How to handle tee shots with trouble down the right side   Leave a comment

donnigerIf you’re standing on a tee box with trouble to the right, you’re probably nervous. Many golfers hit a slice with their driver, so seeing a bunch of trees or a hazard off on the right side can easily produce a moment of panic.

If the hole demands driver, start by teeing your ball up on the right side of the tee box. This will open up your vision of the left side of the fairway, where you want your ball to go. Tee the ball a little lower than usual. When you set your club down, set it down a little shut. That means, if a square clubface sits at 12 o’clock, a shut clubface will be at 11 o’clock. After the clubface is closed, take your grip.

Aim to the left side of the fairway, and take your normal swing. Because you closed the face, you’ll see the ball flight behave differently than normal. Your shot will be a little pull, or a pull-slice. Either way, it’s going to end up in the fairway and not in whatever nightmare is lurking on the right.

If at all possible, opt for a club other than your driver. Try your 5-wood or hybrid. There’s more loft on those clubs, so they’re more forgiving.

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Posted 7 July, 2018 by E. Marino in Tips

Novedades importantes en las Reglas de golf y con cierta polémica   Leave a comment

El Royal & Ancient y la USGA han desvelado este lunes cuatro novedades sobre las Reglas de Golf que entrarán en vigor el próximo 1 de enero de 2019. Son modificaciones importantes y trascendentes, por cuanto afectan a situaciones del día a día en prácticamente cualquier vuelta de golf de un golfista, ya sea profesional o amateur. Una de estas cuatro novedades, además, viene envuelta de cierta polémica, ya que se trata de una medida muy discutida y debatida durante mucho tiempo sin que todo el mundo se termine de poner de acuerdo.

1.– La primera regla que se cambia tiene que ver con la manera de dropar. Se establece que la altura para dropar una bola a partir del próximo 1 de enero será la rodilla. De este modo, se realiza un cambio sobre lo que inicialmente se había dispuesto y que prácticamente permitía colocar la bola, en lugar de soltarla desde cierta altura, puesto que casi se podía hacer a dos dedos del suelo.

2.– La segunda modificación tiene que ver con el palo a utilizar para realizar un alivio de uno o dos palos. Se elimina la opción de poder utilizar el que quiera de la bolsa y se estipula la obligación de realizarlo con el más largo que lleve, a excepción del putter (para evitar el putter escoba). Así las cosas, todos los alivios se realizarán con el driver, salvo que el jugador no lleve.

3.– Se elimina la penalidad por golpear dos veces de manera accidental la bola. Así, se dé uno o más golpes durante una ejecución, sólo se contará uno.

4.– La modificación más polémica. Con el fin de aligerar el ritmo de juego, la USGA y el R&A estipulan que a partir del 1 de enero de 2019 se podrá dropar con penalidad una bola que ha ido fuera de límites o perdida de la misma manera que si hubiera caído en un obstáculo de agua. Es decir, no es necesario tirar provisional ni regresar al tee, se podrá dropar donde razonablemente se entiende que ha salido la bola.

Esta norma no se aplicará en los torneos profesionales ni en los amateurs de alto nivel y será una regla de local, es decir, se aplicará a discrección de cada club y del comité de cada torneo, no es obligatoria para todos. Tendrá una penalidad de dos golpes. Es decir, tras el dropaje se pegará el cuarto.

El nuevo sistema de Hándicap que se implantará en 2020

Además de estas cuatro modificaciones, se recuerdan otras seis reglas básicas que cambiarán a partir del próximo año:

– No habrá penalidad por mover accidentalmente una bola, por ejemplo en el putting green o durante el proceso de búsqueda de una bola perdida, siempre que se vea con claridad que no ha sido a propósito.

– No hay penalidad por patear con la bandera puesta, aunque toque el mástil la bola, y se da vía libre a reparar piques, marcas de clavos y otras imperfecciones del green, aunque pueda beneficiar levemente la línea del putt.

