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Get the Rust Out

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          GOLF TIPS - Friday, March 28, 2008
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"

Fellow Duffers,

The 9 hole course I pass on my way to work every morning finally
opened yesterday. The funny thing is that it was snowing outside!
One day soon the season will start in earnest and I don't think
I'll be ready.


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Fat Shots: Causes and Cures
By Hank Haney

One of the worst shots in golf is the fat shot. The thin shot
usually finds the front of the green, but the fat shot goes
right in the lake in front of you. There are a couple of
different causes.

One is called the steep fat where your club is coming in too
steep and your angle of approach is too sharp into the ground.
It digs into the ground too deep and you hit it fat. Another
one is what we call a shallow fat. Your club is coming in too
shallow or too close to the ground and too far behind the
ball. You then hit the ground, hit behind the ball and you hit
it fat that way.

People who slice the ball usually hit it fat because of a
steep swing; people who hook the ball usually hit it fat
because of a shallow swing. If you are hitting shots fat
because your swing is too steep you are probably tilting your
shoulders instead of turning them. So when you swing I want
you to concentrate on keeping your left shoulder up and
turning back around. In a sense, making your turn more level.
If you swing the golf club more around your body that will
eliminate that fat shot.

When you look at the other fat shot, one that is caused by
too shallow a swing, your emphasis needs to be on keeping the
club out in front of you and turning your body through. When
your turn your body through that brings the bottom of the
swing forward. It will allow you to contact the ball and then
the turf. If I turn back and don’t turn through I am going to
tend to hit the ground behind the ball. So for the shallow
fat, less back, more through. For the steep fat, level your
turn, swing the club a little more around and you will
eliminate one of the worst shots in golf.


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Find Your Aim and Alignment
By Hank Haney

Most golfers feel like aim is their number one problem, but
really it is hitting the golf ball straight. It’s hard to find
the correct aim if you have curvature in your golf ball
because if you slice the golf ball it will slice more with
your driver than it will with your 9-iron, and then aiming
becomes very difficult. Provided you hit the ball pretty
straight, then obviously aiming is probably the most important
thing there is in golf. Here is a little tip on how you can
work on it.

Put two clubs down, one on your feet and one along the ball
line. Try to line up your feet, knees, hips, shoulders, eyes
and arms all parallel to the left of your target line. I talk
about two things when I talk about aim; I talk about aim and
alignment. Alignment is making sure that all your body is
coordinated: feet, knees, hips, shoulders, eyes and arms.

The most important in that group are your eyes, shoulders and
arms. Getting them aligned up so that everything is
coordinated well, parallel to the left of your target. Once
you have your alignment, then you can find your aim. Turn
your alignment so that you are parallel to the left with your
body and right on it with your clubface. The bottom edge of
your clubface should aim directly to your target. That is how
you find your aim, and that is how you find your alignment.

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Left Shoulder Connection
By Jimmy Ballard

What I would like to talk to you about now is a term that I
have used in golf for 39 years and that is the term connection
and let you understand what it means. Connection to us is to
take the left arm and connect it to your left shoulder. Now,
I find in golf, very few people know where their left shoulder
is. You can ask a person off the street, or a golfer, ‘where
is your left shoulder’ and they will always point right here
[top of arm] and this is no ones left shoulder, that’s your
shoulder joint or socket. Your left shoulder, male or female,
is the entire pectoral muscle and the entire lat. muscle.

One of the things that we use with people to help them
understand the connection and one of the things that Ben Hogan
did in 1945-1950 to change his swing, and he got this from my
mentor Sam Byrd, was to hold a handkerchief underneath his
left armpit. By holding that handkerchief underneath his left
armpit that tied his arm to his shoulder. Babe Ruth did
exactly the same thing in batting. He tied his left arm by
holding a towel underneath his armpit and he would never drop
that towel throughout the swing. What that does is allow you
to move your shoulder and not move your arm.

First of all, understand this in the golf swing, people talk
about shoulders all the time but they don’t teach the
shoulder. As soon as you are told to get a straight stiff left
arm your arm comes out of the socket and it goes across the
shoulder, or people tell you to take the club inside and your
left arm rolls around your shoulder. Your shoulder never moves.
To make your shoulder move try holding something under your
arm, a handkerchief, etc… Now my left shoulder is moving. I
use an example sometimes with people, if I wanted you to
backhand someone and you had to hit them as hard as you
possibly could, would you use a stiff left arm to hit them?
All you would do with a stiff left arm is make them mad, you
wouldn’t hurt them. But if you tied your left arm to the body
and hit them this way, now you are using the power of the
whole body, and you can hit them as hard as you are capable

In the golf swing that becomes the inner pull and the left
side pull, but when the left arm gets straight and stiff, or
out of the socket or away from the shoulder all it can do is
pull across the line of flight. So to us it is very important
that once you understand the set up, get your left arm in a
connected position tying the left arm to the shoulder so that
we can build the triangle in the golf swing that we never
want to change throughout.

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