Class Continues June 7, 2011

By Martin HallJune 7, 2011, 11:00 pm

Q: I'm 16 and recently broke my arm skiing, just as I really started getting into golf. I have lost so much muscle in my arm, and I was just wondering if there were any golf-specific exercises that would help me regain my strength so that I can get back out on the course? Thanks!

-    Nathan R.
A: The muscles in your upper arms that have the most significant influence on your club are the triceps.  These are the ones to be strengthened and as simple a way as any is just to do push-ups.  My understanding is that three sets in groups of 10-15 reps would be great to start and progressively try to do more with time as you get stronger.  Also, anything you can do to strengthen the forearms will be very beneficial to your golf.  Get fit and good luck.

Q: Hi, I’m 14-years old and I want to know how does follow-through affect your shot?

-    Roman
A: A scientist will tell you once you have hit the ball nothing you do will influence what the ball does.  A teaching pro with 30 years in the trenches will tell you that what I see after impact and the intent to do something at the finish of the swing will almost always improve a golfer’s game.  I would suggest that you watch the world’s best players, watch how they finish and try to emulate.  It is much easier to do something at the finish of the swing than to try and control impact.  A good balanced, stylish finish puts the odds in your favor of getting the result you want.  Good luck.

Q: I am desperately trying to improve my golf game and I watch this show religiously then head to the range to use the ideas! Golf is now a passion and I am trying to get all of my friends excited about the game. Do you have any tips specific for ladies?

-    Debbie W.
A: For the most part, ladies are not usually as physically strong as men and this influences their ability to get the ball in the air.  Too many women use a driver and fairway woods with insufficient loft and in fact, many ladies would hit the ball further by using a 3-wood to drive; same thing in the fairway with using a 7-wood or some hybrids to hit their fairway shots.  Very few will have the speed to get the 3-wood off the fairway and up in the air with some carry.  I recommend not even trying that one.  Also, for most ladies the lighter the clubs you can find, the better you will play.  Good luck.

Q: I have a fairly straight drive but what can I do to get more power out of my swing?

-    Jason G. (Facebook)
A: On the assumption that you hit the ball on or near the middle of the club face then the only way to get more distance is to increase your club head speed.  This should not be done with just a wild lash from your hands and arms.  The correct downswing sequence for power is hips, shoulders, arms, hands and club in that order.  Swinging weighted clubs might be good for flexibility but doesn’t seem to do much for increasing club head speed.  Actually, it would be better to swing something lighter rather than heavier.  Also, strength and flexibility have a lot to do with how far you hit the ball.  Strong glutes, strong abs and flexible hips are key to being able to make the club go faster.  Good luck.

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.