Tuesday, August 3, 2021

worst habits golfers have when they practice


The 10 worst habits golfers have when they practice

Will Leitch golf lessons.

I’ve recently spent some extra time watching my members and students warm up before they play and practice. It is so interesting to see how some are being efficient with their time while others, to be honest, are probably making themselves worse.

The good news is you don’t necessarily have to have huge chunks of time to improve your game, you just have to be a bit smarter and more calculated.

Here are some of the bad habits I often see on the driving range.

1. No Practice Swings

While everyone is different and some golfers will go through full stretching routines, I think at a minimum you should take a few swings with your club or chosen warm up aid to loosen the body before adding a golf ball. The hitting instinct can make golfers swing harder than they realize and better safe than sorry.

2. Starting With A Full Swing

I often compare starting with a full swing like running before you walk. It can be really helpful to start with a less than full swing with a club with bounce (lob, sand and gap wedges have rounded bottoms that are less likely to dig). Smaller swings are much easier on your body, will help avoid injury and will also help build confidence as smaller swings are typically more consistent.

The reason I suggest most golfers start with a bounce club is because often the first few swings are not to your normal speed and when the club hits the ground, it is more likely to glide than dig and get stuck. I want to reinforce that hitting the ground is a good thing.

3. Not Hitting The Ground With Their Practice Swing

Especially with my ladies, often they don’t hit the ground when taking practice swings. I think all practice swings where the ball is on the ground should hit the ground. If you’re not hitting the ground, you are effectively practicing topping or hitting it thin. Make your practice swings real so you can repeat rather than recreate.

A practice swing can also be an opportunity to exaggerate what you are trying to adjust. You will often see professionals making very exaggerated motions in the effort to make adjustments to their own swing.

4. Not Aiming At A Target

I often see golfers hitting randomly toward the range and not to a target. If I am with a student I watch this very carefully. It’s common for one to ask, “Why did it go way over there?” My most common answer is… you guessed it, “You aimed there.” It can be extremely helpful to have a target so that you learn to aim properly by looking at your target during your setup to see what it does look like when you do aim properly.

5. No Alignment Aids

If you are practicing without a teacher who can watch this for you, it is really important to have some type of alignment aid to be sure you are aiming relative to your target. Time practicing, where you might aim improperly, will often result in another compensating error to get the ball to go to the target you “think” you are aiming toward.

You can apply this to both your full swing and all areas of your short game. With a full swing it can be as simple as using an alignment rod to check club face alignment as well as ball position. For putting it is particularly important on short putts to learn to aim the face well, and there are many training aids out there to help you do this. While at the U.S. Open this past year, it was interesting to see how many PGA Tour players were using alignment stations for putting to be sure to aim their putter faces well.

6. Practicing Without Feedback

Other than what your golf ball may be telling you, it can be productive to practice with feedback to let you know if you are practicing properly. For example, if you tend not to hit your golf ball in the center of the clubface, you could use powder spray on the face to see where impact occurs, or have two tees on either side of the golf ball to see that your club passes through and centered contact is happening. I practiced this last week with one of my students with a pencil. Her arms were contracting on her forward swing and she was hitting the ball on the toe of her wedge. I took a pencil out of my bag and placed it on the ground on her side of the golf ball and told her to miss the pencil. This was instant feedback and something she could do if I wasn’t there with her.

7. Not Having A Swing Thought

On the fun but rare occasion that you are hitting the ball perfectly time after time, just enjoy. But more often than not, most of us mortals have something in our swing we are trying to improve. By having particular goals for your practice and sticking to that topic, you will improve over time. For example, let’s say you have three things you are working on in your swing. If each time you went to practice you divided your practice time into thirds and worked on each for a third of your time, you would improve. Things like adjusting your grip to keep from slicing, for example. When you are working on this fundamental it should be the only one you are judging. Staying focused on a singular task over time will lead to improvement versus not focusing and basically just exercising.

8. Not Learning How YOUR Golf Swing Works

One of the true skills of great instructors is the ability to identify the most basic fundamental being violated that will often fix other issues as a result. Many golfers try to fix themselves and basically just guess how to improve their ball flight, often times without the success. Over time, a golfer can make themselves better with a compensating error, as two wrongs can make a right in golf. The downside to this is that it most likely will not hold up under pressure.

I am a bit vigilant with my students understanding their own cause and effect. I will ask them questions to help them identify the miss and the proper correction, and this allows them to improve themselves as they go. While you may or may not have access to private instruction, there are some affordable golf clinics as well as online platforms that will allow you to take the path of least resistance, fix your fundamentals and better understand your own swing.

9. Using The Same Clubs

When I ask a new student what clubs they normally use to warm up, they tend to use the same clubs each time and this often leads to being more comfortable on the course with these clubs. I suggest odd numbers one time and even the next. For example, one day might be sand wedge, 9-iron, 7-iron, 5-iron or hybrid, 5-wood, driver and the next gap wedge, 8-iron, 6-iron, 4-hybrid, 3-wood and driver. This will allow you to be comfortable with all of your clubs.

10. Not Having A Practice Goal

Often times practice is just random and once you move past skill development, it can be very helpful to add pressure situations like you would experience while on the course to make your practice time more real and help it to transfer to better results while playing.

An example of this that I used with one of my students last week to teach him to better control his distance in putting was to move around the putting green and try to roll his first putt closer to the hole than the length of his putter 18 times in a row. If he was outside of that length, he needed to start over. This helped him to replicate the situations he would have when playing and also apply some pressure later in the exercise, when he probably didn’t want to start all over again.

You may be a golfer who likes to practice, or one who doesn’t, but you certainly can learn from the mistakes made by others. The time that you do spend should be productive and focused and also help to avoid injury.

Better practice leads to better play and lower scores ,and it certainly is a lot more fun to play good golf.

To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.

  1. GOLF's Subpar: Graham DeLaet breaks down his battle with the chipping yips
  2. How To Hit Every Shot: Greenside Chip

Censorship in Art


Tuesday, August 3

F.M. Howarth illustration in <em>Life Magazine</em> (1888). Courtesy of the Art Students League of New York.

F.M. Howarth illustration in Life Magazine (1888). Courtesy of the Art Students League of New York.

1. “The ‘Puritan Gladiator’: 115 Years of Life Drawing and Censorship at the Art Students League of New York

On August 3, 1906, the police raided the Art Students League of New York at the behest of Anthony Comstock, later known “Puritan Gladiator.” The crime? A student publication that included life drawings. On the anniversary of the raid, SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology art history professor Amy Werbel will give a talk about the history of censorship in art, exploring the ways in which community guidelines on social media have given rise to a new generation of “puritan gladiators” who are preventing artists from sharing their work due to nudity.

Price: Free with RSVP
Time: 6 p.m.–7 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone

T H E A R T S T U D E N T S L E A G U E P R E S E N T S The “Puritan Gladiator” and Us: 115 Years of Life Drawing and Censorship at The Art Students League of New York ( L I N K ) Tuesday, August 3, 6 pm – 7 pm, Facebook LIVE F.M. Howarth, Life Magazine, 1888 New York, NY: On August 3, 1906, newspapers across the United States published stories of a surprising police raid at The Art Students League of New York, during which magazines were seized and a young female clerk was arrested and imprisoned. Americans were used to reading about censorship campaigns aimed at sexual health information and pornography, but this time the subject of the raid was a student publication featuring reproductions of life drawings made by League students. The agent who orchestrated the arrest, Anthony Comstock, was an outsized figure later termed the nation’s “Puritan Gladiator.” Today, a new generation of Puritan gladiators is policing the Internet, removing images similar to those published by League students 115 years ago. This coming August 3, Dr. Amy Werbel returns to The League to illuminate new dimensions in a topic the art historian has worked on throughout her career: the history of censorship in fine art. After a year of working remotely and presenting artwork largely online, the topic of censorship has taken on new meaning. As we barrel towards a future in which audiences increasingly engage with art on digital platforms, what can history tell us about the direction of art, censorship, artistic agency, and freedom of expression? Join us for an anniversary discussion of the raid on The League, and the differences and similarities between our past and present. Amy Werbel: Dr. Amy Werbel serves as a Professor of the History of Art at SUNY-Fashion Institute of Technology. For the past twenty years, her research has concentrated on art censorship at the intersections of law, theology, and sexuality. Her most recent book, Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock (Columbia University Press, 2018), was awarded the 2019 Peter C. Rollins Book Prize of the Northeast Popular and American Culture Association. Werbel's previous book publications include Thomas Eakins: Art, Medicine, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia (Yale University Press, 2007). During the academic year, 2021-2022, she will research art censorship in academic art museums as Fellow at the University of California National Center for Free Expression and Civic Engagement. Dr. Werbel is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges (B.A. 1986) and Yale University (Ph.D. 1996), and a two-time Fulbright Scholar, to China (2011-2012) and the United Kingdom (2019-2020). About The Art Students League: The Art Students League of New York has been making high-quality, studio-based art education accessible to all for almost 150 years. Founded in 1875 by a group of independent artists who dreamed of a place where anyone with a passion for art would have the space to make it, today The League hosts over 100 classes, taught in-studio and online. No applications, no prerequisites, and affordable, month-to-month tuition allow students to find their freedom and pursue their artwork free from the constraints of dogma. Our instructors educate students in an environment that values mentorship and collegiality, and centers diverse art-making practices, including painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and assemblage. Our ongoing lineage of accomplished instructors is matched by our legacy of extraordinary students: Artists who have studied or taught at The League include Georgia O'Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Norman Lewis, James Rosenquist, Ai-Weiwei, and many others. www.theartstudentsleague.org/ Media Contacts: Third Eye Tyler Mahowald, 212.355.9009 x 311 tyler@hellothirdeye.com Annabel Toole, 212.355.9009 x 314 annabel@hellothirdeye.com The Art Students League of New York Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, 2nd Floor 215 West 57th Street New York, NY 10019

