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Class Continues July 12, 2011

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Q: I don't take a divot with my irons or wedges. I pick 'em clean off the turf. I need more spin to stay on the green. What to do?

-          Ben P. (Facebook)

A: To get the spin you want you need to make ball-turf contact, meaning the ball must be hit with the club still going down at impact. What causes this? To get a correct impact, assuming grip and ball position are halfway decent, the weight must be on the front foot at impact with the hips turning to the target and the hands ahead of the club head at impact. An overall feeling might be 'shifting, turning and dragging the club through'. Staying still and flicking the wrists won't work for you; that's almost certainly what you are currently doing. Get your weight through, make a divot after the ball and watch it spin. Good luck.


Q: Regardless of all the Golf Channel and instruction I watch, nothing will work because I have an over-the-top swing. I would give anything to get rid of it. Without a doubt, it is the worst swing that a golfer can have, knowing that I can never draw a ball or hit all the shots needed to have a great score. Is there any kind of training aid to help an over-the-top swing? 

-          Ken M. 

A: Sounds like you need some strong medicine, so here we go: Over-the-top is another way of saying your swing is too much to the left (if you are right-handed). So to correct your error, you need to swing a lot more to the right. Some thoughts to help you:  make sure your grip is on the strong side, left hand somewhat on top of the club, right hand somewhat under. As you move the club away from the ball, keep the club face looking at the ball as long as you can. Don't roll it open!! Now the strong stuff: as you begin the downswing slide, yes, slide your hips to the target as you tilt the right shoulder straight down at the ground and feel like your hands go to the right pocket - - this should do it. Strong golfing antibiotics to knock out your golf swing infection. Good luck.


Q: Short game yips, do they exist? I used to be a 1-handicap until I played in a tournament where I shanked a couple short wedges. Now, coming into the ball is hard to accelerate and comfortable. I only hit in order to not hit bad shots. When I worked at a course, we would have impossible shot competitions and it was never a factor. We could hit any shot. I can’t do that anymore. I understand how important the short game is and desperately want to get back to where I was.

-          Mark

A: Yes, the short game yips do exist - - an involuntary twitch in the hands and forearms just before or just at impact. Try and get the bigger muscles to move the smaller ones; the hips and shoulders to move the hands. Some players have success by feeling they glue the upper arms to the trunk then feel they move the club to and fro with the body rotation, the “hub moving the spoke”. Others have had success by looking somewhere other than the ball, or even closing their eyes. As a last resort, try going left-handed, it often helps. Hank Haney has written an excellent book on fixing the yips, I recommend it highly. Good luck.


Q: I watch your show all the time and love the information. I am having trouble with my driver lately. I seem to be hitting behind the ball. What is causing this? Thanks!

-          Marie (Michigan)

A: You must be too far behind the ball at impact with your weight on your right foot and your wrists collapsing just before impact. Try the thought of getting your right shoulder over your left foot at the finish of your swing. It sometimes even helps to walk your right foot past your left as a drill. The other suggestion I have is to practice off a downhill lie and feel the club head chasing down the slope with practice swings. I am sure one of these thoughts will help. Good luck.