Martin's Blog - February 10, 2012

By Martin HallFebruary 10, 2012, 2:00 pm

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Facebook Questions From the Class
Q: How do I factor the temperature in when calculating yardage? What temperature is the base line? I play in Wisconsin and it gets chilly in the spring and fall. (James Bilski)

A: Don’t overrate temperature. I think it’s only when it’s really cold, almost freezing, that the ball is affected. Even then, I wouldn’t play for more than a 10% loss of distance.

Q: How do cure a pull? (Tim Cahill)

A: Number one, check the ball isn't too far forward in your stance. Number two, make sure you fully turn your shoulders on the backswing. Underturning often causes a pull.

‎Q: I'm a lefty, and I find that I have trouble getting my lower half to keep still during my takeaway. Is there something that could help me with that? (Derek Anthony Hanson)

A: Focus on keeping your lead knee still in the takeaway. This thought really quiets the lower body, one of the best I know.

Q: Any good drills to keep the left arm straight and not go too long on the backswing? (Matt Dubin)

‎A: As strange as it sounds, the best way to keep the left arm straight is when you swing back feel as if the right arm is straight. The left arm is just the mirror of the right.

Q: It’s the winter and there’s snow. Any drills for any of my clubs indoors or outdoors without the ball? I have a 6 foot long putting green in the house too. (Ryan Gallant)

‎A: Lots of body and pivot drills without the club are good. Practice putting with just your right hand, good to sense club-face alignment.

Q: Glove or no glove? How about when you're putting? (Dwight Karr)

‎A: Purely personal on whether to use a glove. The great Jack Nicklaus spent most of his career putting with a glove. Many other greats never used up. Don't think it makes much difference.

Q: How do you achieve width in the golf swing without disconnecting the arms from the body while maintaining the swing arc? (Michael Martinez)

‎A: Very good question. Some people take width to mean a huge stretch in the backswing but it's not. The amount of width you have is setup at address. However far your hands are from your chest at address, that's about the distance they should stay away the whole swing.

Q: How do I hit a high draw? (Peter Haught)

‎A: You have to swing out to the right, fell like you're hitting up and really stay behind with the upper body to hit a high draw. Very pretty if you can do it, for most people an unreliable shot.

Q: What can I do to keep from hitting my irons on the toe? (Steve Brown)

‎A: Make your swing more rotary. Turn the right shoulder away from the ball in the backswing, drive the right shoulder down out to the ball in the downswing.

Q: I'm a scratch and hit many balls with a towel under my left armpit which keeps me connected. But sometimes my lower body gets too fast and I hit a weak cutter to the right. Any tips on how I can combine the two? (Brandon Harper)

A: The best thought I know to get a good upper and lower body relationship is to think of driving the right shoulder through to the target. Firing the trunk decelerates the hips.

Q: I have trouble with my chipping game from 25 yards in it's either a thin shot or fat. Is this mental? Are there any drills you would recommend? (Chris Colbert)

A: This chipping tip should work for both of you. I would look to make sure the grip is neutral, not too strong. I'd also make sure the backswing is upright, not too flat. That usually puts the bottom of the arc at the correct place.

Q: How do I help straighten the flight with my 3-wood? (Steve Hutchins)

‎A: The answer is simple, the execution a littlle tougher. The answer is at the moment of impact, the club needs to be swinging at the target. At the very same moment, the club face needs to be looking at the target. For some people, imagining a nail out of the back of the ball and trying to drive it in helps.

Next Week’s Show
Chapter 4: Putt for Dough (February 15, 2012)
Post your questions for next week on Email or Facebook

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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