Game Improvement Tips

with Tim Bell

From mastering the fundamentals of the swing to refining your short game techniques, our tips are designed to cater to golfers of all levels. Whether you're a beginner looking to develop a solid foundation or a seasoned player aiming to fine-tune your skills, our weekly tips will provide actionable advice to help you achieve your goals. Join us as we embark on this journey together to unlock your full potential and elevate your golfing experience.

Tim Bell was born in Baltimore, MD, and moved to the valley in 1991. He is a self-taught golfer who started playing his freshman year in high school. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Systems Engineering. However, his passion for the game led him to pursue a career in the golf industry.

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Don’t Flip your Wrists at Impact

Don't Flip your wrists at impact

These drills will train your hands to remain relatively quiet during your chip shots.

Drill #1

  1. A good drill to keep the hands and wrists more passive is to place an alignment stick alongside the shaft of the club and tucked under your left armpit.
  2. Take a normal address position for chipping and swing through.
  3. As you get to impact and post impact, the alignment stick will give feedback with the upper body if you flip your wrists.

Don’t flip your wrists at impact

Drill #2

  1. Alternatively, instead an alignment stick, don't hold the club by the grip like you normally would hold it with your hands way down the shaft, just above the clubhead.
  2. Hold the club in your hands making sure the shaft of the club is off to your left side without touching your body.
  3. Making practice swings with only the rotation of your shoulders, do not break your wrists.
  4. Since the shaft of your club will be sticking out to your left side if you are successful in keeping your hands really quiet the shaft of your club will remain clear in front of you, even during your follow through.
  5. If you are breaking your wrists at impact or at the follow through the shaft of your club will strike your side.

Try these drills the next time you are out practicing or just in the comfort of you home.

Breaking your wrists while chipping in golf can significantly affect the accuracy and consistency of your shots. Here’s why it’s important not to break your wrists:

  1. Consistency: Keeping your wrists firm and stable during the chipping motion helps maintain consistency in your swing. Breaking your wrists can introduce variability, leading to unpredictable outcomes.
  2. Control: Your wrists play a crucial role in controlling the clubface angle at impact. Breaking your wrists can cause the clubface to open or close unexpectedly, resulting in off-target shots.
  3. Power: While chipping doesn’t require as much power as a full swing, maintaining wrist stability allows you to transfer energy efficiently from your body to the clubhead. Breaking your wrists can diminish the power and distance of your shots.
  4. Contact: Keeping your wrists firm helps ensure crisp contact with the ball. Breaking your wrists prematurely can cause thin or fat shots, where you either hit the ball too high on the clubface or hit the ground before making contact with the ball.
  5. Controlled Loft: Maintaining a consistent loft angle on the clubface is essential for controlling the trajectory and distance of your chip shots. Breaking your wrists can alter the loft angle, leading to inconsistent results.

Overall, by keeping your wrists firm and stable during chipping, you can improve your control, consistency, and accuracy, ultimately helping you become a more proficient golfer around the greens.


View two drills that will help improve your chipping; hover on the image to flip to the second drill.

Swing Drill

5 Swing Drills For Correct Impact

  1. Alignment Stick Drill:
    • Place an alignment stick on the ground parallel to your target line during setup.
    • Another alignment stick should be perpendicular, forming a “T” shape with the first stick, just outside the ball.
    • Practice your swings, ensuring that the club face aligns with the target stick at impact. This helps in understanding and correcting the club face angle.
  2. Impact Bag Drill:
    • Set up an impact bag or a heavy bag in place of the golf ball.
    • Make swings with the goal of hitting the bag with a square club face.
    • Focus on a smooth transition from the backswing to impact, making sure the hands lead the club head.
  3. Two-Tee Drill:
    • Place two tees in the ground about 6 inches apart on the target line.
    • The goal is to make swings without hitting the tees. If your club face is open or closed, you’ll likely make contact with one of the tees.
    • This drill encourages a square club face at impact and promotes a more accurate swing path.
  4. Club Face Rotation Drill:
    • Take your normal address position and start your backswing.
    • When you reach the top of your backswing, pause and check the position of your club face. It should be parallel to your spine angle.
    • Practice this pause-and-check motion to develop a sense of where the club face is throughout the swing.
  5. Slow-Motion Swing Drill:
    • Make slow-motion swings, emphasizing a smooth transition from backswing to downswing.
    • Pay close attention to the position of the club face during the entire motion.
    • Gradually increase the speed while maintaining control and a square club face.

