Class Continues Oct 11, 2011

By Martin HallOctober 11, 2011, 11:00 pm

Q:  I tend to grip the club too tight. When I do this the club gets out of my fingers and more in to my palms causing lost yardage, miss hits, hands hurting after a round and duck hooks. I know I need a grip pressure of a four on a scale of 1 to 10, but how do I obtain that 4 and maintain it through my swing?

Steven J. Elliott

A:  I am not at all convinced the club should sit in the fingers; in fact it should be a good part in the palm of your leading hand. The heel pad of your hand must be on top of the club, but the act of trying to have the club sit in your fingers might be why it slips around so much. As for grip pressure, I don't necessarily think 'four' pressure level is right for everyone, some do better with a firmer grip. My guess is you are too much in the fingers and too loose, put it more in the palm and firm up, good luck.

Q:  I am a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and recently I played my first 18 holes of golf. I was able to finish two strokes behind a golfer that has been playing for many years and had lessons. I was told by many others to go out and buy a cheap set of clubs and spend time on the golf course before I buy a good set of clubs. Money is tight being in the military, so would it be a waste of money to buy a cheap set of clubs, then turn around a year later and build my dream set of clubs? Thank you for your time, I love the show.

Kyle Secrest

A:  As with just about anything you get what you pay for with golf equipment. As a marine, I think I can take it you are fit and strong so you will almost certainly need a set of clubs that have stiff shafts. Most inexpensive sets you would buy from any big superstore, Sports Authority, K Mart etc. will not usually have the best components and the shafts are often not very good. I would suggest buying a used set but a premium brand, Ping, Titleist, Taylor Made etc. with a stiff steel shaft. Many golf stores have good used clubs, but probably ebay is the best place to get what you need at the right price, hope this helps.

Q:  What exactly is the feeling to have regarding the right hand in the swing?  Is it to just keep the face on path, or to give a “hit” at impact?  Is it passive or aggressive?  I am afraid of coming over-the-top if too aggressive.
Charlie (Holiday, FL)

A:  The right hand and arm have a very important job in the swing, to stretch the left arm and add structure to the whole motion. The job of the right hand is not to flip the clubhead past the left arm just as you hit the ball. A good thought to have is that on the downswing the pull of the left arm and the push of the right arm must be equal and opposite, so in an ideal golfing world you are neither pulling more with the left nor pushing more with the right at impact, hope this helps.

Q:  When you’re on the course doing well, then suddenly your swing goes bad how do you get your rhythm back? Do you have any tips or quick drills to help a player get back to pars instead of triple bogeys?

Jodi Cunningham (Browns Summit, NC)

A:  When struggling, always swing slower and shorter.  It's amazing how slow your swing can feel and yet hit good shots. For my own game the feeling of a slow motion downswing really helps, although when I watch video it is never as slow as it feels. A slower and shorter swing with less wrist makes for more consistent shots. Try taking video of your swing at what feels like 50 % normal speed, you will probably be surprised at what you see, good luck.

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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.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.