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Martin's Blog - January 27, 2012

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Facebook Questions From the Class
Q: I’m a lefty. I used to use the baseball grip and would play a fade. Recently started using the interlock grip and I've been making much better contact, but developed a quite distasteful hook on my bad shots. What are some keys to fixing this? (Cameron James Kantor)

A: It sounds like with the interlock grip, you have your left palm too far under the club at address. Make sure your grip is neutral with your left hand. There’s no reason for the interlock to cause a hook shot.

Q: I am new to the game. Although I bought my first set of clubs, I'm lost as to what to do. I have gone to the driving range a few times and to a course once. My question is how do I practice alone, since everyone I know that plays lives 2 hours away and I can't afford to pay for lessons? (Danice Bragg-Watts)

A: I would recommend a book. Nick Faldo's 'A Swing for Life' is a very comprehensive one that will give you a very solid base.

Q: I haven't played in over 3 months. Is there a drill or tip to get the rust off? (Hunter Russell)

A: When you haven't played, work on hitting the ball in the center of the face first of all. Watch the replay of “Chapter 1: Dead Solid Contact” and read the Cliff Notes of Martin’s Blog from Wednesday, it’s all you need to know!

Q: How do you release the club? (Chris Puente)

A: You need a definition of what release is. My favorite comes from The Golden Bear who says 'Just after impact, I want the club head as far away from my left shoulder as it could be.' I would strive to put that in your golf swing.

Q: I’m having trouble getting my woods and hybrids up in the air, along with my long irons. On my irons from wedges up to 7, I get it up into the air. I have the ball placed in the forward half of my stance. What I'm I doing wrong? (Robert Cvengros)

A: Sounds like you must be lunging forward with the upper body. Try and keep your head behind the ball and have the right shoulder go under the chin just after impact. That should help.

Q: I'm having trouble taking a full swing. My practice swing is fully extended but when I address the ball I don't take a full swing. Please help. (Manuel Mendoza)

A: You're probably tightening up during the swing or prior to it. Before you swing take a quick body scan, notice your grip pressure, arm pressure and pressure in the chest. Feel like that never changes from start to finish.

Q: I took lessons and got fitted for clubs. How can I get my whole game in sync at the course? I can be on the green in regulation and then 3-putt all day. I struggle to get on the green and make a 10 foot putt. I have time to practice and I get to the course early to warm up. I need help getting my game together. (John Davis)

A: I would recommend both working on your technique and touch to improve your putting. For technique, try putting two clubs down parallel to each other and create a track to keep the putter head on. Hit putts doing that. For touch, practice putting to the edge of the green. See if you can stop the ball right on the edge of the fringe. Two good drills to get you going.

Q: What kind of shots do you use the SW for when not in the sand? (Peter Morgado)

A: Many options for the SW. Out of a bad lie in the rough, to get it over a bunker, and anytime I need to get the ball to go high and stop quickly.

Q: When I'm on with the driver, I'm on! When I'm not, I struggle to find the fairway. It’s hard to get a tan playing from the trees. I'm a visual kind of guy. If you're looking to hit it straight with a baby draw, in what position should the club, club head and body be in at waist high after contact? (Robert Hornberger)

A: I would say anytime you want consistency, reduce wrist action both on backswing and follow-through.

Q: I have been learning golf for the past 7 months. I found that my best distance for my 7-iron is is 80-90 yards. Is this normal? How should I get more distance, especially the tight compact swoosh into the ball when someone hits 150 yards? (Yuelin Chen)

A: Distance is not just club head speed, but club head speed applied correctly. You need to hit the ball in the center of the club face and you need more lag in your downswing.

Q: I'm a 7 handicap, but what to do to hit a baby draw instead of my fade? (Jason Smith)

A: The easiest way to hit a baby draw without changing your swing too much is aim well right of your target and close the club face to your setup position. It's not the only way and it may not hit the highest draw, but it is the easiest.

Next Week’s Show
Chapter 2: Improving Your Tempo (January 31, 2012)
Post your questions for next week on Email or Facebook