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Destin Golf Instructor: Norm Tums Norm Tums
Director of Instruction
Sandestin School of Golf

Monthly Golf Tip

Golf Insider Tips from the Pros

Which is more difficult, a 150 yard shot or a 60 yard shot?  One’s first reaction will most likely be to say the 60 yard shot because it’s shorter.  Now ask yourself, which is more difficult, a full swing or a half-swing?  I believe most will say a full swing is easier to repeat and control your distance.  However, how many of you make a full swing to hit the ball 60 yards.  Ah yes, the inevitable catch 22.  Here’s a couple ways you can practice these shorter shots and improve your score.

For the 15-25 yard shots that require a soft touch, imagine tossing the golf ball under handed to your target a couple times.  Then apply that same tempo in your golf swing.  You will be amazed at well you can control distance.

Once the shot gets longer than 25 yards it becomes difficult to imagine tossing a ball that length.  Two drills you can practice to improve from 25-80 yards are “leap frog” and “the clock”.  The first is just like the school yard game where you try to hit each golf ball a little further than the last; 20 yards, 30 yards, 40 yards, each ball “leaping” past the last.  Once you have reached a full swing, reverse the drill; 80 yards, 70 yards, 60 yards…  The clock drill is a bit more mechanical but develops the same muscle memory for these less than full swing shots.  Imagine you are a clock, your head is 12 and your feet 6.  Now move the club back to 7, 8, 9 and 10.  Once you have a feel for where each point is, begin hitting balls at each time on the clock.  Finally, measure the distance each ball goes from each hour and record.  Next time you have a 60 yard shot you can refer to your “clock” and choose the best hour to hit the ball the correct distance.

With a little practice, you can develop a feel and touch for this difficult part of the game.  But over time, your distance control will improve and your scores will certainly improve as well.

Please contact Norm Tums, lead instructor of the Sandestin Golf Academy at (850) 267-8156 or by email at golfacademy@sandestin.com. For more information about Florida golf getaway packages, call .