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Class Continues May 17, 2011

Q: Hey Martin.  Every day I seem to hit the ball a little bit differently whether it being a cut or a draw. Any tips on how to make it one direction all the time? Thanks. 

-          Kort R. (from Facebook) 

A: I think trying to hit the ball straight all the time is really difficult to do.  So, you just have to choose a bias towards a draw or a fade that’s going to suit you better.  To find out which one will probably work best for you, go to the range and hit a few shots coming well left of your target and see if you can fade it back to your target.  Then hit a few aiming to the right and see if you can draw it.  Usually one will be easier than the other.  Play with the one you find easier to hit, and you will be more consistent.  Good luck. 


Q: I can't hit my 3-wood off the ground more than about 30 or 40 feet into the air. I have moved the ball up toward the left foot and back in my stance, but I still can't get it airborne. I hit my 5 and 7 woods great, but not the 3 wood. Can you help me please? 

-          Jim B. (Canyon Lake, Texas) 

A: It sounds like it might be an equipment issue, since the 5-wood and the 7-wood are fine.  Check the loft of your 3-wood, it might be a 13-degree (or something like that). Check the shaft to make sure it isn’t too heavy; 65 grams or heavier.  Or, the shaft might be too stiff with a high kick point, all things that make getting the ball in the air difficult.  It could also be that you don’t have enough club head speed to launch it into the air.  A visit to a club fitter sounds in order with the request that you need a lofted, light shafted, low kick point 3-wood.  You might be surprised just how much of a difference that will make.  Good luck. 


Q: Martin, why do you think no other golfer has putted the way Jack Nicklaus did, bent over and right arm acting as piston? Also, I have heard him quoted as saying he sometimes rotated the toe around and sometimes lead with the heel, whichever was working best…Could you explain? 

-          Michael B. (from Facebook) 

A: Jack’s right arm-piston-putting action came after a suggestion from Jackie Burke back in the early 1960’s and he used it his whole career.  Guide with the left but hit with the right.  As to whether you should lead with the heel or release the toe, that all depends.  To avoid pushed putts or have the ball hug the ground a bit better on bumpy greens, lead with the toe.  Swing thoughts seem to have a limited shelf life, and when one stops working you need to have another to switch to.  Jack called it having a “Treasure Chest” of ideas to pull from - - we all need that.  So some weeks thinking heel will work, and others, toe.  Good luck. 


Q: I need some help with my irons. Just about every time I hit a big fade and I keep missing the green!

 -          Corey E. (from Facebook) 

A: Sounds like the face is wide open at impact, with the heel leading the toe when you hit the ball.  There is a good chance that you are blocking or chicken-winging your left arm at, and after, impact.  Try letting your left arm fold at the elbow just after impact so the elbow joint points down at the ground and the arm rotates counter clockwise to square up and close through the strike.  Try aiming right and hitting some big hooks on the range.  When it is easy for you by design to hit some large curve balls you should be okay.  Good luck.