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          GOLF TIPS - Thursday, August 23, 2007
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"

Fellow Duffers,

Normally I'm pretty happy with August in the Midwest, but this
year is an exception. We've had severe storms almost daily
for near two weeks. And on the days it doesn't storm the courses
are under water. I don't know about you, but I can play in the
heat, and I can play in the winter, but I don't like playing
when my feet get wet--no matter how good the waterproofing on
the shoes.

I guess it's okay, though. I'm told golf is like riding a
bicycle...I don't believe it, but I'm told it.


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Slow Rhythm
by Golf Made Simple as provided by USGolfSchoolGuide.com

Rhythm is often talked about, but greatly misunderstood. Most
golfers that I observe trying to slow their rhythm are actually
slowing down their swing speed. There is a difference between
the speed you are swinging and the rhythm you are swinging.
Rhythm should be thought of as a way of making all the body
parts work together for a repeatable swing. The rhythm of your
swing is not just how fast you are swinging.

Many golfers have told me that they want to swing with a slow
rhythm like Ernie Els. Yes, Els’ swing is very fluid and appears
that he is swinging slow, but he is not swinging slow. The club
head speed of his driver is moving in excess of 115 mph. This
is not a slow swing. It might appear that his club is moving
slow because his swing is very efficient and repeatable, but
every part of his body is working in harmony to hit the ball as
far as he can. It is in essence a very rhythmic golf swing.
When the body and arms are working together in harmony it gives
the impression that his swing is effortless, but with the club
actually moving extremely fast and powerfully through the golf
ball. You can’t hit a driver 290 yards or a 9 iron 155 yards,
with a slow swing speed. 

When I see golfers practicing - "slowing down my rhythm", I say
they are actually throwing off their rhythm and timing! When
most golfers try to slow down rhythm, they are slowing down
their hands and arms. This contributes to bad habits, like
getting your weight stuck on your right foot (right-handers) or
turning your shoulders to soon on the forward swing. Thus you
will be coming "over the top" (swinging outside the ball) and
casting the club (releasing the club to early). This contributes
to a loss of club head speed, power, solid contact and accuracy.

Bob Toski - one of the greatest communicators and teachers of
the golf swing - once told me "Marc, feel the force, don’t force
the feel!" What Toski means is, just swing the club, your
natural rhythm will come out. Don’t try to force your mind and
body to swing at a slower speed.

So, I wouldn’t say to slow down your rhythm. I would say find
a consistent, repeatable rhythm that will hold up under a little
pressure. Swinging the club fast is a talent; don’t try to hold
back your talent of swinging with speed. Trying to swing faster
is why Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, David Duval, Justin
Leonard and everybody else on the PGA and LPGA Tour is working
out to get stronger. They want to swing the club as fast as
they can.

I have a drill to help you with your golf game. To improve your
rhythm: "Hum". When you go to practice, every time you swing the
club, hum (huummmmm). This will help you with finding your
rhythm. Try to have a consistent hum through the entire swing.
At first, you might catch yourself humming really loud as you
swing towards the ball or you might even stop your humming as
you hit through the ball. If your "hum" is becoming really loud
as you hit the ball (almost like a Monica Seles "grunt"), this
means you might be trying to hit the ball too hard. If your hum
is stopping as you hit the ball, this might be a clue that
tension is creeping into your swing a little too much at impact.
Or another way of saying it is, "You are hitting at the ball,
instead of through the ball."

But, the worst "hum" of all, would be if your "hum" drops off
just before impact. This is showing that you are decelerating
your swing as you get closer to impact. This usually happens
to someone that is "working on slowing down my rhythm" or
"slowing down my swing"! 
What kinds of shots could this golfer expect to see on the golf
course? Probably the kind that don’t travel very far because
their swing speed is slowing down through impact, they are most
likely hitting the turf behind the ball and without a doubt--
they are leaving the clubface open and slicing the ball pretty

I know it might sound goofy and you might be embarrassed to try
humming when other people are around, but it works. If it
doesn’t work the first time don’t give it up. With the "hum"
drill you are using 2 of your 3 learning skills at one time.
You are using your auditory (hearing) skills and you are using
you kinesthetic (feeling) skills. Those two skills working in
conjunction will certainly help you get to the next level.

If the "hum" drill doesn’t help, see a Golf Professional.
Everybody that wants to get better at this game should work
with an instructor/coach. There isn’t a player on the LPGA,
Senior PGA or PGA Tours that doesn’t work with someone. If
these golfers who are the best in the world, need help, every
golfer needs help. Don’t just go to anybody; ask others who
have gotten instructional help. If someone has helped them
to improve their game, they will enthusiastically tell you
about that Professional. Good luck.

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Taking the Right Amount of Sand
LPGA Professional: Nancy Henderson

Let's face it, the sand bunker is called the sand trap for a
reason. Most golfers hate to be in the sand. That's because they
either take too little sand and the ball goes sailing across the
green or they take too much sand and the ball actually stays in
the bunker.

So what's the tip for taking the right amount of sand? Well, the
tip is a dollar's worth of sand.

You see this is a great practice technique. You want to go ahead
and put a dollar down and put the ball right on George
Washington's face. Then draw lines at the front of the dollar
and behind it.

Then take some practice swings after you draw the two lines to
where the club enters at the back line and finishes through the
front line. Go ahead and swing and send the sand flying out. Now
do the same thing over the ball. 

And that's your tip for taking just the right amount of sand.
Think One Dollar.


Equally important is that you take the same strength swing you
would as if it were a regular wedge swing. Don't over swing.

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Equipment Tip from PGA Professional.com

A highly skilled player could go out and shoot a very good score
with just about any set of golf clubs. They have enough feel and
experience to make adjustments and adapt to the performance
differences between clubs quickly. For a middle to high handicap
player, however, having equipment that is properly fitted to
their physique and capabilities is more crucial. 

No matter what your handicap or skill level, having the right
clubs is one more thing you can do to give yourself the best
possible chance of playing well. 

There are many different variables in club fitting (swingweight,
club length, grip size, grip material, shaft flex, shaft
material, loft and lie, clubhead style, clubhead material, and
so on). The two most important of these are: lie angle (the
angle between the shaft and sole plate) and shaft flex (the
relative stiffness or softness of the shaft). 

If you're serious it's also important to have the frequency of
your shafts consistent throughout your set. Good clubmakers will
have no problem fitting you for these variables. 

Of course, there's no substitute for liking the look and feel of
your equipment. 


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Point Your Way to Consistency 
What the hands do directly affects the clubface position, which
affects the ball's flight. With a normal stance, take your grip
but point your finger down the shaft so it's pointing at the
ball at address. Check the club when it's parallel to the ground
on both the backswing and follow-through. The finger should point
down the target line on the way back and at the target on the way
through. This is also a great tip if you're confused about how it
should feel to release your hands properly.  

You can discuss this issue or any other topic in the new
Golf Tips forum. Check it out here...

Golf Tips Forum

Questions? Comments? Email us: mailto:sam@gophercentral.com
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