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Publication: Today's Golf
I Lament the End

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          GOLF TIPS - Wednesday, October 17, 2007
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"

Fellow Duffers,

It always seems cruel to me that just when I begin to play my
best the weather changes and playing becomes more infrequent.
Yes, I play year round, but only once or twice a month in the
rainy/cold months.

Oh well, like a Cubs fan I resign myself to sigh and whisper,
"...Next year."


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Why Golfers Slice and Hook
By Jimmy Ballard

What I would like to talk to you about today is how a lot of you
wonder why you hook the ball, why you slice the ball or why you
hit the ball straight. The easiest way to explain it to you is
to explain that angles create curves in the golf ball. It is an
angle that curves your golf ball for the slice and it is an
angle that creates the hook.

What I want you to understand right off the bat is how important
the connection of the left arm is, where it starts in the golf
swing and how the left arm is what creates the angels, it is
never the right arm. The best way I can explain that to you is
if I set up to the ball in what we call the weightlifters
position, or the natural position, that connects our arms to our
shoulders. We don’t want our arms reaching out; we don’t want
our arms to create angles.

It is like curling weights, your shoulders would be level, and
when you set up the relationship of your shoulders to your
hands would form a triangle. You never want to create an angle
in the set up, if you do you are set up to slice or to flip and
hit hooks. So take the angle out at the beginning by creating
the triangle in the set up. In the golf swing both elbows should
point down to the ground, you never want either elbow pointing
out because that we be an angle.

So by both elbows pointing down like a weight lifter in the curl
position, I want you to notice how important where the left arm
is and where it should stay throughout the swing. Wherever I set
my left arm, if you look at my left elbow, the left elbow
totally controls the clubface, totally controls your radius and
totally controls your arc. The simplicity of that is that if I
set up to the ball square, notice that as the left elbow moves
just a degree or so, look how much that changes the clubface.
Look how much that creates an angle to hit a glancing blow in
the golf swing.

So always understand in the golf swing, and it is very crucial,
that both elbows point down at all times. The elbows point down
in the backswing and the elbows point down on the forward-swing.
If the elbows are down on the backswing and the elbows are down
on the forward-swing you can never create an angle. Angles are
created from the left elbow coming out and pointing up on the
backswing and from the right elbow pointing out on the backswing
with the left elbow pointing in.

Always in the golf swing, when you set up correctly, with the
brace connected address, the club is always pointing back to the
center of your body. If the club does that and the elbows are
pointing down, the club will always stay pointing at the center
of your body and you will always maintain the triangle. If the
left elbow rolls out it creates and angle and if your right
elbow flies out it creates an angle. So the key here, before
you solve any problems on slices or hooks, is to always
understand keeping the triangle and keeping the elbows down
throughout the swing.


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Today's Deal of the Day

Distance Control on Long Putts
By Sandy LaBauve

When it comes to long putts you really want to pay attention to
your distance control. I am going to read this putt and then
take a minute to look at the slope, but then I am going to line
the label up with the direction I want it to go and kind of
forget about it and focus on distance.

When I am reading for slope I want to get at least six to eight
feet behind the ball so that I can see the line. Hopefully I
have been looking at this putt as I was walking up to the green
and I am seeing if there were any balls that were bouncing to
the right or the left so I might get an indication there too.
If I can walk the putt I might do that too so that I can feel
the slope.

I can see on this putt just with my eyes that there is a lot of
slope to the right so I am simply going to line up my label a
little bit to the left of the hole, about eight to 10 feet of
break. It is a pretty tricky putt, I can see this little ridge,
but now alignment is done for me. When I walk up I am going to
use my eyes. I get far away enough from the ball that I will
not hit it by accident, and I am going to make some swings just
feeling the distance.

I am looking up at my target line, swinging back and forth,
trying to feel if I was going to roll it how much swing would
I use. Notice that my body is very quite, I want my head very
quite and the only thing that is really working here are my
arms and shoulders. My elbows are still staying rather close to
my body. I just want to hit the putt solid, use a nice pace and
make the right amount of stroke. I am taking practice strokes,
feeling it, then I am going to step up, line my alignment line
behind the line I have chosen, glance back up and hit it with
what I just felt.

Notice how I am trying to hold the finish. Now I am very happy
with that putt, it was a downhill putt, I left it a little past
the hole but it is very makeable. As long as I am getting my
putts down there to within two to four feet and I am making my
four footers like I have been practicing then I feel like I am
going to two putt or one putt a lot of the greens when I am out
on the golf course. You really have to work on your distance
control. Practice a variety of distances so that you can get
good and feel whenever you have to hit a putt that is 30 or
40 feet. Remember, rehearse looking at the target. Use your
eyes. It is the best thing to give you touch and feel. Work on
those long putts, it will sure save you strokes out on the
golf course.


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Slice Cause: Right Elbow
By Jimmy Ballard

Many of you out there are always asking the question: why do I
slice the ball or why do I hook the ball? The first thing I
would like to do is address the slice. I want you to understand
that any curve of the ball is created by an angle. It is just a
matter of what angle you put in there.

Now the thing that you must realize is that we talk a lot about
the left elbow controlling the clubface, and it controls the
radius, and it controls the arc. So if the left elbow rolls up
and points at the sky during the backswing it is changing the
clubface, and there is your angle. That means to hit that ball
solid I would have to roll my elbow on the backswing and roll
it back the same amount on the downswing. That is impossible
to do consistently and what you are trying to do in the golf
swing is to build a swing that is consistent.

So to do that you must understand that the left elbow must
always stay down for the club to stay square to the ball.
Slices come from two or three different things. A lot of it is
caused by the old form of teaching which, in my opinion, by
the law of physics you can prove all day long is totally
incorrect. That is, people are told from the top of the swing
to tuck their right elbow in. Well if from the top of the swing
the first thing you do is tuck your right elbow in then your
left elbow comes out creating and angle to cut across the ball.

The ball slices because you are some form of outside-across.
And actually, in the golf swing, the more you tuck your right
elbow in the more outside-across you are. To correct the slice
you have to hit a descending blow, down the line and inside-out.
And the only way the club can travel by the laws of physics
inside-out, because the left arm is shorter on the club than
the right, is the left elbow is what has to fold down. Then
the right arm can get long, and that creates an inside-out,
down the line squaring the club to the ball swing.

But any form of tucking the right elbow in, or any form of
pulling the handle at the ball does nothing but create an
angle to slice if you leave the blade open. Now we can go
from there and show you how that same angle, depending on
where you flip your hands, can also cause a hook.

You can discuss this issue or any other topic in the new
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