Class Continues - June 14, 2011

By Martin HallJune 14, 2011, 11:00 pm

Q: I play baseball and frequently slice my drives. Are my baseball mechanics making me slice?

-    Chadwick

A: Not exactly. It’s an open club face at impact that will make you slice. Many players seem to think that golf and baseball are similar motions. I don’t agree. In golf, the ball is on the ground and in baseball, it isn’t. In golf, you hit with the end of the stick and in baseball, you hit in the barrel of the bat. The only baseball analogy I will sometimes use to help players stop the slice I got from the great Harvey Penick. He said players should try to hit to third base to get the draw and lose the fade. Many try to swing to first base, and not very often is that helpful. To kill your slice, you have to get the toe of your club to impact earlier, and the third base thought has helped many. I hope it helps; good luck!

Q: Where should the eyes be when you are making the putting stroke?

-    Zach D. (Facebook)

A: I think the eyes should be focused on the back of the ball as if there were a small tack coming out of the equator of the ball. See the putter head as a hammer and watch that tack as you hit it with the hammer. This thought I picked up from Ray Floyd, one of history’s best putters. Well worth trying.

Q: I am having problems with good strikes of the ball. I have read Harvey Penick and Ben Hogan’s books. If I try to use Mr. Hogan’s thoughts, I pull the ball. This could be from me not getting my hips turned. If I use Mr. Penick’s, I seem to lose height with distance of the shot and I have to think of moving the ball up on the higher clubs. Can you help?

-    Dale W. (Hanover, VA)

A: Very Interesting! When you use Hogan’s thoughts you pull the ball most likely because you overdo the clearing of the left hip, and then the right shoulder comes into the ball too high giving you an out-to-in swing. When you employ Mr. Penick’s “Magic Move” (weight to front foot as you tuck the right elbow into your side), you probably get your upper body too far ahead at impact creating too low a ball flight. A suggested compromise is clear your hips (Hogan) as you get your right shoulder under your chin (Penick). That very well may do the trick. Good luck!

Q: What tips do you have for playing when it’s wet? I have trouble making good contact and usually hit it fat.

-    Nathan G. (Facebook)

A: Above anything when it is wet you must keep your hands and grips on the club dry. Keep a big towel in your bag and also a plastic Ziploc bag to have three or four extra gloves in. A good umbrella and good rain-suit also help. For the swing itself, I tell players to go one-inch down on the grip. Take a shorter backswing and follow-through. This gives you more of a sweep in the hitting area and just eliminates the fat shots. In addition, I’ll sometimes tell students to keep their height as they swing into the ball. Stay dry and good luck.

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Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

“To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

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Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.

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Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

“I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

“More punishment,” he said.