The “Puritan Gladiator”: 115 Years of Life Drawing and Censorship at The Art Students League of New York


Women’s Olympic golf guide


Ultimate Women’s Olympic golf guide: Key players, storylines, numbers to know, odds and more

lexi thompson at olympics

Lexi Thompson during an Olympics practice round at Kasumigaseki Country Club.


The Kordas. The South Koreans. And one of the greatest stretches of women’s golf of the year.

The women’s Olympic golf tournament begins Wednesday (Tuesday night in the Eastern time zone) at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Japan. Let’s look at the players, the storylines, the numbers to know, the odds, the television broadcast and more.

The players 

Unlike the men, most of the top women are playing in the Games (more on that later), making this event one of several over the next few weeks that will be must watch (more on that later, too). In all, 60 players will be teeing it up, and their selection was based on the Olympic Golf Ranking, which was based on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. The top 15 ranked players qualified (unless their country already had four), and, from there, the field was completed by ranking (though a country could have no more than two players qualify through this route, and if a country qualified two players from the top 15, they could have no more on their team).  

This will be the weirdest week of pro golfers’ careers. For those here in Tokyo, that’s just fine

A look at the top 10: 

1. Nelly Korda, U.S.: The 22-year-old broke through at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship for her first major championship. She’ll join older sister Jessica on the team, and they’ll follow in the footsteps of their mother, Regina, who was a member of the Czechoslovakian women’s tennis team at the 1988 Games.

2. Jin Young Ko, South Korea: Ko lost the No. 1 ranking at the PGA — then won the next week. 

3. Inbee Park, South Korea: Park is the defending gold medalist.

4. Sei Young Kim, South Korea: Kim won the 2020 PGA for her first major. She tied for 25th at the 2016 Games. 

5. Danielle Kang, U.S.: Kang won the first two tournaments after the LPGA Tour’s hiatus last year, and she won the Vare Trophy in 2020 for the Tour’s lowest scoring average (70.08). 

6. Hyo-Joo Kim, South Korea: Kim is now ranked fifth in the world — but No. 4 among South Koreans. 

7. Brooke Henderson, Canada: Henderson won the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open in April, her first victory in nearly two years. She tied for seventh at the 2016 Games. 

8. Yuka Saso, Philippines: The Rory McIlroy fan won the U.S. Women’s Open in June. 

9. Lexi Thompson, U.S.: Thompson is the lone returning American from the 2016 Games. Also playing that year were Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller.

10. Lydia Ko, New Zealand: Ko is the defending silver medalist. In April, at the Lotte Championship, she won for the first time in nearly three years. 

