Class Continues April 20, 2011

By Martin HallApril 20, 2011, 11:00 pm

Q: For some reason, I have started hitting everything off the toe and thin to the point of barely disturbing the grass. Any ideas?

- Richard

A: It sounds as if you are shortening the radius of your swing at impact to be hitting it both thin and off the toe. That means your lead arm and wrist are almost certainly bent or buckled at the point of contact. Try hitting shots with a 3/4 backswing and a restricted follow-through. After impact, concentrate on having both arms straight and the club head as far away from the lead shoulder as possible; that should help.

Q: I keep pulling up and/or leaning back when I hit the ball. If I aim to the far left, I hit the ball straight down the fairways. How can I aim straight and hit straight?

- Ann G. (Gulf Shores, AL)

A: That you have to aim left to hit it straight suggests that your swing is too much ‘in-to-out’, with the club going along the line for too long, which is not a good thing. Try aiming straight but as you swing through, concentrate on turning   your body to face the target and try to wrap your right arm across the chest instead of extending to the target. The swing is a tilted circle; no straight lines in a good move. As I say   almost every day, the only thing that goes down the line in a good swing is the ball, the club goes inside to inside, and it moves on an arc. Good luck.

Q: What drill do you suggest for laying the club off at the top? I've worked with a couple different instructors and one said it was in the backswing and the other said it was the beginning of the downswing. Thanks.

- Anonymous

A: 'Laying the club off' is another way of saying the club is off-plane or pointing in the wrong direction, which would make the downswing more difficult. The best simple tip to fix that comes from one of my early mentors, John Jacobs. He would always say on the backswing 'turn your shoulders and point the club at the target.' At the end of your backswing, try pointing both thumbs and your club head at the flagstick; that should help.

Q: I'm a 2 handicap, but my biggest struggle is hitting my long irons high enough to stop them on the greens. Any tips?  

- Brennan (Fort McMurray, Canada) 

A: Getting the long irons in the air with solid contact is no easy task. Many players do better by using some sort of hybrid. However, if the ball is not up in the air enough, there is a good chance you are either getting your upper body ahead at impact or de-lofting the club by having the hands too far ahead at contact. At setup, make sure your head is behind the ball and look into the back of the ball. At impact, have the sensation of throwing a ball underarm up into the air so the hands are not too far ahead. And one last thought: practice off an uphill lie to learn to hit it higher; this is what you should feel to launch it in the air.

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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”