Remember, these drills are meant to be practiced regularly for improvement. It’s also beneficial to combine them with video analysis or feedback from a golf professional to ensure you’re making progress in achieving a square club face at impact. Consistent practice and feedback will help you develop muscle memory and a more reliable golf swing.

Achieving a correct impact in your golf shot is crucial for achieving distance, accuracy, and consistency. Here are some key elements to focus on to ensure a proper impact position:

  1. Alignment: Make sure your body and clubface are aligned properly with your target at address. This includes your feet, hips, shoulders, and clubface.

  2. Ball Position: Position the golf ball correctly in your stance. For most shots with irons, the ball should be positioned slightly ahead of center, while for driver shots, it should be aligned with the inside of your lead heel.

  3. Weight Transfer: Shift your weight onto your lead foot (left foot for right-handed golfers) during the downswing. This promotes a downward strike on the ball and helps ensure solid contact.

  4. Square Clubface: Aim to have the clubface square (perpendicular to the target line) at impact. This ensures that the clubface is making flush contact with the ball, promoting straighter shots.

  5. Shaft Lean: With irons and wedges, there should be a slight forward lean of the shaft at impact, meaning the hands are ahead of the clubhead. This helps ensure a descending blow, crisp contact, and proper compression of the ball.

  6. Flat Left Wrist: Maintain a flat left wrist (for right-handed golfers) at impact. This helps control the clubface and ensures a solid strike on the ball.

  7. Extension Through Impact: Maintain extension through the arms and body as you make contact with the ball. Avoid early release or scooping of the clubhead, as this can result in thin or topped shots.

  8. Follow Through: Complete your swing with a balanced and controlled follow-through. Your body should rotate fully toward the target, with the club finishing high and over your lead shoulder.

Practicing these fundamentals consistently will help you achieve a correct impact position and improve the quality of your golf shots. It’s also beneficial to seek feedback from a qualified instructor to fine-tune your technique and address any specific issues in your swing.

Correct Release

Don't Flip your wrists at impact

The phrase "Correct release at impact" in golf refers to the proper execution of the release of the clubhead through the impact zone during a golf swing. The release is a crucial aspect of the golf swing, and it involves the timing and movement of the golfer's hands, wrists, and forearms.

Getting the correct shaft lean at impact is going to determine how the "bounce" of the club interacts with the ground and will determine quality of strike. I like to think of the correct set up is when the top of the handle points at the belt loop left of your belt buckle and place the ball into the center of my feet. This creates the correct and natural amount of shaft lean for your clubhead and sets the bounce of the club correctly. Here is another great drill to help with the proper sequence.

Don’t flip your wrists at impact

Cross Handed Drill:

Switch your hands around on the grip so right hand is at the top then take your thumb off the handle.

Make a few small swings with this grip as it will feel very strange to begin with, but it will immediately give you the feedback that you must release the clubhead and cannot drag the handle into excessive shaft lean. Try letting the club strike the ground a few times before hitting some small shots. This drill will create the awareness of perfect arm and wrist movements and correct release point.

It's important to note that the correct release can vary slightly from golfer to golfer based on individual swing characteristics and preferences.

In golf, the “release” refers to the moment when the golfer’s hands and wrists unhinge, or release, the angle created during the backswing. This action allows the clubhead to accelerate through impact, generating clubhead speed and power.

Correctly timing the release is crucial for generating maximum power and accuracy in the golf swing. The release typically occurs just before or at the point of impact with the golf ball. It’s a natural motion that happens as the body rotates through the downswing, and the arms and hands follow, allowing the club to whip through the impact zone.

There are various methods and techniques for achieving an effective release, and it often depends on individual swing styles and preferences. Some golfers focus on maintaining a passive release, allowing the club to naturally release through the momentum of the swing, while others may actively release the club by consciously unhinging the wrists.

Regardless of the approach, the key is to maintain proper sequencing and timing throughout the swing to ensure that the release happens at the right moment for optimal ball striking. Practice, along with guidance from a qualified instructor, can help golfers develop a consistent and effective release in their swings.