Thursday, May 17, 2007
Copy This, Not That
Four things you shouldn't copy from today's top touring professionals
3. Wristy Strokes Can Help
We’ve all seen Tiger drain some tough putts. His ability to square the face while maintaining almost no wrist movement is downright uncanny and very difficult to copy. (For those of you who have tried, do you find yourself missing putts to the right?) Some wrist bend can actually help! It helps stabilize the body and secondly, by adding some wrist movement during the stroke, it becomes easier to square the clubface at impact. The putting stroke, like all golf swings, is on an arc and actually opens slightly on the backswing and closes slightly on the forward swing. Adding some wrist release helps make it easier to square the clubface!
If you haven’t thought much about putter length, it’s okay, most golfers haven’t! Putter length is critical, since it’s imperative you have the right length to match your most comfortable and natural setup position. If you have a putter that’s too long or short, your stroke will suffer. Therefore, don’t just take the 35-inch standard as right for you. Get your putter fitted. It is, after all, the club you use the most in the bag!
4. Bump & Run, Not Flop & Stop
They’re fun to watch, eh? Those high flop shots you see PGA Tour players hit are exciting, but for most people, they’re not the best option around the green. Reason being, they require a deft and trained touch that can only be refined if you play a lot of golf. Instead, if you have some green to work with, the bump and run shot with a PW or 7-9 iron is very effective. It’s also more predictable, since the ball will likely roll with both good and bad contact. However, if you come to a tight spot and all you can do to get it close is flop it, make sure you accelerate and let the loft kick in by holding the clubface open like Sergio Garcia in the photo on the left. It’s a tough shot, but not an impossible one if you put in the needed practice time.
The bounce angle of your irons greatly affects your ability to hit different shots. Higher bounce angles are more effective in soft conditions when digging isn’t preferred. On the other hand, when some digging is needed, lower bounce models are more effective. Typically, to hit a bump and run, both high and low bounce angles can be effective. But come time to hit some quick, high flop shots, a low bounce wedge is a must to prevent unwanted thin shots.
Jeff Yurkiewicz is a teaching professional at the Kostis McCord Learning Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more, visit www.kostismccordlearning.com.
Bonus video Tip: Want to hear more insights from Jeff? Click here!
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