Golf Tips


Burke Back-Saver Golfball Retriever

Putting can be a real pain in the … back. 

All that bending over to get your ball out of the hole after three or four-putting is enough to make senior golfers cry.

Many of us have opted to buy those new-fangled ball-retrievers to get the ball from the hole. But I like the old cheap rubber device that went over the handle of the club; that is before putters got wider grips. So now more expensive retrievers have to be bought.

But not me! I’m the ultimate cheapskate. I kept my cheap rubber ball retriever and put it on my putting blade! I call it the “Burke Back-Saver.”

You heard me right. I tried to get it over the new larger grips with no success. So after several failed attempts, I looked at the putter blade and said, “Hmmm?”

Okay, I admit. It isn’t pretty. But it does the job and, believe it or not, the rubber doesn’t interfere with my putting stroke.

And here’s an added benefit: You know how those rubber ball retriever devices you placed over the putter grip always came loose or got lost because you had to shove the putter into your golf bag, grip first? Well, doing it my way – putting the rubber device on the far end of the putter blade – keeps the blade end up and away from trouble.

Also, doing it my way, you don’t have to flip your putter club upside down to get the ball out of the hole. You simply jab the blade into the cup and out comes your ball!

I admit it took some muscle to get the neck of the rubber device over the far end of the putter blade. Finally, I split it just a little and it slid over the blade end just fine. And guess what? That was over six months ago, and my “Burke Back-Saver” is still intact and working fine. 

I believe my putting has even improved because of this invention. No more pain!

Now here’s another way to save your back:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold your putter with both hands above your head. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground while keeping the putter above your head and your heels planted firmly on the ground. Hold for a moment and then slowly stand up.

Repeat this overhead deep squat 6 to 8 times.

You can also place the putter behind your back and roll the club up and down, massaging your back. This is a great way to get the kinks out.

So now you have no excuses for not breaking 90.

Tips On How To Get More Distance

Maximize coil and keep body relaxed with a light grip.

At address, keep most of your weight on right foot.

Widen your stance, with toes pointed out.

Tee ball high and hit it with an ascending blow.

Use a strong grip and light grip pressure.

Waggle to relax muscles and rehearse hinging of right wrist.

Make a wide arc and strive for maximum extension.

Maximize coil and get left shoulder and hip behind ball on backswing.

To maximize coil, don’t lift left foot on backswing.

Hinge wrists fully at top of backswing.

Be sure to complete the backswing to put the club in the right position.

Don’t let your left arm bend at the top of the backswing.

Start your downswing by pointing the butt end of the club toward the ball.

Relax arms, make a shallow approach, delay turning of shoulders on downswing, let arms extend and pull shoulders into finish.

Accelerate the club slowly on downswing.

Rotate shaft through impact.

Try to generate maximum clubhead speed when the clubhead passes the ball, not at or before impact.

Keep head and upper body behind ball throughout swing.

Try to keep your right heel on the ground longer on downswing to help keep your body back.

Hit the ball on the upswing.

Throughout the swing, the only pressure point in your grip should be at the point where the lower pad of your right thumb meets the knuckle of your left thumb.

Tips On Good Chips and Pitches

Let left arm control club with little wrist action.

Choke down on the club an inch or two for chips.

Use a narrow, open stance. Open the clubface and keep it square to the target.

Use the same basic swing for a chip and pitch.

For chips, stand tall and raise your hands to get the heel of the club up and the toe down. This promotes crisp shots.

Play ball off right foot, angle shaft toward target, open stance, let shoulders control swing, keep left arm against left side, let clubhead swing to left of target after impact.

Don't rush the downswing.

Make sure the shaft is leaning toward the target at impact.

To avoid hitting chips and pitches fat: don’t sole the club at address.

Use an open, narrow stance.

Keep arms connected to chest and rotate body rather than sliding hips laterally and jabbing at the ball with your hands.

Focus eyes on front of ball, with weight on front foot and wrists ahead of ball at impact.

Be sure to make a complete follow-through.

Use arm and shoulder swing, not hands, for short chips.

Let gravity do most of the work on downswing.

Let left arm control club throughout swing with little wrist action.

Play ball back in stance with hands and weight towards target.

For high pitches, start downswing with legs.

Open stance, square shoulders. Club should go straight back and through. Rock (like a clothes hanger on a hook), don’t turn shoulders. Let arms drop to start downswing.

Use a light grip.

Clubhead should trail, not lead, hands and wrists at impact.

Use inside out swingpath and be sure to pivot.

To avoid "scooping" chips and pitches, keep wrists ahead of ball at impact.

In pitches, ball and shaft should be centered and weight should be divided evenly.

For distance control, don’t let right hand take control of clubhead speed.

Control the distance on short shots by limiting your backswing.

To avoid thin chips, don’t try to help the ball into the air.

Use a low running shot when conditions permit for more control.

For a low running chip, use a very narrow stance, play ball off right foot, keep hands ahead of ball, and swing straight back and through with firm hands. Keep your hands low at the finish.

For a short, pop chip, use an open and narrow stance, an open clubface, play the ball in the middle, hit ball from out to in. Don’t flip wrists.

When chipping, keep butt of club pointed at belt buckle.

For short shots, move feet closer together and take shallow divots.

Keep lower body still on short chips just off the green.

For long chips, keep lower body relaxed and let it react naturally to actions of arms and upper body. Start downswing by shifting knees toward target.

To improve your rhythm, make your backswing and forward swing equal in length.

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