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          GOLF TIPS - Thursday, January 3, 2008
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"

Fellow Duffers,

How long do you think it will be before peole in the Midwest are
golfing again? Well, the forecast calls for weather in the
fifties this weekend--but, we had so much snow that the courses
will probably be under water. Oh well.


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This Week's Topic: Taking the Right Amount of Sand
LPGA Professional: Nancy Henderson

Let's face it, the sand bunker is called the sand trap for a
reason. Most golfers hate to be in the sand. That's because they
either take too little sand and the ball goes sailing across the
green or they take too much sand and the ball actually stays in
the bunker.

So what's the tip for taking the right amount of sand? Well, the
tip is a dollar's worth of sand.

You see this is a great practice technique. You want to go ahead
and put a dollar down and put the ball right on George
Washington's face. Then draw lines at the front of the dollar
and behind it.

Then take some practice swings after you draw the two lines to
where the club enters at the back line and finishes through the
front line. Go ahead and swing and send the sand flying out. Now
do the same thing over the ball. 

And that's your tip for taking just the right amount of sand.
Think One Dollar.


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This Week's Topic: Back spin--or a soft landing
LPGA Profesional: Karen Jansen

A lot of my students ask me how to get back spin. They see the
pros take short shots to the green that back up toward the pin
and they want to do that too. Well, it takes a lot of skill and
a lot of practice to get back spin but I can at least show you
how to get the ball to land softly when you are by the green.

The first thing you want to do is you want to set up so you are
a little bit open to your target that means point your body a
little bit left to where you want the ball to go and lean your
weight forward toward your left leg.

The second thing is play the ball further back in your stance.
To get back spin you actually need to hit down on the ball so
you want to catch the ball first. Your hands should be ahead
of the ball at address and ahead at impact.

And the third thing is you need to hinge your wrist freely on
the back swing. You want to make sure you get that club head up
in the air as you swing back. The worst thing that you can do
when you pitch is to take the club back low and inside.

So work on these three things to get the ball to land softer.

Equipment Tip from PGA Professional.com

A highly skilled player could go out and shoot a very good score
with just about any set of golf clubs. They have enough feel and
experience to make adjustments and adapt to the performance
differences between clubs quickly. For a middle to high handicap
player, however, having equipment that is properly fitted to
their physique and capabilities is more crucial. 

No matter what your handicap or skill level, having the right
clubs is one more thing you can do to give yourself the best
possible chance of playing well. 

There are many different variables in club fitting (swingweight,
club length, grip size, grip material, shaft flex, shaft
material, loft and lie, clubhead style, clubhead material, and
so on). The two most important of these are: lie angle (the
angle between the shaft and sole plate) and shaft flex (the
relative stiffness or softness of the shaft). 

If you're serious it's also important to have the frequency of
your shafts consistent throughout your set. Good clubmakers will
have no problem fitting you for these variables. 

Of course, there's no substitute for liking the look and feel of
your equipment. 


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Point Your Way to Consistency 
What the hands do directly affects the clubface position, which
affects the ball's flight. With a normal stance, take your grip
but point your finger down the shaft so it's pointing at the
ball at address. Check the club when it's parallel to the ground
on both the backswing and follow-through. The finger should point
down the target line on the way back and at the target on the way
through. This is also a great tip if you're confused about how it
should feel to release your hands properly.  

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

Golf Tips Forum

Questions? Comments? Email us: mailto:sam@gophercentral.com
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