Class Continues May 10, 2011


Q: I get wear marks on the palm of my gloves and when I play a lot, even blisters on the heel pad of my hand.  I know that's an indication of a poor grip. I know that I can't have a good golf swing without a good grip and I'm hoping to find a consistent grip, so please help me figure this out. Thank you!

- Justin P. (Hanford, CA)

A: Wear marks on gloves are a result of friction; movement of the club in your hands while you are swinging. It sounds to me like the heel pad of your leading hand, left hand if you are a right- handed golfer, is not sitting on top of your club at address and consequently moves all over the place when you get swinging. Also, it is true that too tight a grip can cause problems, but so can too loose of a grip. I would get your heel pad on top of the club and hold the club somewhat firmer than you presently do - - this will almost certainly help.

Q: Every so often I pop up drives. Pretty soon the airlines won’t let me use them anymore; nothing like a drive that goes 200 feet in the air straight up and 50 feet out. Am I swinging my driver like a wedge?
- Lorne H. (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

A: To pop up drives in the way you describe you must be chopping down on the ball. You need to sweep the ball away to cure what ails you. Set up with your head behind the ball, looking at the back of the ball; imagine a nail coming out of the back of the ball. Now swing in a way that you would drive that nail through the ball to the target, not smash it into the ground. A sense of keeping your upper body behind the ball and hitting up should get rid of those sky high drives. Good luck.

Q: This is a very basic question for which I've never been able to get a straight answer:  When setting up for an iron shot should you align the top edge of the club square to the target line or the bottom edge of the club square to the target line? Thanks!
- Paul W.

A: This is an easy, short answer. It is most certainly the bottom edge, often called the leading edge that must be aligned at 90-degrees or square to the target line when you are set up if you are trying to hit a straight shot. When you align the top edge you will close the club face and usually that will affect other things at set up, ie. shoulder alignment, hip tilt and balance. I can't see anything good coming out of that, so aim the bottom edge. Good luck.

Q: One thing I never hear about is what part of the ball should I be looking at? Back, front or dead center on top? Or should I be looking at a spot on the ground? Is it different for everyone? I just can't figure it out!!!

- Ronnie M.

A: What part of the ball you look at depends on the club you are using and the lie of the ball. For a driver off a high tee, most certainly look at the back of the ball. A 5-iron off the fairway, look at the top of the ball to help a slight ball-then-turf contact. For a sand wedge off pine needles or hardpan look at the front edge, target side of the ball to encourage a definite ball first, ground second-type of contact. Also, where you look at the ball can affect trajectory so look at the back of the ball for height, front of the ball to hit it low. Hope this helps.