– A partir de 2019, los obstáculos de agua pasarán a llamarse zonas de penalización y tanto los campos como los torneos podrán marcar con estacas rojas otras áreas que no sean únicamente de agua, por ejemplo una zona de piedras, arbustos o lo que dictaminen que es mejor para dar mayor agilidad al juego. Por otro lado, hasta ahora, cuando un obstáculo de agua no estaba marcado se debía jugar siempre como si tuviera estacas amarillas, sin embargo a partir del próximo año se jugará como si fuera estaca roja. Además, se podrán mover impedimentos sueltos en un obstáculo y no habrá penalidad por apoyar el palo dentro del obstáculo.

– En los búnkers se podrán quitar los impedimentos sueltos y no habrá penalidad por tocar la arena con el palo o con la mano, con la excepción de apoyar el palo justo por detrás de donde está situada la bola para mejorar la posición de la misma. También existe la posibilidad de dropar fuera del búnker si la bola está injugable, siempre con dos golpes de penalidad.

– Además, se elimina la necesidad de tener que anunciar a un compañero de partido que se va a levantar una bola para identificarla o ver si está dañada.

– Respecto al ritmo de juego, se reduce el tiempo para buscar una bola de cinco a tres minutos, se pide expresamente a los jugadores que estén preparados cuando les toque su turno de juego y que no inviertan más de 40 segundos en pegar un golpe.

El golf ya no se arbitrará desde el sofá de casa

A partir de septiembre, se van a repartir tres ediciones diferentes de estas reglas: la edición de los jugadores, que será en un lenguaje más sencillo y en segunda persona; las Reglas de Golf, que será una edición más completa, técnica, escrita en tercera persona y con dibujos y la Guía Oficial de la Reglas que sustituye al anterior Libro de Decisiones.

Posted 28 June, 2018 by E. Marino in Notes

Pick up driver speed: Think pull instead of push   Leave a comment

When it comes to power, there’s an epidemic of misapplied force that is ruining thousands of swings every day. It’s a basic piece of instruction you’ve probably heard a lot—usually as a seemingly innocent part of correcting a wristy, flippy motion in a swing. But the problem with that advice is, it ruins your ability to produce good swing speed.

Mike JacobsTry this exercise: Hold your driver in front of you with your right arm only and, from a standstill, push the handle as quickly as you can toward the target. When you do that, what happens to the head? It stays behind. Do this during a swing, and you’re essentially trying to force the club to swing backward, and it will take a dramatic adjustment by your hands, arms or body to force the head into a decent striking position.

Instead of obsessing about getting your hands forward at impact, concentrate on pulling the handle instead of pushing it. As you swing through impact, feel like you’re pulling up toward the middle of your chest. That will make the club rotate and pick up the exponential speed at the head end—the signature of the biggest hitters.

Posted 25 June, 2018 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips

Why "Keeping your head down" Is killing your swing   Leave a comment

The head rotates in a tour-pro follow-through

Well, maybe, but that isn’t why most shots are topped. In fact, a lot of times it’s the opposite problem.

If you want to learn a skill that will keep you from topping it—and get you closer to hitting the same kinds of consistently good shots the professionals do—develop a tour-pro follow-through that involves a rotation of the head. Here’s how.

GolfTEC-correct-head-positionPose like you see here legs straightened, shoulders and hips facing the target, head rotated in that direction, too, and the grip extended as far away from the body as possible—that’s key.

You’ll notice this is a significantly different look to the follow-through you see from many amateurs—especially if you’re trying to keep your head down through impact. When you’re scrunched up like that, you don’t have room to extend your arms, and that lack of extension puts you in poor position to make solid contact.

Once you’ve burned the feel of it into your memory, hit some soft, slow shots while getting into that same position after impact. The closer you come to copying it, the easier it will be for your swing to bottom out in a predictable place every time.

Then you’ll no longer worry about having to make an excuse for your bad shot before the ball stops rolling.

Posted 24 June, 2018 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips

Want to shape shots like the pros? Here’s how to do it on command   Leave a comment

Tour players don’t like to discuss how they shape shots. They simply shape them, whether it’s by "thinking" fade or, maybe, "feeling" a draw. Their mechanics are that refined. But they had to start somewhere, and for intrepid shotmakers there’s no better place to begin than the setup. By altering your ball position, body tilt and alignment, you can hit the ball through nine different shotmaking windows: fades, draws and straight balls on a low, mid and high trajectory. That’s plenty of options.

