Ladies Golf Challenges

There are many challenges that face lady golfers. Most commonly, I see women use improper and often inconsistent alignment when aiming at a target on the golf course. Another common problem women face is getting any significant loft on their shots. Overcoming these hurdles is a key step to making the game more fun.

There are two ways to get more air under your shots. Both rely on solid ball striking.  If a golf ball is struck crisply by a golf club swung with enough speed, the ball spins. The dimples on the ball provide resistance or wind drag causing the ball to climb into the air. The more strength a golfer has, the greater their potential to spin the ball. The strongest players hit the ball higher more easily than golfers that play with less power.

The first and obvious solution is to check your equipment. The latest gear is engineered using more lightweight materials. You might be using clubs that are too heavy. A lighter club can make it easier to swing faster.  Another possible solution is to try to gain some strength in your hands and arms to help swing the club faster. Unfortunately, some women, no matter how much time they dedicate to gaining strength, will not generate enough club head speed to help them hit the ball significantly higher.

As I mentioned, a common problem is with technique. They tend to swing at the ball using a “lifting” type of action. This action is counter-intuitive and puts the golfer into an incorrect position at impact. The clubhead gets in front of the players’ hands putting them  in a “scooping” position. This incorrectly engages the leading edge of the club which has no loft. This leading edge strikes the ball first and the ball stays low along the ground.

Fortunately, there are other ways to hit the ball higher. Use a short iron like an 8 Iron, 9 Iron or a Pitching Wedge. Instead of trying to lift or scoop the ball into the air, pinch or trap the ball against the ground so the ball pops off the clubface. This will put you in an impact position in which the handle is in front of the clubhead. The face of the club gets onto the ball and helps the ball fly by virtue of the loft built into the club.

If you continue to have problems even with good solid contact on the face of the club, seek out short irons with wide-bottomed soles like you would find on a hybrid club. Several manufacturers produce entire sets of irons like this.  These clubs focus more weight, or Center of Gravity, toward the bottom of the club. This can also help get the ball higher.

When it comes to the driver, consider one with more loft than you currently use. Also, try moving the ball more forward in your stance. This will help you to strike the ball on the upswing. The combination of a more lofted driver and this adjustment in your ball position can also help get ball into the air regardless of how much or how little power and strength the golfer possesses.

I also see a lot of women struggle with proper alignment. From full swing shots to chipping and putting, lady golfers often have both their club face AND their body lined up incorrectly. This makes the process of advancing ball toward the target much more difficult.

I see a lot of inconsistencies in how women get themselves ready to hit golf shots. Sometimes they set their feet BEFORE they set their club head. Other times they set the club first. The key to success is to be consistent. A Rule of Thumb is to set the club head FIRST then line up your body. As you get ready to hit your next shot, get very specific about the line you want the ball to travel over. The ball may not go exactly where you want it to, but the more specific you get, the greater your margin for error. Start your routine behind the ball so the ball is directly between you and your target. From here, walk up to your ball and start your alignment process.

Try using a long range target on longer shots. Focus on anything in the distance such as the flag, a tree in the distance or anything that you can lock your eyes on to. On shorter shots around the greens, the use of an intermediate target can help you get lined up properly. Pick a spot a few feet in front of your ball directly in line with where you want your ball to go. Square your club to that line set your body parallel to that line and you are ready to play your shot.

If you find yourself suffering from some of these challenges in your game, try the ideas discussed here. Inspect your equipment. See if there are any indications on the shaft of your clubs regarding weight of your clubs. These “specs” are typically measured in grams. If your clubs weigh more than 55 grams, and you are struggling with them, they are probably too heavy. Also, think about trapping the ball with your shorter clubs and sweeping up on the ball with your driver to help you hit the ball higher. Consider even switching to a driver that has a higher loft (and less grams). To help improve your consistency, work on your targeting and you pre-shot routine. These elements can help you eliminate variables and help you play better golf.