Beginner

Award-Winning Advice on Playing Better Golf in 2023

By Vinnie Manginelli, PGA
Published on
Cheryl Anderson, PGA / LPGA, teaches a drill at PGA Frisco.

Cheryl Anderson, PGA / LPGA, teaches a drill at PGA Frisco.

The PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit kicks off today ahead of the 2023 PGA Show in Orlando, with some of the most innovative experts in the business sharing their extensive knowledge of the golf swing and coaching.
Cheryl Anderson, the PGA/LPGA Director of Instruction at the Mike Bender Golf Academy in Florida, is one of those leaders who presented, sharing plenty of tips on how she teaches — and it can help you immediately.
Cheryl Anderson, PGA / LPGA, on set at the Golf Channel.
Cheryl Anderson, PGA / LPGA, on set at the Golf Channel.
What follows are tips from Anderson broken down into six categories, each of which include priceless advice and drills that will lead to you improving this season.

Practice

Implement methods of obtaining feedback, like video, training aid and drills. Exaggerate the motion of your golf swing to initiate actual change.
Make the most out of your time on the range by focusing on your goals and the drills that will help you achieve them.
Make the most out of your time on the range by focusing on your goals and the drills that will help you achieve them.
  • Drill No. 1: Aim and fire. On the range, look out to poles or targets. Aim 6-8 paces out of the target line, and work on starting the ball right of the pole/target to encourage a draw ball flight or left of it for a fade.
  • Drill No. 2: Leave a Tee/Take a Tee. Put a tee on the ground behind the ball and a tee in the ground in front of it. Contact the ball while missing the first tee, but extending your swing to strike the second tee. Increase your arc width, improve your ball position and stop topping the golf ball.  

Instruction

Working with a PGA or LPGA Professional can elevate anyone’s golf game. Price and time constraints are often barriers to golfers making the commitment, however.
Instruction that fits YOU is key to getting better out on the course.
Instruction that fits YOU is key to getting better out on the course.
  • Look for a sampler lesson or new student assessment — Many opportunities will be offered at a discount; some may be complimentary.
  • Pursue clinics that offer a social atmosphere and are more cost-effective.
  • Always seek a coach who understands your goals and will formulate a personal progress plan that considers your available time for lessons and practice in between sessions. 

Warm-Up

Too many golfers are getting out of the car and heading to the first tee without a proper warm-up. Not only is this detrimental to your body, but to your round of golf, because now the first quarter of your round is serving as your warm-up time.
David Donatucci works with Juniors on exercises during a Youth Clinic.
David Donatucci works with Juniors on exercises during a Youth Clinic.
  • Swing an Orange Whip or comparable weighted device — even two clubs together — in the parking lot before heading to the range if short on time.
  • For a more appropriate warm-up, stretch your body from the bottom up using balance and rotation drills. Ensure an adequate turn to the right with multiple reps, and then to the left. The former represents the backswing and the latter the downswing and follow-through. 
  • Hit at least 15-20 balls on the range to further stretch and groove your swing. Anderson says her sequence is pitching wedge, 8-iron, hybrid, driver. 

Play

Don’t over-analyze the physical — work on your mental focus and patience instead. Anderson tells her students that 25 percent of their shots will be bad, 25 percent will be great, and 50 percent will be average. If you get off to a bad start, the odds say that you’ve simply used some of your bad shots early (perhaps that’s due to an inadequate warm-up session).
There's nothing like a fun day out on the course.
There's nothing like a fun day out on the course.
The average shots and the good shots are in you, and they will come out if you:
  • Stay positive.
  • Don’t worry.
  • Don’t get anxious.
  • Avoid the downward spiral!
Plan for a good shot and accept your results.

Equipment

No matter what stage of the game you’re in or your skill level, see your local PGA Professional to get custom fit. 
Having a properly fitting set of clubs is vital to good play.
Having a properly fitting set of clubs is vital to good play.
A good set of clubs should last a frequent golfer at least five years, unless:
  • Your swing has changed.
  • Your body has changed.

Fitness

Caring for your body and mind is critical to keep your ability to get out on the course and play.
Steve Buzza, PGA, teaches a fitness class to golfers.
Steve Buzza, PGA, teaches a fitness class to golfers.
Anderson says that she is seeing older golfers in their 80s still hitting the ball with power and authority. You have to keep building muscles, especially as you get older. Try:
  • Working out three days per week.
  • Developing some weight training to help you get stronger.
  • Walking when you play for a good workout.
  • Thinking that fitness helps you mentally, as much as physically.    

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