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Time To Go Low

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          GOLF TIPS - Wednesday, August 15, 2007
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"
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Fellow Duffers,

I know the world has its problems, but as for golf, these
are exciting times we live in. Tiger is at 13 majors--and
he's younger than Jack was when he reached 13.

To witness excellence is a treat. Watching Muhammad Ali,
Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Wayne Gretzky, Jack,
Tiger--any one who dreams of being the best and then works
his tail off to get there, helps us believe that we too
can attain certain levels of achievement in our lives.

We are all born with the same physiology, but mentality
and habits set us apart. We need to believe in ourselves.
We need to visualize the best type of person we can aspire
to be and then work to make that vision a reality.

Sam
mailto:sam@gophercentral.com


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I have edited his article because it is too long for this
publication. 

Dave Pelz's Fast New Ways to Lower Your Handicap

Armed with ShotLink technology, we've performed the most
accurate comparison between Tour-player and amateur skills yet.
Now you'll know exactly where you're wasting strokes and what
you need to do to lower your handicap.

By Dave Pelz with David Denunzio

Your big problem: You make "funky" swings in sand

My New Research on SAND PLAY states that you need to work on
ball position, entry point and target selection

THE COLD HARD FACTS

Average Proximity to Hole From Sand

PGA Tour 	9'9"
0 Handicap 	18'9"
10 Handicap 	19'2"
20 Handicap 	18'4"
30 Handicap 	26'2"

Why your numbers are bad

1. PROS play the ball forward in their stance and use an almost
standard wedge swing. They open the clubface and slap the sand
to get the ball out, but otherwise the mechanics of their swing
are smooth and normal.

YOU make unique, funky swings in sand.
(In analyzing play at Arrowhead Country Club, we saw hard
swings, vertical-V swings, reverse pivots, players falling
backwards, players stopping their swing immediately after
impact, etc.)

2. PROS practice making sure their club enters the sand the
same distance behind the ball every time.

YOU never hit the sand in the same place twice. Sometimes you
contact the ball before sand - or hit very close behind it -
and send it flying over the green. Other times you hit too
far behind the ball and leave it in the hazard.
(Even when they made good contact two inches behind the ball,
the amateurs we measured often swung either too hard or too
easy and, as a result, carried the ball too far or too short.)

How to make them better

Play the ball forward
Try this: Hit a normal wedge shot from grass. Notice how your
divot is forward (toward the target) of the center of your
stance. This exact same swing which contacts the ball before
it hits the ground on fairway shots can also serve as your sand
swing. It will correctly hit two inches behind the ball in sand
if you simply position the ball forward, out from the instep of
your left foot.

Give yourself room to work
Play to reasonably safe sections of the green. Look at the sand
shot I'm hitting: I need to carry the ball four steps just to
get out, but if I carry it four steps past the flag it ends up
in the bunker on the other side of the green. Based on ShotLink
data, Tour pros should take dead aim at this flagstick because
they'll end up within about 10 feet of the hole. But if your
average leave distance is longer (see handicap data, far left),
you'd be wise to aim out to the right where there's more green
to work with.



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Your big problem:  You leave too many putts short

My New Research on MAKEABLE PUTTS
Touch for distance, getting line-locked and not reading enough
break are hurting your putting performance

THE COLD HARD FACTS

Why your numbers are bad

1. PROS Rarely leave makeable putts (10 to 25 feet) short of
the hole.

YOU would score significantly better by not leaving so many
makeable putts short. Look at the scatter patterns of second
putts remaining after the first makeable putt is missed. This
"leaving-it-short" phenomenon was surprisingly consistent
across the handicap range of amateurs but almost absent for
pros. (The amateurs actually did themselves proud when it
came to makeable putts. Their performance almost across-the-
board was closer to the pro level than in almost any other
category we measured.)

2. PROS Play more break and miss more putts on the high side
of the hole.
YOU almost never play enough break and leave a high percentage
of missed putts below the hole.
(This was very discouraging to me. I have been preaching to
amateurs to play more break in putts for the last 10 years,
but this new data shows no evidence of anyone having
listened.)

How to make them better

Forget the line
Too many golfers complain of pulling or pushing after missing
a putt. These complaints are indicative of too much focus on
line, with not enough attention paid to speed or distance. The
truth is, a putt's speed determines how much it breaks, and
therefore usually controls its line (left or right) as it
approaches the hole. In addition, most golfers don't read the
right line in the first place.

Having said this, do me - and your game - four favors this
season: (1) Focus on rolling putts beyond the hole on average;
(2) Allow for a little more break on every breaking putt you
see; (3) Recognize that for every putt you leave short you've
thrown away a chance of holing it; and (4) Realize that until
you miss as many putts above the hole as below, you're STILL
not reading enough break on average. Do these things for me
and you just may start putting like a professional. 



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No more toe hits
My tee drill will help you extend your arms for center-face
contact

By Jim McLean
Photo By Stephen Szurlej September 2007

Hitting the ball off the toe of the club is one of the most
common ball-striking problems. It usually occurs when the
arms lose their extension as the club moves into the impact
zone -- often the swing path is pulling in because the golfer
is trying to lift the ball off the ground.

To cure this problem, stick two tees in the ground about a
clubhead apart. Set up to the tee that's closer to you, but
swing at the one farther away. This drill will flatten your
downswing path and will help you extend your arms through
impact. Extension is the key. You'll also swing the club
more around your body, which helps eliminate toe hits.

Using this same idea, I'll sometimes have a student
visualize two balls and try to hit the outside ball. This
has an even stronger effect. 



Lighten your grip
To hit it longer, take a tip from Johnny Bench

By Jim Flick
Photo By Dom Furore September 2007

There are a number of athletic principles that apply to
all sports. One is that tight muscles are slow muscles.
Tight muscles reduce speed and feel. Many great athletes
fear what tension under pressure does to their performance.

Back in the 1970s, I was the head professional at Losantiville
Country Club in Cincinnati. That's where I met Johnny Bench.
Not only was he an integral part of the famous Big Red
Machine, he was also a very good golfer.

Bench told me that when he swung for the fences, he held the
bat lighter to increase his bat speed. He hit 389 home runs
during his career.

The same principle applies to golf. A light grip pressure,
with your arms relaxed at address and throughout the swing,
allows you to release the club freely and with full extension.
The result will be more distance with less effort. Johnny
Bench and I guarantee it. 


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