Golf tips from RACV Royal Pines Resort

Living Well | RACV | Posted on 19 May 2020

Golf game a little rusty? Here are a pro's top tips to get you back into the swing.

After a short break from the golf course, it’s time to dust off your clubs and get back into the swing of things. If the break has made your game a little rusty, follow these expert tips provided by Mark Gibson from Mark Gibson’s Exceptional Golf Teaching Academy, based at RACV Royal Pines Resort. (See which RACV golf courses are now open).

Here Mark will guide you through how to create the perfect set up, as well as techniques for putting, pitching and chipping, and the best shot-making process.

Golf buggy driving on gold course

Get ready to tee off at one of RACV's five specacular golf courses across the country.

Mark Gibson's pro tips for getting back in the game

Tip 1: Set up

To perfect your set up, follow these three simple steps:

  • Grip: Ensure you have a neutral grip where the back of your left hand and palm of right hand are parallel to the line of the club face
  • Posture: Tilt your hips, keep your spine flat and tilted towards the ball. Keep your face and neck in line with the angle of your spine. Gently soften your knees, but be careful not to overly bend them
  • Balance: Your left shoulder should be directly over left foot, and your right shoulder directly over your right foot. For right-handed golfers, your left shoulder should be slightly higher than your right shoulder (and the opposite for left-handed golfers) with your spine slightly tilted away from the target (see the set up below)

On average, a swing only takes 1.15 seconds, and by perfecting these three things it will make your swing as easy and efficient as possible.

Man about to take swing at golf ball

The perfect set-up.

Tee time at RACV Cobram Resort.

Tee time along the Murray River.

Person playing golf on golf course

Golfers hitting the green across RACV resorts.

Tip 2: Putting 

There are two aspects to putting which are both as crucial as each other; the technical components and the process. One of the most important techniques of short putts is the setup. Your eyes should be over the top of the ball by tilting forward from the hips. The swing should be created by a rocking shoulder motion, and your lower body should stay stationary throughout the stroke. 

Mark will guide you through two drills to perfect your putting, both at short and longer distances. 

Tip 3: Pitching and chipping

To be successful at chipping and pitching, it’s important to have a consistent impact, flight and ball speed. Remaining consistent in these areas will allow you to develop better judgement in your game. To ensure your impact is correct, make sure that the butt of the grip is in line with the ball at address, and ever so slightly ahead at impact. 

To achieve this, set up your ball just ahead of centre, keep a normal posture, move your hands slightly down the grip, and turn your feet slightly open to the flight line.

Keep your body stable in backswing with your hips turned to the left, then let your torso follow the line of your hips to create the through motion with the club. To change the flight and roll of the ball, simply change the loft of the club.

Tip: Mark the ground with talcum powder to monitor where the club is bottoming out.

Man putting on golf course

Pitching and chipping.

Man walking to gold ball on golf course

Mark Gibson assesses the shot making process from the think area.

Tip 4: Shot-making process 

It’s important to maintain a process of thinking and preparing for all shots.  

To do this, separate your space into a ‘think area’ and a ‘do area’. The ‘think area’ is for assessment, preparation, practice swings, and for developing feel and confidence. The ‘do area’ needs to be free of thought and only has the need for set up, target awareness and repeating your practice swing. Create this mental barrier by placing a physical item on the ground between your thinking and doing areas, such as a golf club or ruler. 

When in the ‘think area’, assess how the ball is laying, for example whether it’s in a divot or on a lie, as this will impact which shots you can successfully play. Next assess the mid-zone between the ball and target, looking for anything that might influence the shot choice such as trees, shrubs, a bunker or water. Lastly, review the target area to see how far away it is, what club you need to use, what shape of shot you need to hit, as well as checking for any high-risk areas to avoid.  

Once you have gathered all that information you can build the shot in your mind. Stay within the ‘think area’ to select your club and practice your swing, and once your confidence is at 100%, you’re ready to move to the ‘do area’. Once in the ‘do area’ sight your target line, set up the correct position (see tip 1), and execute the shot. 

Hit the fairway

The golf courses at all RACV Resorts and Clubs including RACV Torquay ResortRACV Cape Schanck ResortRACV Goldfields ResortRACV Royal Pines Resort and RACV Healesville Country Club are now open to RACV Members and Club Members. The golf course at RACV Royal Pines Resort is also open to the general public. 

Click here for the latest information on RACV's golf courses.

Play at RACV golf courses across Australia – from the Great Ocean Road to Queensland’s Gold Coast