Eddie Pepperell: My 10 Best Golf Tips
British Masters champion Eddie Pepperell offers us his 10 best golf tips.
The Englishman explains to us 10 great keys to playing better golf, from bunker tips to strategy to holing out.
Related: Eddie Pepperell What’s in the bag?
It’s all in set up. Amateurs try to help get the ball up when 60 degrees of loft is more than enough to get the ball out of the bunker. You need to work out how to return the club to the ball correctly. This is where I would use a set up that is against my natural instincts. Stand wider, handle behind the centre so it wouldn’t be in front so you are using the bounce. You don’t want the leading edge driving into the bunker. You can get away with it in chipping and pitching, almost impossible to work out of a bunker. Also keep the speed up, focus on the ball, don’t try to help it up.
There can be so many reasons for the slice, but it is often a reflection of a poor set up. If it were me and I were slicing, I would say imagine there is a wall on the left side so you can’t swing left. If you’re slicing, you’re swinging on top of the ball so you need to imagine there’s something in the way stopping you so you have to swing more out at the ball.
The best thing I could say, and I heard this from Rickie Fowler, is that he reads the last part of the putt first. So look at the last 3ft of the putt and ask ‘What’s it going to do at the hole as the ball is dying of speed?’ and then work your way back because it really helps you to visualise the putt.
Something that amateurs are useless at. If you are focused on being a serious golfer and you want to get your handicap down then just by applying some pretty simple course management strategies, taking trouble out play you know, your handicap will come down because you’ll be in less trouble. Having said that, golf for many people is a hobby so you want to have fun. You should be out there trying to drive par-4s, trying to take on the crazy shot because that’s the sort of stuff you’re going to talk about in the pub that night with your friends. If you want a lower score then you can always manage your ball better to avoid being in trouble. Keep the ball in play is the simplest strategy.
I’ve always been a ‘ball-back, hands forward’ type of chipper but I wouldn’t recommend that. I watch Sergio and Rickie Fowler chip because they chip that way and very well too. If you want to watch the perfect chipper, watch Luke Donald’s masterclasses on YouTube. They’re awesome, just watch that.
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Keep your eyes still, I always think is a good one. Set up is so important, if you’re setting up well to a putter and the ball your short putting, I don’t think, will ever be bad. Setting up correctly, making sure your face alignment is pretty good using a simple mirror. We all have them out here just to make sure our eyes are in the right spot, nothing crazy is going on with the ball position, eyes still and your short putting will be pretty good.
The most obvious one is you’ve got to hit the ball harder. If you want to hit it further you’ve got to swing it harder. Or, you go about changing your shape. So for me I don’t hit the ball very far at all relative to some of the guys out here but I play with a fade that probably spins a little bit more than the Tour average. If I wanted to, if I was looking to hit the ball further, I would try and draw it and take the spin down. I’m not trying to swing it harder I’m just trying to swing it differently and I know the ball flight laws will give me more eventual distance.
The number one factor when it comes to striking the ball, not the direction of the ball, is a reflection of the sequencing of your golf swing so the order of which things are moving. You can tell when the top players are playing well and when they’re not playing well because their swing will appear differently on the camera because things will be moving in a slightly different order. You don’t want your body to out-move your arms, likewise you don’t want your arms to out-race your body. It’s all got to be in the correct order. I would say find something that can help you improve your sequencing. There’s things I’ve used in the past like the orange whippy ball which is good for that because you feel the weight so you learn to wait for the weight, and that’s important because you don’t want to out-rush the clubhead. Imagine there’s a brick wall and you want to be hitting the brick wall with the clubface as square as possible, you can’t do that with poor sequencing.
Spin is pure friction. You want to be striking the ball out of the middle of the face with the angle of attack slightly down although you can create spin on a neutral strike but you want to be hitting a little bit down. But you want to make sure that face is square to the ball, you don’t want to be glancing sideways. Some people try to spin by fading it but that’s not the spin you want. You want a straight flight with nice spin and to do that is going to require a square face onto the ball.
I’ll hit 100 balls a day usually when I practice. Of that 100, at least 60 are drills. Of the 50 balls I’d hit in a warm up, only 20 would be proper shots.