QA Slip-Sliding Away

By Frank ThomasFebruary 27, 2007, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note: This is the latest in a weekly Q&A feature from The Golf Channel's Chief Technical Advisor Frank Thomas. To submit a question for possible use in this column, email letsbefrank@franklygolf.com
 
Frank, Ive noticed that when Im hitting my driver, my feet for some reason turn back and forth like a washing machine. This causes me to be very erratic with my drives. Ive tried buying new shoes, but this doesnt seem to help. I do better when I hit my three-wood and I have no such problem with my irons.
 
Im a 17 handicap mainly because my drives go anywhere between 160 and 230 yards depending on how much my feet slip. My shot pattern is that the ball generally has tremendous side spin depending on the spin of my feet, and it either goes very high and stops in the fairway and backs up a couple of feet or goes way to the right or left. The only good thing about this is that I am a very good golfer once I get off of the tee. I have had to work on the other parts of my game to make up for my slipping feet.
 
Can you recommend a drill or a brand of shoes that will keep me from sliding everywhere? This problem easily costs me 5 ' 10 shots per round.
Thank you for any advice you can give me. -- Steve

 
Steve,
When I was doing some work at the USGA on swing dynamics, we tried to demonstrate some of the ground forces involved during the swing. This was most successful when we had a three-foot-diameter aluminum disc built, and we mounted it on ball bearings so it would turn easily about a central axis. When I stood on this disc and tried to make a golf swing, my feet would turn in the opposite direction as the takeaway, and opposite again in the downswing. This rotation of the disc got even more exaggerated when the club was swung like a baseball bat, then eased up as the plane of the swing plane became more upright (vertical).
 
Your swing plane does change from your driver to your wedge, so it makes sense that this is a problem on the drive and not on your irons. It does not make sense, however, for your feet to slip under you during the swing, unless youre hitting from a very slippery wet tee or have no spikes on your shoes. I suspect youre not transferring weight properly, and need to get some good teacher to look at your swing. One drill you might try is to swing with your feet very close together; this will quiet the action of your feet, and make sure youre turning rather than shifting and sliding. You might also try stepping through your swing on the follow through as Gary Player has sometimes suggested.
 
Good luck and hope this helps.
 
Frank,
I recently purchased two Adams Tight Lies Idea iWoods, the 17-degree 3-iron and the 21-degree 4-iron, intending to replace the 3- and 4-irons from my Adams Tight Lies Tour irons. However, contrary to what I've read, I've had much more of a problem hitting these iWoods than I did hitting the regular 3 and 4 irons. Although I've hit a few very solid shots, the vast majority of shots so far have been considerably shorter with the iWoods.
 
I'm 58 and play to about an 18 handicap. My distances with my 3- and 4-irons were about 180 and 170 yards respectively. Overall, I seem to have lost about 10-15 yards with the iWoods. Any ideas? -- Gerry

 
Gerry,
Im surprised by what youve told me. The Adams iWood 3 and 4 are hybrids and should perform better than the Idea Tour 3- and 4-irons. The problem may be that you have a considerably higher trajectory than is normal with the hybrids. This may decrease your distance. On the other hand, the shaft flex may not be suitable for your swing and/or the hybrid is more than an inch longer than the iron it is replacing which would account for a decrease in accuracy.
 
If the flex and length are right, then maybe your game just fits irons better than hybrids. You should go with the clubs that work for you, even if your experience is unique.
 
For more on hybrids click here.
 
Frank, I am 59 years old and play to a 1.5 average index. However, I am finding it increasingly difficult to maintain my distance, especially with the driver. I play a TM 580 9.5 regular graphite shaft and can only carry the ball about 205- 210 yards. With normal roll I get an average distance of around 220-225 yards. I also have a Titleist 905R 10.5 regular graphite with which I have been repeatedly measured at 220 carry, but the ball comes down dead and I get almost no roll. My accuracy is excellent and I miss very few fairways. I often have to play courses that approach 6900-7000 yards in competition. While my short game is normally very good, the pressure of being 20-40 yards behind my opponents forces me to play in a very non-aggressive manner.
 
Would you advise trying a longer shaft? Is there anything else that might help me get that 20-30 yards I have lost in the last 5 years? Playing shorter courses is not really an option, as I play in numerous State tournaments. I really enjoy your commentaries and column on the Golf Channel. You seem to call it straight, and thats why Im asking. -- Mike

 
Mike,
Don't give up -- we may have a solution. Its not an equipment solution, because I don't think this is an equipment problem. At your swing speed, in the low 80s, about the best you can expect is your carry of 210 yards and a total of 230 with roll.
 
The best thing you can do is to improve your range of motion. This will give you about 15 to 20 yards more than you have now, assuming you havent already been working on your strength and flexibility. Experiments have shown a significant improvement in club head speed when the range of motion improves. Your only other real option may be to work with a teaching pro to change your technique ' though with a handicap of 1.5 you probably shouldnt look to change too much.
 
The average male drives the ball 192 yards with a head speed of about 80 mph. so youre actually hitting the ball well for your speed. If you want more distance, you must get the head speed up a little. Get permission from your doctor first, then go ahead with an exercise and stretching routine, and you just might find most of those extra yards youve lost. Hope this helps.
Frank
 
Frank, I read one of your recent articles and it sounds like it's harmful to clean a golf ball in the dishwasher? Is this correct? ' Jeff
 
Jeff,
Youve got it.
 
Dont try to wash your golf balls in the dishwasher. The water absorption rate will increase dramatically at the high steaming temperatures your dishes, pots and pans need to get them clean. A damp cloth should be enough to clean most of the dirt off the ball. Water is one of the best all-round solvents know to us. If you really have a problem getting it clean then add a light detergent. This should, however, not be necessary in most cases.
 
A good rule of thumb is not to expose your golf balls to conditions or agents to which you are not normally prepared to expose your body, with some obvious exceptions.
 
Frank
 
Click to purchase the Frog PutterFrank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf, a company dedicated to Helping Golfers. Frank is Chief Technical Advisor to The Golf Channel and Golf Digest. He served as Technical Director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN System and introduced the Stimpmeter to the world of golf. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email letsbefrank@franklygolf.com
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Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

“The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.

 

 

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Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

She wondered if there would be resentment.

She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

“I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

“It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Domenico Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

He waved Lincicome over.

“He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

“The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

“I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

What are Lincicome’s expectations?

She would love to make the cut, but . . .

“Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

“I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

“The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

“She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

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Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

"It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.

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Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

“I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”


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Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

“It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

“All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”