Class Continues March 15, 2011

By Martin HallMarch 15, 2011, 11:30 pm

Q: My normal iron shot shape is a draw. However, I tend to start the ball straight and it curves left. When I try to aim right and draw it back on target, the ball generally is pushed right and stays right. Any idea how to control that draw?

- Mike (Montreal, Canada)

A: For some players, aiming right to hit a draw works well, for others not. You obviously fall into the latter category. Keep your aim straight, put the ball about 1-inch back in your stance from normal, and push your hands a little further forward at address. This should help start the ball right before it draws. If this does not quite get you all the way to your correct ball flight then have a small amount of hip slide. Yes, I said ‘slide’ to start your downswing. That should do the trick. Good luck.

Q: I'm really confused about ball position Some people say wedges should be in the back of your stance and the ball moves forward as the clubs get longer. Some say short irons should only go as far back as the middle of your stance and then move forward. Some say that the ball shouldn't move at all. Which way is it? But more importantly why?

- Kaman C.

A: Ball position is a tricky subject with no absolutes. It can depend on the lie of the ball, the type of shot you are trying to hit, your in-swing tendencies and the club you are using. I do not believe there is only one ball position. I think the driver, because you need to hit up for maximum distance, should be played off the left heel, or even a touch more forward. I believe the wedges should be middle of the stance unless the lie is bad, in which case the ball should go further back. Trial and error are really the only way to learn, move the ball position around and make note of what results you get. Trust your own instincts and have fun.

Q: I am over-rotating at the top of my back swing I am doing this in two directions First, the club is going past parallel to the ground Second, the club head is also rotating past parallel to the swing line I can even see the head of my driver in my peripheral vision, when I am looking down at the ball. How do I fix this so I'm ready once the snow melts?

- Rick R. (Appleton, Wisconsin)

A: I think what you are telling me is that your swing is too long and you are not on plane. I have two suggestions for you. As good a way as I know to shorten your backswing is to concentrate on keeping your right arm straight on the backswing. It will probably bend some, but try to keep that bend to the minimum. With respect to being on plane, as you finish the backswing, concentrate on having the grip end of the club still pointing down at the target line as if there were a laser shining out of the grip. These two thoughts should help.

Q: I play golf for my high school varsity team and am 16 years-old and have been playing for eight years. I was wondering if you had any tips on wet play in and out of the rain?

- Rich K.

A: Growing up in England, I have plenty of suggestions for playing in the rain. In no particular order, get a good cover for the top of your bag to keep the water out. Put two or three towels in your bag, always take an umbrella, have a waterproof jacket, pants and of utmost importance, a waterproof hat. Have a plastic bag you can seal at the top to keep gloves dry, and take three or four gloves with you; some players like wet weather gloves. Keep the grips on your clubs and your hands and gloves as dry as possible. Try to take shallow divots and swing at a speed you can handle; everyone finds it tricky when it's wet.

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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm