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Class Continues May 24, 2011

Q: Martin, I'm starting to wear a hole in the outside heel pad of my golf glove. What am I doing wrong?

- Ken Robie (from Facebook)

A: Firstly, all wear marks mean there is friction between the grip of the club and your glove.  No movement, no friction.  The wear being in your heel pad suggests that you probably do not have your heel pad on the club at address.  The heel pad should always sit on top of the club at address and not slide across the grip when swinging.  Most likely you have the club in the palm of your left hand too much at setup.  Check where that club sits in your hand, very likely that's your answer.

Q: I have been having some trouble with my chipping. Not so much from more than 15 feet away but from about 5-7 feet. What club should I use? Any advice?

- Nicholas Bunker (from Facebook)

A: The club you use should never be just determined by the distance your ball sits off the green.  It is a combination of how far on the green is the flag, how far off the green is your ball and how does the ball lie.  If the lie is decent then I suggest you use the time-tested 'minimum air time, maximum ground time' method.  In other words, use the least lofted club that allows the ball to get on the green the quickest and roll out to the pin.  If you do this I know you will chip better.  Good luck.

Q: Hi Martin! I have been told I have too much movement in my swing. I tend to sway forward and back. Any tips on keeping my body quiet?

- Joe

A: An often quoted golf cliche 'you moved too much' is not very helpful actually.  In reality, you either moved incorrectly or moved at the wrong time.  People who sway are in reality not turning correctly.  I cannot stress to you enough that trying to stop moving or stay still is usually a disaster!!  The very best thing you could do is get analyzed with a '3D golf analysis machine.' Either someone using the AMM or K-Vest would do the trick.  It would quantify faulty movement for you.  At a simpler level, try having the feeling that you turn back and turn through keeping the weight on the inside of your back foot then your front foot.  I'd want you to move more rotary and less lateral.  That should help eliminate your excessive sway.

Q: In the transition from the top of the backswing to initiate the downswing, I've heard many instructors say to lay the club down, and I see Tour Pros do this. Does this happen naturally if the downswing sequence is started correctly with the hips, or is it a voluntary move that must be initiated by the golfer?

- Mario Rivero (Texas)

A: Lay the club down is only good if it gets it on a good plane at the start of the downswing.  Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler are good examples of this.  In a perfect world if the hands, wrists and arms are fairly relaxed at the end of the backswing and the lower body initiates the forward swing, then the club head will lag and come down the plane correctly.  So often golfers muscle the club from the top, come down over or above the plane and these are the players who may get help from the thought of 'laying' the club down, but ideally arms being responsive to the pivot should lead to the correct plane coming into the ball.  Good luck.