Sunday, February 1, 2004
50 Best Playing Tips
Easy keys for making the most of every swing during every round
39. At The Turn Tips
The turn is a good place to ask yourself if you’ve been a victim of the “spider syndrome.” When a spider is threatened, it curls up into a ball because, for the spider, motion is error. Many golfers under stress do the same thing—driven by the idea that “motion is error,” they cut back on their swing and steer the ball to minimize off-line shots. This robs them of distance and accuracy, so they tinker, and by the 14th hole, they’ve lost it completely. Resolve on the back nine to freewheel it.
A loss of distance can also be fueled by a “single shoulder turn,” where you turn your front shoulder, but shrug your back one. For longer, straighter shots, you need to turn both shoulders—the left under your chin and the right behind your neck.
40. Go Lean On The Fats
On short-iron shots, many golfers fail to shift their weight and execute a weak, arms-only swing. However, in order to hit crisp short irons, you’ve got to make a weight shift just as you do for full shots. Most high-handicappers leave about 40% of their weight on their back leg through impact, whereas Tour players leave only about 10%. The solution to prevent fat short irons: Shift your weight onto your front foot very early in the downswing.
41. Choke In The Sand
In a fairway bunker, be careful when you dig your feet into the sand. Digging your feet two inches into the sand effectively lengthens the club by two inches. The tendency here is to hit the sand first, a no-no when you need to pick it clean. Make sure you choke down the same amount.
42. Alternative Sand Play
If you skull your sand shots using the “standard” bunker technique, try this method. Open your body to the target line more than normal and position the golf ball in the middle of your stance. Now, make sure that the majority of your weight is set and remains on your back foot (the opposite of the normal technique) all the way through the swing. This ensures that you’ll hit the sand first and guard against catching the ball thin.
43. Pick Your Putt
Conventional wisdom advises golfers to get their approach putts and chips into a three-foot circle around the cup, but when the pin is on a slope, not all three-footers are equal. Three-footers from above the hole or from a side slope can be score-wreckers. Your goal should be to position your approach directly below the hole so you can ram your next putt straight back up the hill into the cup. Remember, from where you putt is as important as how you putt.
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