Saturday, July 1, 2006
Tips From The Tour
Study the best in the world and improve your game
Hit It With Your Downswing
Stuart Appleby has become one of the best golfers in the world due to a great combination of power and accuracy, both of which are a result of his nearly perfect backswing. When looking at Applebys swing from this angle, youll notice two elements that epitomize the modern golf swing. First, he makes a great full turn with his torso without moving his legs out from underneath his body. His feet remain flat and both knees stay flexed despite the strong turn of the shoulders and hips. Next, his arm swing is short, leaving space between his right arm and right ear at the top of the backswing. This eliminates the possibility of overswinging and greatly improves his balance.
A shot that truly separates the amateurs from the pros is the soft lob that can travel over a hazard and still land softly. The reason so many amateurs lack the ability to execute this shot is because they dont understand that the club must continue to accelerate all the way through the swing. Obviously, there are other key elements that make the soft lob possible, like a clubface that stays open and feet that aim left of the target, but in terms of actually executing the shot, its critical to focus on acceleration. Keep your arms loose and swing all the way through, and the shot will rise quickly and stop softly due to the trajectory of the shot rather than the amount of spin.
Three Right Hands
Ben Hogan said he wished he had three right hands to hit the ball. This advice has messed up golfers for decades because they misunderstood what he meant. In an attempt to involve the right hand too early, many golfers allow their arms to straighten and their wrists to flatten before impact. The typical result from this casting move is a lack of power and a lot of slices and over-the-top pulls. The correct technique for using the right hand is perfectly displayed by Kevin Na. Instead of straightening early, notice how his right arm remains bent at the elbow while his right wrist is bent back approaching impact. This combination effectively sustains the acceleration of the club while facilitating the correct rotation of the lower body, creating power with ease.
Make A Splash In The Sand
Aaron Baddeley illustrates proper bunker technique perfectly with his wide stance and flexed knees. Once he establishes this setup position, all that remains is to splash the club through the sand several inches behind the ball, allowing the bounce of the wedge to move the sand from underneath the ball.
Turn Your 7-iron Into A 4
Pros like Tommy Armour III know how to hit the ball with a descending blow and compress it against the clubface, which produces a hard, boring trajectory. Conversely, recreational golfers tend to hit iron shots on the upswing, which adds loft to the shot and robs distance. To produce pro-style trajectory, allow your hands to lead the clubhead into impact, turning your right palm toward the ground instead of toward the sky.
Down And Out, Not Up And In
Tiger is a perfect example of a great ballstriker who knows how to work the club through the impact area on the proper plane, traveling down and out, not up and in. The down and out path is the one the club needs to travel on in order to create the proper impact alignments that produce maximum distance and accuracy. Many amateurs attempt to help the ball go toward the target by moving the club up and in toward their body through impact. Instead of achieving the tremendous extension seen in Tigers swing, their misguided efforts at impact produce the ugly, power-draining chicken wing that features bent, jammed arms. Follow Tigers lead and avoid trying to add power at impact with your arm muscles. Instead, simply let the arms extend down and through the impact zone.
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