Class Continues July 5, 2011

By Martin HallJuly 5, 2011, 11:00 pm

Q: I'm 26 and have been playing for about nine months now. I've been having trouble using my hips with my golf swing. It feels like I'm using all my upper body. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

- Michael (Arroyo Grande, CA)

A: The hip action in a good swing is a combination of turn and ‘un-turn’ as you shift the weight and slightly tilt the hips. As you swing the club away from the ball, the hip turn should resist then follow the shoulder turn, and on the downswing the reverse should occur. That is, the hips should unwind, the shoulders resist and then follow the hips catching up just after impact. Point of reference: the hips should probably be about 30-degrees open to the target line at impact. As you do this do not make the mistake, sometimes advised, that the hips turn in a barrel. There needs to be a weight transfer to back first, then through to the front foot, and as you do this the lead hip goes down a little, about 10-degrees, then goes up on the downswing, again about 10 -degrees. Good luck.

Q: I struggle with a low pull hook.  Is having a short backswing a problem in principle? How short is too short? Thanks.

- Robin L. (Facebook)

A: Anytime your golf ball hooks, your club face is closed to the path of your swing. Now a short backswing doesn't necessarily make that the case. Short backswing or not, it is my suggestion that when you are at belt high with the club on the backswing, the toe of the club should be up to the sky; that is the club face vertical to the ground. If that is the case, then I don't think a short swing will cause a hook. As for how short is too short with the backswing, as long as you make a full shoulder turn I don't think the length of swing is too critical.

Q: Love the show! I feel like I’m not following through to the target well enough. Surely you have one of your awesome tips for following through.

- Marya B. (Facebook)

A: Many golfers suffer from an inability to get through the ball correctly. They often 'short arm' the finish, the left arm bending too soon and the club coming off plane and failing to release. The job of the hands and arms is to push gently away from the turning chest as you go through. As you set up, imagine an elastic cord from your sternum to the top of the grip on your club. It should be reasonably taut and should stay so throughout the swing. This will result in the elbows staying fairly close together through the swing, will get rid of any chicken wing in the finish and should lead to better golf. Good luck.

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.