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Class Continues Sept 20, 2011

Q: Recently, I've developed a terrible case of pulling my shots to the left.  Most times they are straight pulls but a few are pulls with a slight draw.  (I might add that I've been battling lower right back pain for the past several months.)   I'm tall, 6'5''.  Any suggestions? It's made me a basket case.

-    MJ (Las Vegas, NV)

A: There is a very good chance that because of your lower back pain you are making an over-the-top downswing to avoid that pain. I think you have two choices: either seek help to try and get the back better or aim to the right at setup. Players who aim to the right at setup and pull it back online tend to have less back trouble; examples of this include Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer. Try aiming well to the right and let the pull bring your ball back to the pin. Good luck.

Q: I am a 62 -year old that can still hit 300+ drives. Unfortunately, most of them end up 15-20 yards right of the fairway. I correct this by setting up 30-45 degrees left on the tee box.  What setup or swing change can help me find the fairway?

-    Mark L. (San Diego, CA)

A: There’s a good chance that your ball is a little too far back in your stance at address and that you somewhat slide your hips too much and drop your right shoulder on the downswing. Move the ball up in your stance and on the downswing turn your left hip behind you, keeping your right shoulder high as you turn through. Good luck.

Q: Martin, I am having a terrible problem chipping around the green. I blade every shot across the green and off the other side. Can you help me please?
-    Bill T. (Texas)

A: If you blade every shot then certainly you are not brushing the ground at or just after the moment of contact, which must become your objective. Try this on the practice ground: paint a 24' line at right angles to your target line, then take practice swings on that line trying to move a bit of paint each time. When you can do that, put some balls on that same line, hit balls and still clip that paint off the grass. This should teach you what you need to feel to hit better chip and pitch shots; hope it helps.

Q: I have watched many instructors talk about using the 'bounce' of the sand wedge. I am in the process of buying a new sand wedge. My question is: What is the difference between 8-degree bounce and 12-degree bounce?
-    Leo (Oak Lawn)

A: Other than the obvious answer being four degrees, the more bounce you have the better suited the club is for soft sand, and the less bounce the better it is for firm sand. Determine which type of sand you have at the course you play the most and I suggest you choose accordingly. Good luck.