improve your golf game with gary kent

Pace of Game

Players should play at a good pace. The Committee may establish pace of play guidelines that all players should follow. It is a groups’ responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If it loses a clear hole and it is delaying the group behind, it should invite the group behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group.

Be Ready to Play

Players should be ready to play as soon as it is their turn to play. When playing on or near the putting green, the should leave their bags or carts in such a position as will enable quick movement off the green and towards the next tee. When the play of a hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the putting green.

I believe pace of play is not stressed enough in public courses. Golfers constantly tell me of 5 or 6 hour rounds. If you include an hour to get to the course and prepare plus an hour after for a drink with the group, you are looking at 8 hours. You have to reserve the whole day to play a game of golf. This is not right. The first few groups that tee off in the morning basically set the pace for the day. Quite often at private clubs, the fast players like to get off first at 7 a.m. and they are home with their families at 11:00 a.m. They are not necessarily pro’s or low handicappers. They just have excellent time management skills on the course. If you have trouble keeping up to a 4 to 4 1/2 hour pace, feeling rushed, call me at (416) 402-7171 and I’ll tell you how to do it.

Rules of Golf

In a water hazard or bunker, don’t touch the water or ground with your hand or club before the stroke.

If you hit your ball into a water hazard and cannot play it, either drop behind the hazard or at the place where you played the shot. One penalty stroke. If you hit into a lateral hazard, you may also drop within two club-lengths of the point where the ball last crossed the hazard margin, or a point equidistant from the hole on the opposite margin. One penalty stroke.

Stability and Balance

Every player comes to me saying they want to be more consistent, yet when they finish their swing they are quite often off balance. Finish your swing on balance and your weight into the left heel (for right-handed players). Players who tend to fall forward into the ball during the swing are being drawn toward the ball like a magnet. You might be too ball oriented, or starting with too much weight on your toes at setup. You will be susceptible to heel shots, slices, fat shots, pulls etc.

Check your balance next time at practice. If you are having trouble, it could be a physical issue that may be affecting your rotational movements. Always tell the instructor of any joint and muscle problems before the lesson starts. We can assess the situation best at the golf school with a couple of stretching tests. If you can’t fix your balance yourself, give me a call and we can fix it together! Without it, consistency is almost impossible.


To play golf well, we need to be confident. In order to be confident, we need to have competence. In order to have competence, we have to continue learning, improving and being better prepared.

The overswing causing early release

The combination of missing the sweet spot, poor swing technique, and using the wrong equipment, all play a part in robbing us of distance. Most amateur players try to overcome these three factors by over swinging.

To hit the ball far, the club head must contact the ball on the sweet spot, and the club head must be accelerating, or increasing in speed, when contact is made. The closer the club head is to its maximum speed at contact, the further the ball will go.

While a lot of factors can contribute to the over swing, the result is always the same, INCONSISTENCY!

An over swing results in the club head contacting the ball after the club head has reached its maximum speed, and has begun to slow down or decelerate.

If you are wondering whether you are making this error in your swing, we can determine it by answering a couple of questions.

  • Are your shots too high and lofty, with no zip?
  • Do you hit the range balls well from mats and then on the golf course hit terrible?
  • Do you sometimes blade chips and pitches across the green?
  • Do you hit the ground before the ball on a downhill slope?
  • Are you getting a sore elbow in your lead arm?
  • Do you leave bunker shots in the bunker?
  • Are your contact points all over the clubface?
  • And lastly, do you shoot a very low score one day and the very next day shoot a score of 20 to 30 shots more?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you very likely got yourself an early release problem.

How do we fix this?

By focusing on some key areas, you can identify and correct the causes of an over swing. Here are a few ideas for you to focus on:

  • Get your swing on video, to be sure that this is your problem.
  • Take practice swings with less wrist cock at the top of the backswing. Have the feeling the club at the top is short of parallel.
  • Practice swinging a golf club upside down at high speeds for a couple of months. Listen for the whoosh sound after the left leg (right handed golfer). The whoosh should not be before your right leg.
  • Practice hitting a lower ball flight.
  • Start noticing if there is any tension in your setup or during the swing. Your hands must be holding the club gently during the whole swing. Absolutely no grabbing or clutching!
  • Place impact tape on your clubface and take notice of your contact points. Start focusing on hitting the sweet spot instead of just hitting the clubface.

Some of the tools we use at the golf school for fixing this swing killer are the impact bag, impact builder, impact tape, bench and video camera.