Sunday, February 1, 2004
50 Best Playing Tips
Easy keys for making the most of every swing during every round
In an “underswing,” your arms move too slowly during the downswing and can’t keep up with your body turn. As such, your club becomes trapped (right) and the ball flies to the right. Underswinging is especially prevalent among women. Overswingers (mostly men) swing their arms too quickly, invariably in an attempt to produce added power. The problem with overswinging is that when you try to hit the ball too hard, you hit too soon from the top, which loops the club out toward the target line, resulting in a pull or a pull slice.
The solution is simple: If your shots are starting to the right of target, select one less club than you’d normally hit (a 7- vs. a 6-iron) and speed up your arms. If you’re pulling the ball, choose one more club and slow down your arms.
10. Check Your Lies
With misfit lie angles, it’s easy to groove a swing error. Lie angles that are too upright (toe up) at impact cause your ball to finish left of target. If they’re too flat (toe down), your ball flies wide right. If you make good swings and the ball consistently flies to the right of the target, it won’t be long before you introduce an over-the-top move to pull the ball back to target. If your ball flies left, you’ll learn to delay your hands to block the ball back to target. Bottom line: Have your lies checked.
11. Line ’Em Up
Your left-hand grip (for right-handers) has a lot to do with the accuracy of your golf shots. A good checkpoint is the positioning of the small depression at the base of your wrist formed by the tendons of your left thumb when you flex your wrist. At address, it should be directly over the center of the club handle. Why? Because when centrifugal force pulls your arms straight through impact, your wrist joint, elbow joint and shoulder joint will seek alignment. Pre-align them at address for a squarer clubface at the point of contact and, as a result, straighter golf shots.
12. Predict Trajectory
You’re under a tree and must keep it low, but you’re not sure how fast the ball will get up. One way to learn how is to lay down the club you’re planning to use with the butt end facing the target, then step on the clubface. The shaft will rise to the shot’s initial launch angle, allowing you to decide if the club is the correct choice to keep it under the obstacle.
13. Beat The Tweeners
If your “tweeners” (odd distances between clubs) have a history of being pulled and pushed, here’s the solution. If you’re a fast-swinging power hitter, take one less club and hit it harder.
If you’re a smooth swinger with a syrupy action, take one club more and hit it easy.
14. Go Inside
For crisper shots, aim for the inside-back quadrant of the golf ball. Doing so allows the club to make contact with the ball in a slightly open position (from which it correctly rotates to square, then to closed). As a reminder, position your ball on the tee so that the logo sits in the lower-left quadrant.
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