Class Continues July 12, 2011

By Martin HallJuly 12, 2011, 11:00 pm

Q: I don't take a divot with my irons or wedges. I pick 'em clean off the turf. I need more spin to stay on the green. What to do?

-          Ben P. (Facebook)

A: To get the spin you want you need to make ball-turf contact, meaning the ball must be hit with the club still going down at impact. What causes this? To get a correct impact, assuming grip and ball position are halfway decent, the weight must be on the front foot at impact with the hips turning to the target and the hands ahead of the club head at impact. An overall feeling might be 'shifting, turning and dragging the club through'. Staying still and flicking the wrists won't work for you; that's almost certainly what you are currently doing. Get your weight through, make a divot after the ball and watch it spin. Good luck.

Q: Regardless of all the Golf Channel and instruction I watch, nothing will work because I have an over-the-top swing. I would give anything to get rid of it. Without a doubt, it is the worst swing that a golfer can have, knowing that I can never draw a ball or hit all the shots needed to have a great score. Is there any kind of training aid to help an over-the-top swing? 

-          Ken M. 

A: Sounds like you need some strong medicine, so here we go: Over-the-top is another way of saying your swing is too much to the left (if you are right-handed). So to correct your error, you need to swing a lot more to the right. Some thoughts to help you:  make sure your grip is on the strong side, left hand somewhat on top of the club, right hand somewhat under. As you move the club away from the ball, keep the club face looking at the ball as long as you can. Don't roll it open!! Now the strong stuff: as you begin the downswing slide, yes, slide your hips to the target as you tilt the right shoulder straight down at the ground and feel like your hands go to the right pocket - - this should do it. Strong golfing antibiotics to knock out your golf swing infection. Good luck.

Q: Short game yips, do they exist? I used to be a 1-handicap until I played in a tournament where I shanked a couple short wedges. Now, coming into the ball is hard to accelerate and comfortable. I only hit in order to not hit bad shots. When I worked at a course, we would have impossible shot competitions and it was never a factor. We could hit any shot. I can’t do that anymore. I understand how important the short game is and desperately want to get back to where I was.

-          Mark

A: Yes, the short game yips do exist - - an involuntary twitch in the hands and forearms just before or just at impact. Try and get the bigger muscles to move the smaller ones; the hips and shoulders to move the hands. Some players have success by feeling they glue the upper arms to the trunk then feel they move the club to and fro with the body rotation, the “hub moving the spoke”. Others have had success by looking somewhere other than the ball, or even closing their eyes. As a last resort, try going left-handed, it often helps. Hank Haney has written an excellent book on fixing the yips, I recommend it highly. Good luck.

Q: I watch your show all the time and love the information. I am having trouble with my driver lately. I seem to be hitting behind the ball. What is causing this? Thanks!

-          Marie (Michigan)

A: You must be too far behind the ball at impact with your weight on your right foot and your wrists collapsing just before impact. Try the thought of getting your right shoulder over your left foot at the finish of your swing. It sometimes even helps to walk your right foot past your left as a drill. The other suggestion I have is to practice off a downhill lie and feel the club head chasing down the slope with practice swings. I am sure one of these thoughts will help. Good luck.

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McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

“I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.