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Class Continues Sept 13, 2011

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Q: I've developed a strong hook the last couple of years. I've tried to fix it myself to no avail. I don't think it's my grip, I think it's something to do with weight shift, or lack of. What say you?

-    John A.
 
A: Since you think the hook is not caused by your grip, then it’s a pretty good bet that on the downswing, you are swinging too much in-to-out, and/or you are stopping the unwinding of your hips at impact.  This will cause the arms to roll, thereby closing the club face and creating the hook.  Try a much fuller and faster unwind of the hips, belt buckle to target by impact (or so it might feel) and then start getting your right arm across your chest after impact, not down the line to your target. This should do it. Best of luck.

Q: I have a natural draw ball flight but I occasionally would like to hit a cut whenever warranted. When I take a steeper backswing, I tend to get under the ball and pop it up. What can I do to stop this and hit an effective cut? Thanks.

-    Eric (Pewaukee, WI)
 
A: By my own experiences, I have found that taking a steeper backswing doesn’t work very well to hit a fade.  I have had far more success by aiming left of target at setup with feet, knees, hips, shoulders and even club face as if I were trying to hit a straight shot some 20 yards left of target. Make a backswing that matches that setup, then as you come through, unwind the hips faster than normal and keep the right hand behind, or under the left until well after impact.  This should leave the club face slightly open to the path of your swing and hey, presto - - a fade.  To date, this is the best way I know to hit a fade.  Good luck.

Q: Are there any drills that you can suggest to slow down my backswing?  I've been told mine is much too fast and that causes too many moving parts in my swing.

-    Craig M.
 
A: Almost always if a player swings back too quickly, it is the small muscles in the hands, wrists and arms that are moving the club away from the ball.  If you want to take the club away slower then initiate the swing with the bigger muscles of the shoulders and back, make the hands and arms responsive, not dominant.  I’ve always found the medicus dual hinge club to be an excellent product to help slow the swing down.  I hope this helps.

Q: Why doesn’t anyone recommend the “wristy” method of putting? I watched some old golfing shows with Bobby Jones, Billy Casper, Arnie and others, using this method because the greens were so much slower then. Most of the courses I play on are very slow compared to the courses on the PGA TOUR. I have adopted this method and my putting stats have improved significantly.

-    Adam C. (Zephyrhills, FL)
 
A: An excellent observation on your part, as Billy Casper is one of the greatest putters ever.  I have no problem with a Bobby Jones “wristy”-type of stroke, as long as the path of the putter is on-line at contact, the face is square to the path at contact and you hit the ball the correct distance.  Some would debate that the fewer moving parts you have (less wrist), the more likely you are to repeat it, but it seems to me there have been many who putt better with a bit of wrist.  If what you are doing is working, keep doing it.  If it isn’t, change it or refine it.  Nowhere in the rules of golf does it say you get a two-stroke penalty for using your wrists. All the best.