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Thursday, July 2, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Home range: best tips and tricks to keep your golf game in top shape from home

 (Vecteezy illustration)
(Vecteezy illustration)

When the novel coronavirus hit the United States earlier this year, golf courses fell into the same category as many other businesses: non-essential.

The several-week shutdown in Eastern Washington meant golfers either had to jump the border to Idaho, put their clubs in storage, or get a little creative to make sure their swings weren’t set back to square one.

From short-game drills to mental strengthening, here are some of the internet’s best tips and tricks to keep your golf game in top shape from home.

Drills

Putting distance control: Try setting a golf ball on top of a coin and putt a second ball toward the first ball so they touch. Just make sure this doesn’t knock the first ball off of the penny. This is a very challenging exercise, but the idea is to try it from various distances in order to improve distance control. (americangolf.com)

Putting stroke: Drop two phone books on the floor. Position them far enough apart so that your putter head barely squeezes through them. Place a golf ball between the books, assume your putting posture and make your stroke.

Use the books as a visual guide to match the lengths of your backstroke and forward stroke. Matching the lengths ensures a smooth stroke with perfect tempo. (golf-information.info)

Chipping: Place a towel folded to 1-foot by 1-foot about 5 feet away from you.

Then chip golf balls at the towel, trying to land on it to practice carrying your chip shots 5 feet, which is a needed skill if you’re just in the rough and need to land the ball a few feet onto the green.

Work your way back, moving the towel to 10 feet, 15 feet, and so on to get good at distance control. (nickfoygolf.com)

Driving: Many golfers turn their hips and shoulders simultaneously when swinging a club. Too much lower body rotation eliminates torque between the upper and lower body. Adding more backswing torque to your swing generates distance.

Sit down in a chair. Spread your feet out wide and keep them flat on the ground. Hold a 7 or 8 iron out in front of you. Hold the clubhead with one hand and the end of the grip in the other hand. Raise the club over your head and rest the shaft across your neck and shoulders. Turn your shoulders to the right. Hold this position for a few seconds. You should feel a lot of torque along your left side. Then turn your shoulders back and face forward. Relax and repeat. (americangolf.com)

Equipment

Chippo: Once you feel comfortable enough to have some friends or family over to your house, Chippo Golf is a fantastic way to get some practice in while socializing (responsibly, of course). The game is essentially cornhole, but instead of bean bags, players chip balls into one of three holes. ($189.95 on chippogolf.com)

Tour Striker PlaneMate: Any golfer who has opened Instagram in the past year has seen this new tool at least once. Players fasten a belt around their waist, with a cord attached to their hip. The other end of the cord attaches to the shaft of a club. The tension on the cord during the swing promotes a better swing plane. Golfers can even hit balls while using the tool. ($162.99 on tourstriker.com)

Rukket 3-piece Golf Net Bundle: No tip or drill can truly replace the ability to hit a full shot. Rukket’s setup allows players to do just that. Included is a large hitting net (10 feet wide x 7 feet high), Tri-Turf Golf Mat with tee, fairway and rough textures and a carry bag to transport your golf game anywhere you are. ($179.99 on amazon.com)

Mental

World Golf Tour game: Played on your computer browser or iOS/Android device, get your competitive juices flowing again by taking on some of the world’s best courses. From St. Andrews in Scotland to Washington’s own Chambers Bay, this golf game will help you plot out course management, read greens and remind you how frustrating golf can be.

Masters final-round replays on YouTube: The next best thing to playing golf? Taking a seat in your recliner with an Arnold Palmer in hand and watching The Masters. Luckily, every televised final round of the year’s first major (well, most years) can be found at youtube.com/themasters. From Tiger Woods’ 2019 win to Jack Nicklaus’ 1986 triumph, there are more than enough classic Augusta National moments to get ready for this year’s event in November.

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