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Get Shorty

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          GOLF TIPS - WEdnesday, March 19, 2008
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"

Fellow Duffers,

We finally got a round of golf in this weekend, and I was
surprised that only one aspect of my game was missing. My short
game. My putting was actually pretty good, but I couldn't hit a
wedge or chip close to save my life. I was 10 strokes higher
than I was the last time I played in December. I'm looking
forward to working it out!


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Putting From Off The Green By Sandy LaBauve

When we get up around the greens. We really have one goal, you
don’t want any disasters. A disaster is say, a shot that you
hit “fat,” and you catch the ground before the ball and it
goes nowhere. Or a “skull” shot where maybe you catch the
middle portion of the ball and it blades and runs over the
green into the bunker on the other side.

Those are dangerous shots because they add strokes to your
score. You need a low-running shot around the green. But as a
new golfer putting is probably going to be your best option.
Disregard what your playing partners that have more experience
are doing. They may use sand wedges and pitching wedges and
eight irons and chip the ball. It is fine for them and it will
be fine for you later on. But at this stage, putting is
probably going to be the safest shot possible. Let’s look at
this situation.

Here I’ve got sprinkler heads and I know they can be a little
bit intimidating, but chances are my ball is going to run much
better over the sprinkler head by just rolling it along the
ground and getting it on the green somewhere where I’ve got a
chance to at least two putt, if not one putt. Let’s watch how
easy it comes over that sprinkler head. Now I can get that
ball a lot closer with my putter most of the time than I
could chipping that golf ball and running the risks of hitting
fat or skull shots.

Let’s look at some of these other shots. All of these shots
around the green you’re going to do better if you putt these
balls. Especially this one, it’s a “downhill lie.” This is
one of the toughest shots in golf and one of the easiest to
miss. We’re always going to do better putting this golf ball.
Simply get yourself set up, slant your shoulders a little
with the slope, take your putting grip and get a good target
line and then just stroke the putt. I’m not that close to the
hole but I’ve got a great chance that I can make a two putt
and some of those I’m going to one putt. You’re going to come
out better. So, the rule of thumb here is, anytime you can
play the safest shot possible. For you as a new golfer, that’s
generally going to be a putt.

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Landing Area - Short Game By Mike McGetrick
An area that I think most golfers can improve on is hitting
their landing area when they play golf and especially when
they practice golf. If you watch the best players in the world
they consistently land the ball in the same place every time,
when they play and when they practice. The average golfer,
they land it different places every time. When you go out and
practice, if you look right here, I have placed I white disc
on the green, get yourself a pile of balls and practice being
consistent at landing the ball in the same area every time.

So this white disc is my target and I can think of a three
foot circle around it. I want to be more consistent landing
the ball in the same place every time. I am going to set up
and hit one for you, aiming at the white disc. That was a good
one, I landed it right there, got a good shot to my target.

Now I am going to set up and try to duplicate my shot. That
one was a little lower, I carried it too far, so I want to
self correct, make the next one better. That was real good
right there. What I want to do on my next one is try to
duplicate that shot trying to be consistent at hitting the
landing area. That one I carried a little far. The next time
you go out and practice, pick a target, lay something out
there in your landing area, it could be a tee, bag tag,
whatever you want to use to give you something to hit at,
and try to be more consistent at hitting your landing area
time after time. If you practice that way your short game
will really improve.

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SHAPE WALK THREE: Moderate to Fast Pace 4.2 to 4.5 mph

Measured Wedge Shots By Mike LaBauve

If you want to hit your wedges better, and it’s a necessary
item in a golf game if you want to shoot low scores, you
have to be able to hit the wedge close to the hole. That
means from 50 yards, 80 yards, 30 yards so on and so forth.
What I find most often with people that are having trouble
with these shots is that they are using too many power
sources to hit a partial shot. By that I mean that when you
start back, you might be turning your shoulders and
extending your arms all the way back to this point. Now if
I do, from this position, this much turn, I can actually
turn through and hit a wedge 100 yards.

I do not want to do that. If I want to hit it 50 yards, I
want to use only the power sources that are required. Just
like if I was going to throw a ball this distance with no
turn at all, if I wanted to throw it far then I would use
a turn. Same thing applies with a wedge. If I want to hit
a shorter shot, I might take my arms and swing them against
my chest as far as they can go, that’s it, and then from
here release my arms and make a through-swing, it would
look something like this. That way I feel like I can go
ahead and accelerate from this point all the way through.

But if I took a big turn and extended my arms, I would feel
like I would have to decelerate going through to the golf
ball. Now for each increment of 10 yards you want to go
past the correct shot I hit, you can then turn your
shoulders just a little bit at a time, but each swing would
feel tight and connected once you got back here. Then go
ahead and release to the finish position. Give it a try.
Find that position where you can swing your arms up against
your chests, that’s as far as they can go, then release
the golf club to your finish position. And start
calculating the yardages, you will be amazed at what this
does for your golf game.

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

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