TO CHANGE CURVE, CHANGE YOUR ALIGNMENT
This part’s easy. Set up with your feet and body closed to your target line to invite a draw. Do the opposite for a fade. And if you want to hit the ball straight, set your lines parallel to the target. Now, check the grid at right to see how it all matches up.

THEN, CHANGE YOUR BODY TILT
For high shots, tilt your torso away from the target, so that your left shoulder sits above your right (and even with your left hip). Just as it does when you play the ball forward in your stance, tilting away from the target shallows out your path and adds loft. The opposite is true if you lean your torso toward the target. Setting your right shoulder above your left at address decreases loft and launches the ball on a lower trajectory.

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TO CHANGE TRAJECTORY, CHANGE YOUR BALL POSITION
Positioning the ball back in your stance tends to produce less-lofted shots, since you’ve forced the club to come into impact on a steeper angle of attack. As you move the ball forward in your stance, your swing gets shallower and the face tends to remain open. The result? Higher-than-normal shots that stop on a dime (Ball position also effects direction)

ARC SIGNS
Your clubhead travels on an arc around your body through the hitting zone. The farther back you put the ball in your stance, the earlier you’ll strike it on this arc, giving you more of an inside-out, draw delivery. As you move the ball toward the target, the swing path straightens out until it transforms into a outside-in fade delivery.

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Posted 5 June, 2018 by E. Marino in Golf.com, Tips

Hit darts your fairway woods   Leave a comment

You’ve made high-lofted fairway woods and hybrids your primary tools for approach shots, and why not: They’re easier to hit longer and higher — from all kinds of lies — than low and midirons are. But this advantage is for naught if you end up buried in the long grass to the side of the green. For lower scores, you also need to hit your fairway woods and hybrids straight — and with longer shafts and more flexible faces, control is not a lofted wood’s No. 1 quality. A few adjustments in your thought process will keep you on the straight and narrow.

1. BE SMOOTH

Distance on approach shots only matters to the extent that you need to be able to reach your target. So there’s no need to overextend yourself. Choose the club that you can swing at 80 percent effort and still reach the green. Keeping the swing smooth and contained not only gives you more control, it increases your chances of making pure, solid contact.

There’s no need to force the issue with a fairway wood or hybrid—swing at 80 percent and let the club’s length and loft do the work for you.

2. BE PRECISE

Don’t be general when it comes to choosing your target. Pick a specific spot or area on the green as the destination for your approach. Being precise about your target not only encourages you to be more mindful of your alignment, but it creates a more vivid picture of a successful shot in your mind, which will carry over when it’s time to actually execute the shot.

3. CHANNEL YOUR SHOTS WITH THIS DRILL

You can emphasize accuracy in your next practice session by laying down two clubs parallel to each other on either side of the ball, about six inches apart. The idea is to create a channel—as you might on the putting green— that points down the target line and defines the ideal path for the clubhead. The channel serves two purposes: It gives you a reference for alignment, and it encourages you to focus on swinging the club straight down the target line through impact. Align the channel at a specific target, such as a distance marker, to get a feel for playing for accuracy.

Posted 22 May, 2018 by E. Marino in Golf.com, Tips

Skill around the green   Leave a comment

Corey-Lundberg-solid-impact-chip-shotsThe best short-game players always find a way to figure out the right play and get the ball close. You walk away thinking they have some magical gift. But the ability to pull off those little shots is rooted in one simple skill: making solid contact. That’s the first fundamental of the short game, and whether those players know it or not, learning to strike the ball consistently set them on the fast track to success.

Most golfers get caught up in all the details of the shot—the carry, the roll, trouble over the green—and they forget that hitting the ball solid is the first requirement.

For a basic chip, which works for most greenside situations, good contact comes mostly from getting into a proper setup. Take a narrow stance, with the ball in the middle and your spine vertical—not tilted away from the hole. Set more weight on your front foot, and then lean the handle just ahead of your pants zipper. Also, open the clubface a touch. These positions will pre-set a swing where you catch the ball first, then brush the grass.

The swing flows naturally from the setup. It’s an arc back and through with a slight descent into the ball. With the face open, the club will slide through impact. Remember, it’s about ball-first contact.

Posted 18 May, 2018 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips