Thursday, June 1, 2006
It's Not Your Fault!
Never make the same mistake twice and start shooting lower scores by fixing your swing faults
If the dynamic lie angle of an iron is too upright, meaning the toe of the club is higher than the heel through impact, the heel of the club will meet the turf first and twist the club closed. The result is pulls and hooks. In contrast, if the lie angle of an iron is too flat, meaning the heel of the club is higher than the toe through impact, the toe of the club will meet the turf first, opening the clubface and causing pushes and slices. A properly fit lie angle will cause the sole of the club to meet the ground flush, creating shallow, rectangular divots.
Golfers who struggle with distance control usually err because they just dont know what clubs work best for certain shots. Sure, wed all love to chip like Phil Mickelson or Jim Furyk, but their one-club-for-all system isnt ideal for the average player.
Change the club, not the swing! Whether chipping with a 5-iron, pitching wedge or even a fairway wood, using the same stroke is a quick means for developing consistency around the greens. First, address the ball with the ball centered or slightly back (its better to err too far back than too far forward), hands pressed slightly forward and weight evenly distributed over both feet. Swing the club back with little to no wrist cock and accelerate through the ball. The key is to experiment with a variety of clubs and see how far and how much roll each provides. Taking guesswork out of the swing is a lot more effective than taking the guesswork out of choosing the right club.
Try chipping in the same manner as you putt. Use your putting grip, stance and the same pre-shot routine. With practice, youll develop a more consistent stroke, and for varying shots, all you have to do is change your club. Just take the time to practice and get a feel for distance and roll with all your odd-numbered clubs, from your 5-iron up through your sand wedge.
Equiptip: Get A Grip
By Mike Chwasky
Grips are oft-overlooked golf club components that can and do have a significant effect on club performance. After all, the grip is the golfers only physical connection to the club, and one that shouldnt be taken lightly. If a grip is too big, for example, it can significantly impede the ability to release the clubhead, which can cause slicing and a lack of power. At the same time, grips that are too small often tend to promote more hand action through the swing and a tendency to release the club too soon, causing hooks and generally poor contact. To avoid these problems, check in with your local golf professional or trusty repair shop at least once a year, and replace your grips with new ones that fit both your hands and your sense of feel.
Fat And Thin Iron Shots
Although fat and thin shots produce very different results, they tend to be caused by the same fault—a swing thats routed too much from the inside out. And while a swing that moves from inside the target line to outside the target line is desirable, if its overdone, youll have difficulty hitting solid shots. The best means to fixing the thin and fat shots is a matter of making adjustments to the setup and paying careful attention to not taking the club back too much to the inside on the takeaway.
Make sure the ball is centered or even slightly forward. Your weight should be positioned evenly over both feet. As you initiate the backswing, remember to take the club back along the target line and not to the inside of the target line. Let the upper body trigger the backswing and once the club reaches knee high, allow the body to begin turning away. As you reach the top of your backswing, the key is to be sure you allow your arms to initiate the downswing as your body begins turning toward the target. If your arms are late and your body is turning before your hands have time to drop, youll get stuck behind the ball and come too much from the inside, hence the fat or thinned shot to the right. Concentrate on getting your arms down and your hips cleared in that order on the downswing and youll start seeing quick results.
Stay connected. In a great golf swing, very few parts of the body function independently; rather, the golf swing requires a series of movements that happen simultaneously. Although Im suggesting an arms-first backswing and arms-first downswing, the reality is both movements are triggers that initiate the beginning of a series of chain reactions for the body to follow.
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