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          GOLF TIPS - Thursday, June 26, 2007
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"

Fellow Duffers,

Would you like to play 36 in one day? Me too, and sometimes
I do. If you plan on doing it then do it smart. All courses
offer discounts on your "Replay." The range from free, to
about half the normal rate. Sunday I played 36 with a GPS
cart. The first round cost $43.50 and the second round cost
$15. I even left the course, ate and came back.

I shaved 2 strokes off my score on the second round.


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Find Your Personal Tee Height
By Randy Peterson
Callaway Golf Director of Fitting and Instruction

First off, let’s clear up one myth: it’s not true that everyone
needs to tee the ball higher with new drivers. Just as there’s
no single driver loft that’s correct for every golfer, there’s
no one tee height that fits all golfers. How high you tee the
ball is based on several factors including: club face depth,
club length, the shot you’re trying to hit, your ball position,
and most importantly, your clubhead angle of attack. Finding
the tee height that’s correct for you will help maximize your

There are three critical parameters to optimizing your
individual driver distance: ball speed, launch angle and back
spin. Where you impact the ball on the clubface has a dramatic
effect on all three of these parameters. Currently, it’s quite
common to hear television commentators state that to optimize
distance with the new bigger headed drivers you want to hit
the ball higher on the club face. That is not true. In fact,
hitting the ball high on the clubface in order to achieve
optimum launch and spin is an indication of a miss-fit driver
because you’re sacrificing ball speed. 

Maximum ball speed is achieved when the center of gravity of
the clubhead and the center of gravity of the golf ball are
perfectly aligned at impact (most of today’s drivers have CGs
that are positioned in the center of the clubface vertically).
When the CGs are not aligned there is a loss of energy
transferred from the clubhead to the ball, resulting in less
than optimum ball speed for a given clubhead speed. All
golfers have felt the clubhead twist when they miss-hit a
shot, especially a shot hit out on the toe of the club. This
twisting motion is caused when the CG of the clubhead and the
CG of the golf ball are not aligned at impact. Well, twisting
also occurs when you miss-hit a ball high or low on the
clubface, again resulting in reduced ball speed. So, we know
it’s critical for maximum distance to hit the ball in the
middle of the clubface, but how do we do that? 


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Where you hit the ball on the clubface in the vertical plane
is largely determined by your angle of attack - how steep or
shallow you deliver the clubhead to the ball. The driver is
the only club you want to swing with an ascending angle of
attack - for example, hitting up on the ball. Generally
speaking, people with an ascending angle of attack tend to
miss-hit the ball below the center of the clubface while
players with descending angles of attack tend to miss-hit the
ball above the center of the club face. Identifying whether
you hit up or down on your driver is not hard. If you break
a lot of tees or your tee goes flying after impact, you’re
hitting down on your driver. Conversely, if your tee stays
in the ground or barely moves after impact you’re more of a
sweeper or you’re hitting up. Obviously the turf being
extremely hard or soft can change how the tee reacts, but
generally speaking where your tee ends up after impact tells
you a lot about your angle of attack.

Now that you’ve determined whether you’re hitting up or down
on your driver, you want to determine where on the clubface
you’re hitting the ball. The easiest way to do that is to use
face tape, which you can get at most golf retail locations.
Apply the face tape to the clubface and hit a few drives. The
impact of the ball will leave a mark on the face tape,
indicating where you’re making contact on the clubface. If
you can’t find face tape, you can always put a black sharpie
mark on the ball and face it toward the clubface. After a
couple shots, check for the black marks on the clubface and
evaluate your impact pattern. From there, experiment with the
tee height until you determine the height that allows you to
most consistently hit the center of the clubface.

Callaway Golf’s FT-i and FT-5 Drivers, because of their 460cc
head size and internal weighting, produce an incredible amount
of clubhead stability (high MOI). This stability results in
more robust drivers so you lose less ball speed on off-center
hits. There is also less variance in spin on impacts up and
down the clubface and less clubhead twisting on heel and toe
shots. Reducing twisting on off-center hits means the drivers
are more forgiving, producing miss-hits that go farther and

The important things to take from all of this are the

1. There is no universally correct tee height

2. Identifying your personal correct tee height will give you
the best opportunity to maximize your ball speed

3. When your driver fits you correctly, hitting the ball in
the center of the club face will give you optimum ball speed,
launch angle and back spin, resulting in maximum distance

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"Rivets" to the Ball
The Importance of turning your hips when you swing
By Johnnie Miller

As we all get older and begin to lose a bit of our flexibility,
one of the secrets to playing good golf is how far we are able
to turn the left (front) hip on the backswing. People who don’t
turn their front hip will find that their backswing becomes
shorter and they get tight. That tightness results in a loss of
rhythm and a serious loss of distance. It’s really important to
turn that left hip to the ball going back and equally important
to uncoil and turn your other hip to the ball as you swing
through the ball.

When I was seven years old, I had little brass rivets on the
pockets of my white Levis. I was taught to turn my left rivet
to the ball on the backswing and my right rivet to the ball as
I was finishing my follow through. By doing that, you’ll have
a chance to make a nice smooth swing - a Sam Snead / Payne
Stewart-type of swing.

People think today’s pro golfers are much stronger and in better
shape than the pros of decades past. Across the board, they
probably are. But if you looked at Arnold Palmer when he was 26,
or myself when I was 26 or even Sam Sneed - nobody was in better
shape. We had plenty of strength. But the one thing that’s
really improved in today’s golfers is the consistent stretching
that these guys do every day. Arnold Palmer probably never
stretched at all while he was on Tour. I never stretched. Nobody
even thought of stretching in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Back then maybe one out of every 10 guys was working out.
Today’s players have flexibility and strength. I’ve always been
a big proponent of push-ups. The advantage of push-ups is they
develop the right and left side of your body equally. Push-ups
will help prevent either side of your body from becoming
dominant. In my opinion, anything that pushes weight away from
your body like push-ups and the bench press is good for your
golf swing.

I also used to swing a five-pound weighted club back in my
younger days. In fact, at Tour School in 1969 it flew out of my
hands and went through the wall my room - through the picture
frame, through the sheet rock and stuck out the other guy’s wall
next door. I didn’t have much money then and it was pretty
expensive for me.

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My Best Tip For Amateurs
By Bruce Fleischer

People want to hit the ball longer. That’s the selling point of
every club on the market. But hitting the ball longer is very
misleading. As I was driving into the Ely Callaway Performance
Center, I saw the guys hitting all kinds of drivers on the
range. I told them, "You can hit that driver all day long but
if you don’t make it from six feet, it doesn’t matter."

If you want to practice your golf swing, take your 8-iron
because it’s a long enough club to finish your swing but it’s a
short enough yardage to measure your accuracy. For timing and
tempo, the 8-iron is a very good club to practice your golf

It’s been said before but if you are really serious about
improving your game, you have to practice your short game.
I would go right to my club pro and learn two or three shots
that you have had trouble with through the years. Then I’d go
to that putter and practice my putting. Try to be a better lag
putter. For a lot of people, putting is such a non-entity in
their minds but it really is 50 percent of the game, if not

If you have a full-time job and have to work, you’re probably
never going to be playing on a pro tour; there are simply not
enough hours in the day. But if you find even an hour a week,
even 20 minutes at a time, it will make a huge difference in
your game.

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

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