Class Continues March 29, 2011


Q: I am a high school golf coach and continue to look for better ways to communicate this great game with kids. Your tips and props are very helpful in helping us feel the golf swing. One time, I was watching and you mentioned the best website to help in reading greens. I did not write it down and of course, forgot it. What was that website again?

- Deryl D.

A: The website you are referring to is AimPoint Technologies ( founded by Mark Sweeney. A must-visit place if you want to improve your green reading skills. Good luck.

Q: I use a 64-degree wedge, a standard pitching wedge and a 9-iron for all my wedge play but have always thought I could benefit from a wedge with a loft somewhere between my 64 and my pitching wedge. Any suggestions?

- Robert S. (Point Edward, Canada)

A: A typical pitching wedge has 48 degrees and your lob wedge has 64; a 16 spread is no good. Players on tour usually have a set made up that will have approximately 48, 52, 56, and 60 degree wedges, with only 4 degree gaps. A club golfer should have something similar. You are at a severe disadvantage right now and should get it rectified, and when you do, your ability to judge shots from 100 yards and in should improve dramatically. Good luck.

Q: I am trying to learn how to hit down and through the ball instead of just hitting the ball. I would like a good drill to be able to learn how to hit the ball first. Thank you.

- Jerry E. (Hondo, NM)

A: The downward hit at impact is more a function of correct technique than the intent to give the ball a downward karate chop. If you have a good downswing sequence, weight shift, hip rotation, and trunk rotation, then the arms and the club should arrive at the ball with more weight on your front foot than your back with your hands ahead of the ball. The more your hands are ahead, the more you will hit down. Put a tee a couple of inches in front of the ball, then try and hit the ball then the tee. That should help you get that downward hit.

Q: I am having an awful time topping the ball when I use my 3, 4 and 5-irons and it has really taken away my confidence in trying to play the game of golf. Please provide some helpful tips.

- Henry (Philadelphia, PA)

A: Another way of looking at topping the ball is to think of it as hitting too low on the face of the club. I like players to take practice swings and always to brush the ground about where the ball would be. Two major mistakes that may prevent that are pulling the upper body back from the ball at impact and letting the left arm buckle or soften at impact. Try keeping your head still through the swing and strive to extend your left arm at and after impact. That should do the trick.