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Class Continues March 15, 2011

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Q: My normal iron shot shape is a draw. However, I tend to start the ball straight and it curves left. When I try to aim right and draw it back on target, the ball generally is pushed right and stays right. Any idea how to control that draw?

- Mike (Montreal, Canada)

A: For some players, aiming right to hit a draw works well, for others not. You obviously fall into the latter category. Keep your aim straight, put the ball about 1-inch back in your stance from normal, and push your hands a little further forward at address. This should help start the ball right before it draws. If this does not quite get you all the way to your correct ball flight then have a small amount of hip slide. Yes, I said ‘slide’ to start your downswing. That should do the trick. Good luck.


Q: I'm really confused about ball position Some people say wedges should be in the back of your stance and the ball moves forward as the clubs get longer. Some say short irons should only go as far back as the middle of your stance and then move forward. Some say that the ball shouldn't move at all. Which way is it? But more importantly why?

- Kaman C.

A: Ball position is a tricky subject with no absolutes. It can depend on the lie of the ball, the type of shot you are trying to hit, your in-swing tendencies and the club you are using. I do not believe there is only one ball position. I think the driver, because you need to hit up for maximum distance, should be played off the left heel, or even a touch more forward. I believe the wedges should be middle of the stance unless the lie is bad, in which case the ball should go further back. Trial and error are really the only way to learn, move the ball position around and make note of what results you get. Trust your own instincts and have fun.


Q: I am over-rotating at the top of my back swing I am doing this in two directions First, the club is going past parallel to the ground Second, the club head is also rotating past parallel to the swing line I can even see the head of my driver in my peripheral vision, when I am looking down at the ball. How do I fix this so I'm ready once the snow melts?

- Rick R. (Appleton, Wisconsin)

A: I think what you are telling me is that your swing is too long and you are not on plane. I have two suggestions for you. As good a way as I know to shorten your backswing is to concentrate on keeping your right arm straight on the backswing. It will probably bend some, but try to keep that bend to the minimum. With respect to being on plane, as you finish the backswing, concentrate on having the grip end of the club still pointing down at the target line as if there were a laser shining out of the grip. These two thoughts should help.


Q: I play golf for my high school varsity team and am 16 years-old and have been playing for eight years. I was wondering if you had any tips on wet play in and out of the rain?

- Rich K.

A: Growing up in England, I have plenty of suggestions for playing in the rain. In no particular order, get a good cover for the top of your bag to keep the water out. Put two or three towels in your bag, always take an umbrella, have a waterproof jacket, pants and of utmost importance, a waterproof hat. Have a plastic bag you can seal at the top to keep gloves dry, and take three or four gloves with you; some players like wet weather gloves. Keep the grips on your clubs and your hands and gloves as dry as possible. Try to take shallow divots and swing at a speed you can handle; everyone finds it tricky when it's wet.