Vary your practice for better on-course performance

By Ed Oldham, SwingFix InstructorApril 17, 2013, 1:00 pm

I have golfers often ask me why they don't hit the ball as well on the course as they do on the range.

I think it is easier to get in the groove on the range hitting ball after ball to the same target and with the same club.

If you want to perform better on the course, consider practicing like you play. This means never hitting the same shot twice in a row, whether you are at the range or the short-game area.

The concept is called random practice and it will improve your on-course performance.

At the club where I work, we have target greens every 50 yards from 50 yards to 250 yards. After I have loosened up, I will select clubs for three of the target greens.

I will go through my pre-shot routine and hit a ball to the first target green. I switch clubs and repeat the process hitting a shot to the second target green, and then again switch clubs and hit to the third target green.

Another strategy is to play golf on the range. Pretend that you are playing your favorite course. Hit a tee shot and then based on the result, play an approach shot into a green as you would on the course. If I hit the approach close, I might give myself a birdie. If I miss the green, I'll score a bogey.

When working on my short game, I like to play a game I call scatter.

In our short-game area, we always have nine holes with numbered flags. In scatter, I have five golf balls, each numbered from one to five. I toss the balls in the air and then play them as they lie.

I'll play ball No. 1 to hole No. 1, ball No. 2 to hole No. 2, etc., keeping track of how many I get up and down. After I have played all five, I do it again from a different location, sometimes in the rough or sometimes on a downhill lie, so that it's different every time.

Try it and keep score. Keep track of up and downs or keep the total score. Another way to practice your chipping and putting is to use one ball and play to nine different holes keeping score as you go.

One of my favorite putting games is to set up three tees three feet from the hole around three different holes. I will begin hitting a putt at hole No. 1. If I make it, I move to hole No. 2 and then No. 3.

Once I have made one putt at each hole, I then return to No. 1 attempting a second putt at that hole.

As long as you keep making putts, continue to move forward. The goal is to make nine putts in a row, each putt at a different hole and with a different break. If you make nine in a row, move the tees to four feet and try again.

Random practice is more similar to playing golf than hitting ball after ball with the same club or hitting 25 putts in a row from three feet. Try this type of practice and see if it will improve your on-course performance.

Take an online lesson with Ed Oldham.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: