Class Continues May 24, 2011

By Martin HallMay 24, 2011, 11:00 pm

Q: Martin, I'm starting to wear a hole in the outside heel pad of my golf glove. What am I doing wrong?

- Ken Robie (from Facebook)

A: Firstly, all wear marks mean there is friction between the grip of the club and your glove.  No movement, no friction.  The wear being in your heel pad suggests that you probably do not have your heel pad on the club at address.  The heel pad should always sit on top of the club at address and not slide across the grip when swinging.  Most likely you have the club in the palm of your left hand too much at setup.  Check where that club sits in your hand, very likely that's your answer.

Q: I have been having some trouble with my chipping. Not so much from more than 15 feet away but from about 5-7 feet. What club should I use? Any advice?

- Nicholas Bunker (from Facebook)

A: The club you use should never be just determined by the distance your ball sits off the green.  It is a combination of how far on the green is the flag, how far off the green is your ball and how does the ball lie.  If the lie is decent then I suggest you use the time-tested 'minimum air time, maximum ground time' method.  In other words, use the least lofted club that allows the ball to get on the green the quickest and roll out to the pin.  If you do this I know you will chip better.  Good luck.

Q: Hi Martin! I have been told I have too much movement in my swing. I tend to sway forward and back. Any tips on keeping my body quiet?

- Joe

A: An often quoted golf cliche 'you moved too much' is not very helpful actually.  In reality, you either moved incorrectly or moved at the wrong time.  People who sway are in reality not turning correctly.  I cannot stress to you enough that trying to stop moving or stay still is usually a disaster!!  The very best thing you could do is get analyzed with a '3D golf analysis machine.' Either someone using the AMM or K-Vest would do the trick.  It would quantify faulty movement for you.  At a simpler level, try having the feeling that you turn back and turn through keeping the weight on the inside of your back foot then your front foot.  I'd want you to move more rotary and less lateral.  That should help eliminate your excessive sway.

Q: In the transition from the top of the backswing to initiate the downswing, I've heard many instructors say to lay the club down, and I see Tour Pros do this. Does this happen naturally if the downswing sequence is started correctly with the hips, or is it a voluntary move that must be initiated by the golfer?

- Mario Rivero (Texas)

A: Lay the club down is only good if it gets it on a good plane at the start of the downswing.  Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler are good examples of this.  In a perfect world if the hands, wrists and arms are fairly relaxed at the end of the backswing and the lower body initiates the forward swing, then the club head will lag and come down the plane correctly.  So often golfers muscle the club from the top, come down over or above the plane and these are the players who may get help from the thought of 'laying' the club down, but ideally arms being responsive to the pivot should lead to the correct plane coming into the ball.  Good luck. 

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.