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Class Continues Aug 23, 2011

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Q: I am a 20 handicap who has had a couple of recent 9-hole rounds of 37 and then followed up with some 50+ rounds. Is there a book I should be reading on keeping my head in the game, sports psychologists, etc.?

-    Marshall K. (Spencer, MA)

A: There are numerous books on the market and many are good for the 'thinking side' of the game. My three favorites are The 30 Second Swing by TJ Tomasi, The Golfers Mind by Bob Rotella and The 15th Club by Bob Rotella. If you read, study and embrace the contents of the above, you should have a solid mental game; good luck.

Q: Due to many surgeries, my mobility in my shoulders and lower back prohibit me from turning my body the proper way to get the maximum out of my swing.  What can I do to help get the maximum out of my swing without having to go to a chiropractor after each round?

-    Joe M. (Lake Tahoe, CA)

A: Without the help of a turn to produce speed, you have to add it somewhere else. I am going to suggest that you let your left arm bend at the elbow as you finish your backswing and straighten it on the downswing. This adds another lever to the swing and should somewhat replace the power lost by not being able to turn. The downside of this move is it may create some inconsistency with your contact and directional control but your back and hips will not hurt so much when you finish your round, and that's a good thing!

Q: I recently installed three golf cups in my bedroom to help with my putting woes. I'm a huge fan of Dave Stockton's putting method. Is there a surefire way to tell if I have too much forward press at impact?

-    Paul F. (Marietta, GA)

A: My suggestion to see if you have too much forward press or shaft lean at impact is to use one of the laser-aiming devices. That, in addition to aim, will give you some feedback of the effective loft of your putter at impact. Most tour pros hit the ball with 2-4 degrees of effective loft at impact which would have the laser beam on a backboard behind the hole at the moment of impact. If the laser beam is between you and the hole at impact, you have probably de-lofted the putter too much. Try a web search for 'golf training aids putting laser aim device'. This should help.

Q: Love the show! Lately, I've been struggling with fat shots, especially late in my rounds when my legs are a little fatigued. Is this the reason my club head is catching the ground before the ball?

-    George S. (Fort Lee, NJ)

A: Tired legs, which usually mean sluggish hips, can certainly be responsible for fat shots. I recommend that you check your balance at setup first - - 50-50 left-right - - then make sure on your downswing that you shift your weight and un-turn your hips coming into the ball, hips before the hands. I like to see the hips at least 30-degrees open to the target line at impact; more if you can. This usually avoids any chance of a fat shot.  Hope this helps.