Entries by Casey Bourque

Greenside Bunker Play Technique

  The typical greenside bunker shot from a normal lie includes some set up variations that will help you achieve more consistent results. Think of this as your stock, standard bunker shot set up, and from here you can make adjustments depending on circumstances, lie, or sand conditions. Check out our bunker shot situations article to see when […]

Sand Wedge Design – Bounce Angle Explained

  Tour players have no trouble out of greenside bunkers…of course they are practicing all the time, but more so because they are setting themselves up for success. If we understand how  a sand wedge is designed, and how to set up for a greenside bunker shot, there is much more margin for error than […]

Reading Greens and Putting Strategies

My first piece of advice for relative beginners reading the slope of greens is to double whatever break you see. Higher handicappers rarely play enough break, and resort to either hitting putts too hard, missing routinely on the low side of the hole, or both. This is a critical mistake if it’s happening with regularity. […]

Greenside Flop Shots

  A flop shot is an extreme version of the pitch shot, where we throw the ball very high into the air, allowing the ball to come down softly without rolling out. This shot should only be used in extreme circumstances when we are hitting over a bunker or other obstacle, and do not have […]

Pitch Shot Distance Control

  Controlling the distance of your pitch shots is so important that it warrants its own instructional article. As I’ve mentioned with all short game shots, we want to do our best to allow the length of our swing to correlate to the length of the shot. Once we nail down the set up and […]

Pitch Shot Stance and Motion

Pitching the ball is when we are around the green and require the ball to fly higher in the air and stop more quickly. This is helpful for when we need to hit over something, such as a bunker or slope, or if the ball is sitting in heavier rough or taller grass. A pitch […]

Golf Chipping Stance and Motion

  For most players, I normally suggest putting whenever possible.The chip shot is used when putting is not going to be practical and we need to pop the ball up in the air just a little bit and get it running to the target. The chip shot is used from a good lie in the […]

Putting Stance and Stroke

  Putting is probably the most important, yet least practiced area of the game of golf. Putting will account for over 40% of the shots taken in most rounds of golf, but remains the most neglected area of most players’ games. Most dismiss putting as mere luck, but I can assure you that there is […]

The Most Common Putting Grips

  Although putting is perhaps more art than science, there are some techniques you need to understand in order to be successful on the greens. Putting certainly allows plenty of room for personal preference, but I’d like to go over some methods and considerations when we grip the club. The three most common grips with […]

Fairway Bunkers

  The first thing we need to do from a fairway bunker is to evaluate our circumstances. This includes the lie of the ball: is it sitting up or sitting down, and will you have access to contacting the back of the ball cleanly? Are you on an upslope or a downslope? – as this […]

Hitting it Low

  There are some things in our set up position and golf swing that can help us keep the ball down, or hit the ball low in certain situations. This is helpful in windy conditions or if you need to keep trajectory low, perhaps under branches of a tree. This instruction is not intended for […]

Hitting it High

  There are a few things in our set up and golf swing that will help us to hit the ball higher. Maybe you need to get the ball up quickly over a tree or perhaps over the lip of a bunker. This instruction is not intended for people who are topping the ball or […]

Intentional Hook

  When we want to hook the ball intentionally, I always suggest making adjustments in your set up position rather than adjustments in your golf swing. So long as your swing is relatively on plane, this is almost always the easier way to go. We know that in order to impart hook spin, which will […]

Intentional Slice

  When we want to slice the ball intentionally, I suggest making adjustments in your set up position rather than adjustments in your golf swing. So long as your swing is relatively on plane, I believe it is always easier to handle these specialty shots this way. We know that in order to impart slice […]

Uphill Lies

  Many players, especially beginners, actually find slight uphill lies easier to handle than flat lies. With your longer, less lofted clubs, it’s easier to launch the ball higher and get it up in the air. When you’re in a situation with a more severe slope, there are a few things that we need to […]

Downhill Lies

  There are a few things we need to consider when confronted with a downhill lie. Even when struck perfectly, shots from these lies will tend to come out lower and run out more than shots from a flat or uphill lie. The ball may also have a small tendency to go to the right, […]

Sidehill Lies – Ball Below Feet

  Many players operate under the assumption that when the ball is below their feet, shots will tend to slice to the right. Although many players have problems slicing the ball, this sidehill situation does not contribute substantially to shots going to the right. The reasons shots go to the left when the ball is […]

Sidehill Lies – Ball Above Feet

  There are some important accommodations that we need to make when the ball is sitting above our feet in a sidehill situation. Depending on the club being used and the severity of the slope, the ball will tend to come out to the left, therefore we need to adjust our aim sufficiently to the […]

Short Irons and Wedges

The short irons and wedges present the most variability and room for creativity of all the clubs in your bag. With lots of loft on these clubs, we can open or close the club face, and move ball position forward and backward to produce a wide array of shots. I encourage you to practice and […]