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Publication: Today's Golf
Slices and Bunkers Cured!

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          GOLF TIPS - Wednesday, February 13, 2008
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"

Fellow Duffers,

It seems I'm constantly shoveling snow. I did make it out to the
Chicago Golf Show last weekend, though. It was nice. I hooked
up with a buddy that I hadn't seen since our last match back in
December. He looks different in pants and without a cap.

I told him he looked old. He told me, well, it's better not to
repeat what he told me.


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In Between Clubs
By Laird Small

Number seven at Pebble Beach is a very interesting hole. It is a
shot where you are in between golf clubs, which is not unlike
some of the great par threes or even the shots that you will
have at your own golf course. You are in between golf clubs on
a specific yardage. Here I am a little bit over 100 yards and it
is downhill. I can hit my 50 eight degree wedge, make a big
swing and use a lot of wrist. I can make a smaller swing with
less wrist action, more arm feeling, with my 52 degree wedge.

Here is where a lot of players struggle in controlling their
distance and being repeatable in their shots. These are your
scoring shots and you are going to have more of these types of
shots on the golf course than you are of any other type of
swing. What a lot of players will do with a more lofted golf
club is they will go back and make a big swing and get a lot
of wrist action in the shot. That shot you will hit a little bit
farther and a little higher but you may not be able to control
your distance as well because your contact will be inconsistent.

Here is another option with a club that has less loft, in this
case a 52 degree wedge, I am going to make a backswing where I
have hardly any wrist action and it is going to be feeling more
of an arm swing. You are seeing Tiger and Phil doing a lot of
this on the golf course when they are playing in tournaments to
control the trajectory of the ball and to control their distance.
They are doing so it might be a nice idea for you to look at it
or investigate it for your game. Remember, with these types of
shots you are not really trying to hit the ball as far as you
can, you are really trying to control the distance that you hit
your ball and see if that distance that you hit can be
repeatable. So when you are expecting to hit 100 yard shot you
can make 100 type swing and the ball should go that distance.
Give this a try first on the practice range and then transfer
it on to the golf course. It will save you tons of strokes.

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Greenside Bunker Basics
By Denis Pugh

The greenside bunker shot. It’s an easy shot when you watch the
Tour Pros on television. We have all seen them splash out of
bunkers and hit the ball close with lots of spin. You may have
even read about how to do this in the golf magazines. I would
like to demonstrate that shot for you to show you how a Tour
Pro plays it and then talk about a way that some less talented
players might want to tackle this shot.

Let’s look first at the PGA Tour star. He opens the clubface to
increase the loft. To get more spin he aims left and puts a
little bit of a cut swing on the ball. As he plays the shot he
is looking to get the ball to come out high and land soft.

But look at the high handicapper’s job. He or she should
understand that the club manufacturer has put sufficient flange
on the club to bounce through the sand. So put the clubface
square, align the body square or maybe a fraction left of the
target but basically square and play the swing as a pitch that
you are going to hit fat. Don’t try anything fancy here you are
just trying to get out to the green and let the ball roll up,
no spin on this one. Not everyone can play on the PGA Tour but
everyone should be able to get out of a greenside bunker on
their first go.


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Causes of the Slice
By Chuck Cook

What we want to talk about now is how to fix your slice. I think
it is important for you to know what causes your ball slices, no
matter whether the ball starts to the left and slices starts at
the target and slices or starts to the right and slices. What
makes the ball slice is the fact that your clubface is open to
the direction you are swinging. To eliminate your slice what you
have to do is do the things that will make the clubface look in
the same direction you are swinging. So attacking the clubface
is going to help you cure your slice. What we have following are
several different cures for you to try to find out which one will
help you to cure your slice.

The most common reason people slice is because they have a grip
which promotes a slice. What I mean by that is that their hands
are turned too far to the left on the grip so when they come 
back to impact their hands naturally open, thereby creating the
slice. To get the correct grip what you want to do is turn your
hand around so that your left thumb is more to the back of the
shaft, your left hand is more on top of the grip and the right
hand comes in facing the direction you want to go.

A good way to check and make sure you have the correct grip is
to use the two-tee drill. Just take a tee and stick it into the
gap between the thumb and first finger of the left hand. Do the
same with the right hand, and you will be able to tell
automatically if you have the correct grip if both of the tees
are on line over the top of the grip. This is the best way I
know to fix a slice.

Another reason that people slice is that as their coming down to
impact, they tend to drag their hands too far in front of the
clubhead, releasing the head of the club too late to square the
face up, so that when they make contact the face of the club is
pointing to the right making the ball go low and to the right.
The correct impact position would be to come in to where there
is a straight line all the way down from the left shoulder to
the head of the club.
To help you get this earlier release position, I’ve got a drill
for you. What I’d like for you to do, is I’d like for you to
tee up the ball and then using a middle iron or a short iron, 
like a 7-iron to a 5-iron. I’d like for you to put a tee about
two feet behind the ball, another tee about two feet in front
of the ball on your target line. Then taking another tee, I
would like to see you put it into the butt of the club [the hole
in the grip]. Then make some swings clipping this ball off of
the tee by making half a backswing, trying to point the tee in
the grip at the tee behind the ball. Release the head of the
club as early as possible and try to point the tee in the grip
at the tee that’s in front of the ball. Using this tee to re-tee
drill will help you get an earlier release and end to those
slicing problems.

Even though somebody may have a really good grip and may release
the head of the club at the right time, they still might slice
because as they release the head of the club they release their
hands in what we would call an underhanded or reverse position.
What should happen is that as you come back to impact your hands
should rotate into a position where the back of your left hand
is facing towards the target. If you come in and the back of
your left hand is facing towards the right the ball is going to
slice. I have a drill that will help you get rid of this 
reverse roll position. It is called the wristwatch drill.

What I would like you to do is to key on the face of your
wristwatch. As you make your backswing try to feel like your
wristwatch is on a 45 degree angle to the ground on the
backswing facing up towards the sky. As you come through you
want to rotate that wrist watch so that it makes a complete
90 degree turn so that it is facing 45 degrees down to the
ground on the follow-through. This rotation of the wristwatch
will square the clubface for you, thereby helping you to reduce
or eliminate that slice.

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