The storylines 

U.S. vs. South Korea 

While no team medal will be awarded, the individual medalists could very well come from two teams — the U.S. and South Korea. The South Koreans are an all-star team — among Jin Young Ko, Park, Sei Young Kim and Hyo-Joo Kim, they have four of the top five spots in the world rankings, but they don’t have the top spot. Heading Team USA is No. 1 Nelly Korda, along with No. 6 Kang, No. 11 Thompson and No. 13 Jessica Korda. Pity poor Min Ji Park of South Korea and American Ally Ewing — they are ranked 15th and 17th in the world, respectively, but did not qualify for their country’s teams.      

Nelly Korda at Olympics
How to watch Olympic women’s golf: Tee times, TV schedule, streaming

Big names mostly intact 

The American and South Korean star power leads us to another storyline — unlike the men, most of the top women in the world will be playing in the Games. Only a few women, including England’s Charley Hull, are out. “I’m sure not everyone’s goal is the Olympics,” Inbee Park said before the PGA. “It really depends on the player, but I think most of the players think that it’s a very special opportunity, and I think I know a lot of Korean girls, I think it’s one of their most-wanted goals to be on the team. For me as well, I’ve achieved a lot in golf, won a lot of majors, won a lot of tournaments, but winning the gold medal was something really different. I think a lot of the players think the same and treat the Olympics the same. I think it’s definitely something that you should experience. It’s something different.”

The schedule 

The Olympic tournament comes two weeks after the Evian Championship. Two weeks after the Olympics is the AIG Women’s Open. And two weeks after the Women’s Open is the Solheim Cup. One Olympic tournament, one international team event and two majors, all over about a seven-week span. Women’s golf fans, rejoice. And grab a seat on the couch.  

The course 

Both the men’s and women’s tournaments will be played at the East Course at Kasumigaseki Country Club. Opened in 1929 under the design of Kinya Fujii and Shirou Akaboshi, it’s been redesigned twice, first by C.H. Alison in 1929, then by Tom and Logan Fazio in 2016. 

A major change during the second redesign? The East Course’s two-green layout was turned into the more traditional one-green design, according to a 2017 Golf Course Architecture story written by Tom Fazio. Two greens are used on courses in Japan to accommodate play during various temperatures.   

Among those who have won at Kasumigaseki? Hideki Matsuyama, 2010 at the Asian Amateur Championship — which afforded him his first Masters invite. 

For a drone tour of the front Kasumigaseki nine, click below:

For a drone tour of the back Kasumigaseki nine, click below:

The numbers to know 


The number of players in the field. There is no cut in the 72-hole event. Should players be tied after the 72 holes, they will play a three-hole playoff, and if it remains tied after that, they will go to sudden death. 


The hour time difference between Tokyo and the Eastern time zone. The tournament runs Wednesday through Saturday — but the Golf Channel broadcasts will start at 6:30 p.m. ET the nights before. 


Returning number of medalists. In 2016, Inbee Park won the gold medal, Lydia Ko the silver and Shanshan Feng bronze. Before that, women’s golf hadn’t been played in the Olympics since 1900. 

The odds 

According to BetMGM, Nelly Korda is the favorite, at 7-1. She’s followed by Inbee Park and Jin Young Ko at 10-1; Kang at 12-1; Hyo Joo Kim and Sei Young Kim at 14-1; Ariya Jutanugarn and Nasa Hataoka at 16-1; Ko at 18-1; and Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee and Patty Tavatanakit at 20-1.

How to watch

Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone, and the Golf Channel’s broadcast schedule reflects that. 

The Olympic TV schedule, with times Eastern:

Tuesday, Aug. 3: 6:30 p.m.-3 a.m., Golf Channel

Wednesday, Aug. 4: 6:30 p.m.-3 a.m., Golf Channel

Thursday, Aug. 5: 6:30 p.m.-3 a.m., Golf Channel

Friday, Aug. 6: 6:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m., Golf Channel

Current Time 0:17
Duration 6:34
Loaded: 17.57%

Off Course with Claude Harmon: The 'genius' of an unorthodox swing

Billy Harmon shares why everyone's swing should be unique to them and why players like Hale Irwin and Lee Trevino succeeded without a prototypical golf swing.


Subscribe To The Magazine

generic profile image

Nick Piastowski