Craig Shankland’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1

By on October 12, 2014

Craig Shankland is a Teaching Hall of Famer. He is a Golf Digest 50 Best Teacher and a Golf Magazine Top 100 teacher.  He is my mentor and friend.  His takes on golf and golf improvement are pure gold. Please enjoy his nuggets of wisdom!


Occasional greatness!

Golf is a game of “Occasional greatness” look at all the new winners of Major events this year.  Don’t we all have moments of occasional greatness, the question is how can you have more of them?  That’s why you need me!



Mastering new moves.

To get the most from lessons take the information and work on it.  You need time to become familiar with the new movements and trust them.  You can work on new things on the course, it would be better alone, with no pressure



Proper practice habits

Practice is to discover, to enjoy, to experiment and to learn from it all.  Not just to hit ball after ball.  The next time you go to practice try hitting shots, fades, draws, high and low shots, side hill lies, ball above and below your feet, because in all of those shots are the answers to any fault you may have.  If you fade the ball learn to draw it, go to a ball above your feet lie, that lie will help to round out the swing and draw the ball.



Putting is Simpler Than You Think

Putting is a simple act, forgotten. If you focus solely on rolling the ball at the correct line and correct speed, that is enough to tell the brain what to do.

The stroke will react. Zen golf. How many times have you missed your mouth with a fork? Get on the bike and pedal? Throw trash into a receptacle? What do you think of? It is all visual and feel!

Four keys to great putting.

  1. Keep your elbows close to your chest because it makes your aim much more accurate.
  2. Bend from the waist to put the putter on the ground. Forearms will be level with each other for better aim.
  3. The putter should arc slightly inside, to on the line and going down the line, thru the ball.
  4. The putter should travel back and through the same distance. Longer or shorter depending on the length of putt, like a pendulum.

Acceleration comes naturally from the distance of stroke, not by you trying to accelerate the putter. Note: Face balanced putters, heel shafted or center shafted does not matter at all because the ball does not care. The most difficult stroke is trying to take the putter straight back and through. It is far too mechanical. The best do not do it!



Flashes of brilliance. Keep playing the game.

Flashes of brilliance is all we have. That is why we play golf. That one solid shot makes us all feel special, like we can do this, we can play the game and we can do it again. The big question is, why can’t we do it again? Side hill, downhill, deep rough lies and deep bunkers with massive lips can change everything. In order to prepare for these occasions, we should always play as much golf as we can. Playing golf presents experiences that challenge us. They are all part of the maturing of golfers. Practice is not playing because when playing the game you will experience all situations, which challenge the best in us all. Without golf’s challenges, we would be bored. No one would play. The more you play, even if its only nine holes or six holes, the better golfer you become.



Craig Shankland received the highest honor bestowed upon a golf instructor: 2001 PGA Teacher Of The Year. Craig is a master PGA Teaching Professional who is a Golf digest 50 Best Teacher and a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher. A former tour professional, he has taught PGA and LPGA Tour Players. His unique take on learning golf is featured in Craig's Corner weekly

One Comment

  1. Dr. Joe LaCaze

    May 14, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Mr. Craig Shankland,

    A few months ago, I discovered the video piece you did with Moe Norman. Sir, I want to give you my deepest thanks for making this treasure of hearing Mr. Norman’s responses to your expertly placed questions forever available to interested people. I have watched the videos excessively since finding them, maybe 20 times so far. It seems fantastic for me to say this, but in only two months, as a low single digit handicapper, I have improved my length and accuracy very considerably. And just as Mr. Norman says, with very little effort.

    I honestly believe what Mr. Norman described as a “vertical drop” is the holy grail people have been searching for, for decades, whether they call it lag, delayed release, leaning shaft, or as the new age biomechanists call it, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma hand action.

    In deepest gratitude,

    Joe LaCaze

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