Pro tips from a master golfer

(Family Features) Golf enthusiasts can take notes from some of the world’s top golfers with tips to improve their game.

Hollywood A-listers partnering with golf pros for the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am tournament this fall have the opportunity to learn from Iain Roberts, master instructor at Mission Hills Golf Academies in China. Roberts’ main message for players is simple: “Don’t listen to your buddies.”

Roberts refers to the following tips as the Magnificent Seven. Each is a piece of advice commonly given by well-intentioned golfers, but each can be harmful, so instead heed his guidance to improve your own golf game.

1. “Keep your head down.” What they mean is, keep your eyes on the ball. Consider Annika Sorenstam, perhaps the greatest female golfer ever, who would turn her head toward the target at impact.

2. “Don’t use your hands.” This is just asking for trouble. Your arms and hands move at a faster speed than any other body part throughout the swing, so keep your hands active to gain as much speed as possible.

3. “Use the big muscles in the body to get power.” To create club head speed you need the hands and arms to be effective. Using the big muscles is a must, but you want to rotate your body and have weight transfer as well as staying in posture throughout the swing. To create maximum club head speed at impact, you need the correct sequence from the start of the downswing to impact. This will be different depending on your physical ability.

4. “You need to make a big turn.” This is questionable. The ideal upper body rotation in the backswing is 90 degrees and the lower body can turn 45 degrees, but your physical limitation and ability to remain efficient with your swing is more important.

5. “Slow down, you’re swinging too fast.” What this means is, start your swing in control and ensure you have the correct sequences. Your swing will become more smooth and will therefore look slower, but the club head speed has increased.

6. “Relax, you’re holding the club too tight.” Relaxing your body and grip when you are about to swing a club at 100 miles per hour is not ideal. Having a firm hold on the club helps activate certain muscles in the body and ensures the club face does not open or close or simply come out of your hands at impact.

7. “Keep your left arm straight.” In the backswing, you want the left arm comfortably straight and connected to the body while the right arm folds. Through impact the right arm is straight and has extension, so your left arm should fold and rotate on the way through the ball for better strikes and more consistency.

There you have it – seven steps to golfing heaven if you can steer clear of bad advice. Just remember, golf is a fantastic game for all to play, not for all to teach.

For more information about the tournament and related activities, visit