Class Continues May 10, 2011

By Martin HallMay 10, 2011, 11:00 pm

Q: I get wear marks on the palm of my gloves and when I play a lot, even blisters on the heel pad of my hand.  I know that's an indication of a poor grip. I know that I can't have a good golf swing without a good grip and I'm hoping to find a consistent grip, so please help me figure this out. Thank you!

- Justin P. (Hanford, CA)

A: Wear marks on gloves are a result of friction; movement of the club in your hands while you are swinging. It sounds to me like the heel pad of your leading hand, left hand if you are a right- handed golfer, is not sitting on top of your club at address and consequently moves all over the place when you get swinging. Also, it is true that too tight a grip can cause problems, but so can too loose of a grip. I would get your heel pad on top of the club and hold the club somewhat firmer than you presently do - - this will almost certainly help.

Q: Every so often I pop up drives. Pretty soon the airlines won’t let me use them anymore; nothing like a drive that goes 200 feet in the air straight up and 50 feet out. Am I swinging my driver like a wedge?
- Lorne H. (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

A: To pop up drives in the way you describe you must be chopping down on the ball. You need to sweep the ball away to cure what ails you. Set up with your head behind the ball, looking at the back of the ball; imagine a nail coming out of the back of the ball. Now swing in a way that you would drive that nail through the ball to the target, not smash it into the ground. A sense of keeping your upper body behind the ball and hitting up should get rid of those sky high drives. Good luck.

Q: This is a very basic question for which I've never been able to get a straight answer:  When setting up for an iron shot should you align the top edge of the club square to the target line or the bottom edge of the club square to the target line? Thanks!
- Paul W.

A: This is an easy, short answer. It is most certainly the bottom edge, often called the leading edge that must be aligned at 90-degrees or square to the target line when you are set up if you are trying to hit a straight shot. When you align the top edge you will close the club face and usually that will affect other things at set up, ie. shoulder alignment, hip tilt and balance. I can't see anything good coming out of that, so aim the bottom edge. Good luck.

Q: One thing I never hear about is what part of the ball should I be looking at? Back, front or dead center on top? Or should I be looking at a spot on the ground? Is it different for everyone? I just can't figure it out!!!

- Ronnie M.

A: What part of the ball you look at depends on the club you are using and the lie of the ball. For a driver off a high tee, most certainly look at the back of the ball. A 5-iron off the fairway, look at the top of the ball to help a slight ball-then-turf contact. For a sand wedge off pine needles or hardpan look at the front edge, target side of the ball to encourage a definite ball first, ground second-type of contact. Also, where you look at the ball can affect trajectory so look at the back of the ball for height, front of the ball to hit it low. Hope this helps.


Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.