up to speed on some of the items you have been requesting within the PinSeeker experience. Below is an update on our product roadmap:

Feature – E6 CONNECT iOS Compatibility 📱📱

One of the most requested features is finally here. For the past 4 weeks we have been testing PinSeeker being enabled in the iOS version of E6Connect. This is slated to launch in early April. Thank you for your patience getting this launch out to your mobile devices!

ETA: Early April

Feature – Tournament Flighting 🥇🥈🥉

While anyone can win in a closest-to-the-pin competition it’s obvious that win percentage as a better golfer is higher. We have been collecting data on every shot and are crafting a dynamic handicapping system that will flight tournaments appropriately. This feature will release with a rolling update in this order:

Algorithm: We have implemented an algorithm which is calculating a PinSeeker skill index which ranges from 1-36. New players will start with an index of 19. Your skill index will be visible in your profile.

Tournaments: Tournaments will be allocated across two flights initially: Champions & Rookies. We will eventually roll out two additional flights for a total of four.

New Tournament Homepage: The flighted tournaments will lead to a completely new way to visualize and select tournaments.

We are currently running Beta tournaments leveraging flighted tournaments giving some of you an early look.

ETA: Mid-May Full Release

Feature – eWallet 💸

Over the past couple of months, you may have noticed a lot of enhancements around our payment and payout processes. This is all geared to get us ready to turn on eWallet for our US players. We know how many people have requested this and we are happy to say we are almost ready for release.

Update: Many of you are aware we broke the payments experience up into multiple smaller enhancements. The last enhancement with full eWallet capability is in its last phases of testing and will be released to a beta group in mid May.

ETA: Mid May release

March Tournament Bonuses

We’re putting a new meaning to March Madness, we’ve revamped our tournament lineup and brought you new weekly giveaways.

  • $1 Entry Dailies – A new tournament every single day with an entry fee of just $1.
  • One Shot – A new tournament where the entry fee is just $1 and you get one shot at a winner takes all purse of $100.
  • These are just the highlights, check out the rest of the updates below. All new tournaments have our logo beside them.

IMPERIAL HEADWEAR GIFT CARD

3/7-3/27 | WIN $50 TO IMPERIAL HEADWEAR

Play in any cash tournament and you’re automatically entered to win! We’ll choose winners weekly.

RHOBACK GIFT CARD

3/7 – 3/27 | WIN $100 TO RHOBACK

Each week we will be giving out a gift card just for playing. A new winner will be chosen weekly to up their wardrobe at Rhoback.


Not only do we have some great bonuses, but, we’re dedicating all of our tournaments to support Ukraine. The tournaments will be split between United Help Ukraine and Save The Children.

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