12 June 2023

Setup for Success: 5 Top Tips To Improve Your Golf Game 

“It’s not that it’s not possible, you just need to learn the skill.” 
A man takes a shot on the Apes Hill golf course, which is lined with trees on the edge.

Jody Addison of Apes Hill Barbados Shares Valuable Tips and Tricks on How to Approach Problems on the Golf Course

“It’s not that it’s not possible, you just need to learn the skill.” 


These words of wisdom come from Jody Addison, Director of Golf & Golf Operations at Apes Hill Barbados Golf Resort and Community, as he explains five tips that will help you overcome any seeming “impossibilities” you’ll encounter on the golf course. 


This insight is certainly useful for beginners, but even a more advanced golfer can use it to master a particular problem like wind or setting up your swing.


Here, the decorated golfer breaks down putting with the grain of grass and wind, high fade and plenty more you don’t want to miss out on.

A portrait of Jody Addison with an Apes Hill polo shirt on, who leans on a golf club and smiles into the camera.

Jody Addison, our Director of Golf & Golf Operations at Apes Hill

Golf Tip 1: Putt for Success By Going With the Grain

They’re called “the greens” for a reason – grass is the universal surface of every golf game. What some golfers may not expect, however, is how it can impact their game. 



The important element of grass is its grain. Grass follows the sun as it sets, which causes the blades to lean towards the sun. This directional lean is referred to as “the grain”. 


Addison explains that “if you play a course that doesn't have grain, and you're passing uphill, that's typically going to make the putt slow.” On the same uphill course, with the golfer putting with the grain in the right direction - the ball will seem to defy gravity. Putting correctly with the grain, as Addison explains, can make the putt fast “when it shouldn't be.”


Addison goes on to explain that hitting against the grain will make the ball move slower, while hitting with the grain will have the opposite effect – making the ball faster. 



At Apes Hill Barbados, the best way to take advantage of the lean of the grass is to be mindful of the direction you are aiming. The grass will always lean to the west, so aim in that direction for success.


[We have more secrets in our grass at Apes Hill Barbados. Find out more.]




Golf Tip 2: Teed Up Vs On The Fairway – How to Take The Swing

Just like selecting different clubs, it’s important to approach the ball differently at different points in the game. 



When a ball is teed up: it can be useful to line it up with your lead heel and shift your weight away from it. Attempt to hit through the ball and sweep it off the tee without hitting down or leaning on your leading side.


When the ball is on the fairway (the ground): line it up with the middle of your stance as this is where the club reaches the low point of its swing in line with our spine which makes it easier to access the bottom of the golf ball. 


When you hit a shot off the fairway you need contact with the ground and you need to encourage your weight moving on to your left side as you swing through. Any weight hanging back on the right leg would result in contact with the ground before the ball.




An up close photo of a hand in a golf club reaching down to place a golf ball on a tee.
 Man crouches by his golf club, smiling at his hit ball, with another smiling man and palm trees in the background.

Golf Tip 3: Using A High Fade and Drawing The Ball

A high fade is an optimal arc, where the ball falls from left to right (right-handers) in a smooth, rainbow-like curve. You would use the high fade when you want to cover the carry over a body of water or other obstruction onto a narrow landing area. It’s a useful technique if you want the ball to land and then stop quickly because you have no space for it to rollout. 


For instance, on our 16th Hole with fishing pond feature, golfers would use the high fade to get over the pond and stop. Your alignment to the ball should change from square to open and have a slightly outside-to-in motion. The face of the club should face the target throughout impact with the ball which will create the spin required to move the ball through the air.


A Draw, on the other hand, moves the ball in the opposite direction of a high fade. To achieve this effect, align your feet slightly to the right and keep the club pointing to the target. This moves the path of the club out through impact. (If you want to try to draw the ball at Apes Hill Barbados, this approach would work best on hole 14 to help golfers progress up the fairway faster.)




Golf Tip 4: Setup a Lazy Swing On A Hole With Wind Factor

If you’re playing into the wind, how do you compensate? If your answer was to “hit the ball harder”, you guessed wrong. Hitting a ball harder adds more spin because of the divots and will result in the ball curving up even further into the wind. 


Instead, “setup” for success. The setup dictates what happens to the shot. With a slightly narrower stance and a forward grip on the club, golfers should have no problem cutting through the wind.


“I would like the golfer to have a long lazy swing.” Addison says. “The lazy swing will prevent too much spin on the ball and keeping the weight forward on the lead foot, closer to the target, will help keep the ball flight down.”


For example, at the Apes Hill Barbados golf course, the wind plays a role on holes 1, 2, 3, 10 and 12. They’re into the wind and golfers will have to take steps to make up for the lack of distance they’ll get from each swing.




 An older man with a golf club over his shoulder after taking a shot on the Apes Hill golf course.
White flag in a golf hole with palm trees lining the edge; three men watch a rolling ball in the background.

Golf Tip 5: Left to Right Wind (Apply This Lesson To Hole 13 at Apes Hill Barbados)

Did you know that the difficulty of a particular hole is rated between 1 and 18, with 18 being the easiest? Welcome to Hole 13 at Apes Hill Barbados…which is a 1. 


With the left to right wind and danger of any errant swings to the left losing the putter a ball, inexperienced golfers may struggle with this hole.


Here’s a tip on how to approach holes with left to right winds. It’s important to favour the left side of the green when teeing the ball in order to compensate for the breeze. (At Hole 13 at Apes Hill – look for the bearded fig tree and use that as a guide when shooting the ball left to right. No bearded fig trees where you are? Find another point you can use as your guide.)




Apply these tips to your next game, wherever you choose to play. If you’re in Barbados and want more training, you may find the Golf Performance and Teaching Centre helpful in mastering the fundamentals of the game and sharpening your skills. With state-of-the-art Titleist Performance Institute and PuttView technology, even experienced golfers can benefit. It is the first training centre of its kind in the Caribbean and one of the feathers in Apes Hill Barbados’ cap.


We hope to put you to the test soon at the Championship golf course at Apes Hill Barbados. 



[Want to see the golf course? Click here for 5 Incredible Views you’ll see while playing Apes Hill Barbados.] 

A man hits the golf ball along a line on the Apes Hill Teaching Centre green.
 Man practices golf on the teaching green while another observes with an iPad showcasing golf technology.