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Don’t fan your face to stop your slice before it starts   Leave a comment

imageMany of you chronic slicers get too handsy with your takeaway. When your first move is to whip the club back from address, your forearms and wrists rotate immediately out of the chute. Here’s a check: If your right palm is facing skyward halfway through your backswing, so is your clubface. This means that the clubhead is outracing your upper body, and you’re going to end up slapping weakly at the ball. Fore, right!

Quick-whipping your hands is the fastest way to weak shots and more sidespin.

imageInstead of rolling your wrists right off the bat, focus on using your chest and arms to start the swing. You’ve got it right if, when you stop your swing halfway through your backswing, your right palm faces toward the ground, just like the clubface (and your spine!). This rock-solid position helps you control the clubface better while also giving you time to rotate your upper body even farther back into a power-charged coil.

When you do it right, your club-face and right-wrist angles should be very close to the angle of your spine.

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Posted 15 December, 2017 by E. Marino in Golf.com

Putting   Leave a comment

imageThe three of us put our minds together to really determine the most important aspect of sinking a clutch putt. A soft grip and a smooth stroke back and through matter.

But kept coming back to as the key to holing a crucial putt is a steady head. Any excessive head movement can cause you to roll the ball on a different line than you intended, or alter the face so it’s no longer square to that line.

You’re anxious to see where the ball’s going, and it’s hard not to track the movement of the putter or ball with your eyes. But to make sure you give yourself the very best chance of making one, you’ve got to check your head. Keep it as still as possible.

Just remember not to tense up simply because you’ve got this feeling of being in lockdown with your noggin. In fact, when you stand over the putt, don’t make a stroke until you feel your shoulders and jaw bone relax. When the tension is gone, hit the putt and don’t look up for at least a full second.

You don’t need to see it go in. It’s way more illin’ to hear the ball rattle around as you stare at your opponent.

Posted 10 December, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Putter

Approach shots   Leave a comment

approach-shotsWhen it comes to hitting greens down the stretch, nothing is more important than distance control. Think about it. Even a shot that’s 20 yards off line might still be on the green if you hit it pin high. That’s why you should really focus on solid contact when hitting your irons in the clutch.

Here is a simple tip that will cure a common negative tendency with your irons. When you get into your address position, focus on the front of the golf ball—the sliver closest to your target. Then, when you swing, stay focused on hitting that part of the ball.

This will help delay the release of the club, so you make ball-first contact with a delofted clubface. That gets the iron to continue moving downward even after the ball is struck. You’ll compress it.

A sure sign you’re hitting your iron shots powerfully is the look and feel of the clubshaft at impact. It should be leaning toward your target like I’m demonstrating.  Note how the left eye really looks like it’s fixated on that front edge of the golf ball. That also will help get your mind off the weight of the moment.

Posted 10 December, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest

Weekly challenge: speed reader   Leave a comment

short-gameThe key to hitting a good pitch or chip is to minimize the role of the hands. Instead, use a more reliable method of turning your body toward the target to propel the club along the ground before and after impact.

In other words, keep your chest turning through. Like the visual of pretending there is a long club with its grip attached to your chest. Your mission is to hit the shot by turning your body. If you don’t turn your chest, the club doesn’t move.

If you do turn, the butt end of the club should be pointing at your stomach at the finish.

Another thing that will help you hit short-game shots is how you set your hands. At address, lean the shaft slightly away from the target, so your left wrist feels slightly cupped and your right wrist flat. Maintain those wrist positions as you turn your chest toward the target, and you’ll pull off the shot every time.

Posted 10 December, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest

When it fits your eye: let the shot hppen   Leave a comment

levelWhen you come to a hole that bends in the direction that your drives naturally curve, you think, Finally, a hole made for me.

Well, you have to be careful, because the situation is tempting you to hit the hero shot. If you’re a fade player, you look at a dogleg-right hole and want to just rip it. The problem is, if you aim straight and over-fade your drive into the inside corner of the dogleg, that’s where the worst trouble is. You’ve just turned your dream hole into a nightmare.

To play a hole that matches your shot shape, aim at the outside corner of the dogleg and give your tee shot room to work back toward the middle. If you’re a fade player on that dogleg-right, here’s the procedure: First, aim the clubface at the left edge of the fairway (left); then, set your body lines—feet, hips, shoulders—parallel to the line the face is on (right). Now you can make your normal swing—no steering!—and your preferred shot shape will move the ball into perfect position

Posted 14 November, 2017 by E. Marino in Harmon, Tips

Uphill drives: set up a high launch   Leave a comment

uphillThis one’s a classic. You see the fairway rising in front of you and think you have to help the ball up. So what do you do? You play the ball way forward in your stance or hang back and flip your hands upward at impact. These moves are not reliable and often lead to topped drives or hitting the ground behind the ball—the dreaded drop-kick.

It’s true, you want to create more carry on uphill shots, but you have to do it the right way. Take your normal address (left), then move your back foot four or five inches to your right, widening your stance (right). This will angle your upper body a little more away from the target.

You’ll make a good turn and be able to shift forward coming down and still be behind the ball so you can hit up on it slightly. That upswing hit creates a high launch.

Remember, the tee box of an uphill hole is as level as any other; no need to adjust your swing. Just set up behind the ball a touch, and you’ll get more carry.

Posted 14 November, 2017 by E. Marino in Harmon, Tips

Short holes: swing to a distance   Leave a comment

Butch HarmonYou step up on short par 4s and your instinct is to get as close to the green as possible, so you whale away with your driver. That’s OK for good players, but golfers less skilled with wedges need to look at the shot they’re leaving themselves. If you’re playing a 300-yard hole and you drive it 240, the remaining 60-yard shot can be one of the toughest. Add in a small green or deep front bunker—common features on short par 4s—and you can make a big number fast.

The trick on these holes is to drive the ball to your favorite wedge yardage. For some players, it’s a full wedge, like 110 yards, or a three-quarter shot of 80 or 90 yards. Then you look at the length of the hole (300) and subtract your favorite distance (110) to figure out what you want from your tee shot. In this case, covering 190 yards might mean hitting a hybrid or long iron. Then just commit to covering that yardage, not swinging like you have a driver in your hands. You’ll make more birdies that way than trying to pitch it close from an awkward distance nearer the green.

Posted 14 November, 2017 by E. Marino in Harmon, Tips