Q: I have noticed that a number of professionals play the ball off the heel of their driver at the address position. Can you tell me why they do this?
A: All really good players tend to address the ball where they make their best contact from. Some players have a natural bias to mishit on the toe and therefore do well by setting up with the ball in the heel, other players have a bias to mishit slightly in the heel and accordingly set up with the ball off the toe, Ben Hogan did this. I think what you are seeing is players whose mishit tendency is on the toe. Hope this helps you understand it.
Q: At some point on the downswing the right hand is released over the left. Where is that point?
Garth Greer (Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada)
A: In the words of the great Harvey Penick,'now that depends'. The right hand rollover or release is part of how you square up the club face at impact. Players with weak grips usually need to roll the right over the left early to get it square at impact, example Corey Pavin. Players with strong grips usually have to delay the roll until after impact, example Paul Azinger. Players who slice should roll earlier as one way of fixing their ball flight. Players who hook should not roll until after impact. So as Harvey said,'it depends.'
Q: My problem is that I'm a big guy, 6'2' weighing 255 and I have great difficulty transferring my weight to my left side. Yet, when I try to hit a draw or a hook and close the blade I finish well, getting my weight transferred easily. When I finish well, I usually hit a strong solid shot. I sure could use your help!!!
A: Most of the time the things you put into your swing to create a draw shot will improve your swing. It sounds as if you may ordinarily chicken wing your left arm after impact and un-turn your chest to the target too soon causing your weight to stay on the back foot. By attempting to hit a draw you probably fix these two flaws and this is why you can get off your back foot and finish your swing. Keep trying to draw it.
Q: I am having 'Tin Cup' moments around the greens. I'm just now getting to play more after retiring from working on a maintenance crew at a golf course for 30 years, and was too tired to play on a regular basis. Now that I'm not dodging golf balls, I need a little help to get back in the swing of things. Thanks.
Leslie Jones (Facebook)
A: The single most important part of the short game is the skill to make solid contact on a regular basis. To me that means that you brush the ground and hit the ball at the same time. Try taking several practice swings just to the side of the ball, notice where you brush the ground, address the ball in that 'brush zone' then make your motion. I suggest that brushing the grass, not digging should be a higher priority than even hitting the ball in your mind. Let the ball be just part of your brushing technique, that should help.