Class Continues Sept 20, 2011

By Martin HallSeptember 20, 2011, 11:00 pm

Q: Recently, I've developed a terrible case of pulling my shots to the left.  Most times they are straight pulls but a few are pulls with a slight draw.  (I might add that I've been battling lower right back pain for the past several months.)   I'm tall, 6'5''.  Any suggestions? It's made me a basket case.

-    MJ (Las Vegas, NV)

A: There is a very good chance that because of your lower back pain you are making an over-the-top downswing to avoid that pain. I think you have two choices: either seek help to try and get the back better or aim to the right at setup. Players who aim to the right at setup and pull it back online tend to have less back trouble; examples of this include Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer. Try aiming well to the right and let the pull bring your ball back to the pin. Good luck.

Q: I am a 62 -year old that can still hit 300+ drives. Unfortunately, most of them end up 15-20 yards right of the fairway. I correct this by setting up 30-45 degrees left on the tee box.  What setup or swing change can help me find the fairway?

-    Mark L. (San Diego, CA)

A: There’s a good chance that your ball is a little too far back in your stance at address and that you somewhat slide your hips too much and drop your right shoulder on the downswing. Move the ball up in your stance and on the downswing turn your left hip behind you, keeping your right shoulder high as you turn through. Good luck.

Q: Martin, I am having a terrible problem chipping around the green. I blade every shot across the green and off the other side. Can you help me please?
-    Bill T. (Texas)

A: If you blade every shot then certainly you are not brushing the ground at or just after the moment of contact, which must become your objective. Try this on the practice ground: paint a 24' line at right angles to your target line, then take practice swings on that line trying to move a bit of paint each time. When you can do that, put some balls on that same line, hit balls and still clip that paint off the grass. This should teach you what you need to feel to hit better chip and pitch shots; hope it helps.

Q: I have watched many instructors talk about using the 'bounce' of the sand wedge. I am in the process of buying a new sand wedge. My question is: What is the difference between 8-degree bounce and 12-degree bounce?
-    Leo (Oak Lawn)

A: Other than the obvious answer being four degrees, the more bounce you have the better suited the club is for soft sand, and the less bounce the better it is for firm sand. Determine which type of sand you have at the course you play the most and I suggest you choose accordingly. Good luck.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: