Golf

Top-ranked 15-year-old golfer gives 3 drills to elevate your game

InsideGOLF now includes 1 Dozen Srixon Z-STAR XV golf balls
He may be young, but Lev Grinberg knows what it takes to shoot low.
Courtesy of Lev Grinberg
Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a new GOLF.com series in which we’re sharing improvements, learnings and takeaways from amateur golfers just like you — including some of the speed bumps and challenges they faced along the way.
Ukrainian-born Lev Grinberg is one of the top-ranked 15-year-old golfers in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR). His overall rank is 244th among all ages, but Lev has ranked as low as a 162nd among all males worldwide.
Just how good is the kid? Good enough to nearly qualify for the 2020 U.S. Open — when he was still just 13 years old!
As the story goes, Lev and his dad were stuck in the U.S. on a golf trip due to COVID travel restrictions. Rather than pout about the inconvenience, the teen simply turned to his father and excitedly said, “Let’s go try and qualify for the U.S. Open!”
The teenager got through local qualifying in Orlando by way of a playoff, ultimately leading him to final qualifying in Dallas.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature made playing conditions extremely difficult that day, causing extreme rain and a soggy course. Ultimately, Lev fell short in his quest for the U.S. Open that year, but, had he qualified, he would have been the youngest male to ever do so.
Missing out on the U.S. Open didn’t derail Lev Grinberg, and, in May of 2022 at the age of 14, he was invited into the field of the DP World Tour’s Soudal Open.
The teen sure didn’t disappoint.
Grinberg made the cut, becoming the second-youngest in DP World Tour history to do so. And since then, he’s made two other starts on the DP World Tour (2022 Dutch Open, and this year’s Soudal Open).
Given his age, his ability, and his accomplishments, it’s far from a stretch to coin Grinberg a phenom.
Despite being so young, PGA Golf Professional Brendon R. Elliott wanted to pick Lev’s brain to see what tips he had to offer fellow golfers. Naturally, the golf prodigy was more than happy to share some thoughts.
So take a look below to see what tips the teenager had to offer up, and how they might be able to help shave strokes off of your game.
“One of my favorite putting drills is as follows: Place five tees 6 feet from the hole in a circle around the hole, then take your shot.
“If you miss it from a tee spot, move that tee one foot closer (now at 5 feet). If you make it from the original 6-foot spot, you’ll move that tee one foot back.
“Repeat this at each tee spot around the hole until you get to 8 feet with all the tees.”
“Grab one ball and a wedge of your choice. Next, pick nine accessible hole locations around the green, leaving yourself at least 27 feet of space — which allows for different types of shots; like a bump-and-run, flop, etc.
“Hit one shot to each of your nine hole locations. The goal is to get every chip inside of 3 feet.”
“The best tip I can give for your full swing is this: Go through the bag from pitching wedge to your driver, then pick a small fairway to hit shots.
“Continue to hit balls until you hit a draw and a fade with each club consecutively, keeping the golf ball in that fairway. If you miss one, start over.
“Stick with your routine and pre-shot routine as you go.”

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