Class Continues Sept 13, 2011

By Martin HallSeptember 14, 2011, 12:59 pm

Q: I've developed a strong hook the last couple of years. I've tried to fix it myself to no avail. I don't think it's my grip, I think it's something to do with weight shift, or lack of. What say you?

-    John A.
A: Since you think the hook is not caused by your grip, then it’s a pretty good bet that on the downswing, you are swinging too much in-to-out, and/or you are stopping the unwinding of your hips at impact.  This will cause the arms to roll, thereby closing the club face and creating the hook.  Try a much fuller and faster unwind of the hips, belt buckle to target by impact (or so it might feel) and then start getting your right arm across your chest after impact, not down the line to your target. This should do it. Best of luck.

Q: I have a natural draw ball flight but I occasionally would like to hit a cut whenever warranted. When I take a steeper backswing, I tend to get under the ball and pop it up. What can I do to stop this and hit an effective cut? Thanks.

-    Eric (Pewaukee, WI)
A: By my own experiences, I have found that taking a steeper backswing doesn’t work very well to hit a fade.  I have had far more success by aiming left of target at setup with feet, knees, hips, shoulders and even club face as if I were trying to hit a straight shot some 20 yards left of target. Make a backswing that matches that setup, then as you come through, unwind the hips faster than normal and keep the right hand behind, or under the left until well after impact.  This should leave the club face slightly open to the path of your swing and hey, presto - - a fade.  To date, this is the best way I know to hit a fade.  Good luck.

Q: Are there any drills that you can suggest to slow down my backswing?  I've been told mine is much too fast and that causes too many moving parts in my swing.

-    Craig M.
A: Almost always if a player swings back too quickly, it is the small muscles in the hands, wrists and arms that are moving the club away from the ball.  If you want to take the club away slower then initiate the swing with the bigger muscles of the shoulders and back, make the hands and arms responsive, not dominant.  I’ve always found the medicus dual hinge club to be an excellent product to help slow the swing down.  I hope this helps.

Q: Why doesn’t anyone recommend the “wristy” method of putting? I watched some old golfing shows with Bobby Jones, Billy Casper, Arnie and others, using this method because the greens were so much slower then. Most of the courses I play on are very slow compared to the courses on the PGA TOUR. I have adopted this method and my putting stats have improved significantly.

-    Adam C. (Zephyrhills, FL)
A: An excellent observation on your part, as Billy Casper is one of the greatest putters ever.  I have no problem with a Bobby Jones “wristy”-type of stroke, as long as the path of the putter is on-line at contact, the face is square to the path at contact and you hit the ball the correct distance.  Some would debate that the fewer moving parts you have (less wrist), the more likely you are to repeat it, but it seems to me there have been many who putt better with a bit of wrist.  If what you are doing is working, keep doing it.  If it isn’t, change it or refine it.  Nowhere in the rules of golf does it say you get a two-stroke penalty for using your wrists. All the best.

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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.