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Class Continues Sept 27, 2011

Q: On the tee, do you recommend teeing the ball up when using a club other than the driver?

-    Joe P.

A: Short answer, I always tee the ball up if possible no matter what the club and this is a no-exception policy for me. I think just about all Tour pros do the same, except some will not use a tee if hitting a hybrid or 5-wood because they may hit the ball too high.

Q: I have volunteered at the Western Open/BMW Championship for many years, mainly as a standard bearer. At this year's Wednesday Pro-Am I walked with Matt Kuchar. I noticed he lifts his club off the ground and holds it there for a split second before taking it away on his backswing. Now, these guys are good and they've put in a great deal of time and effort to have a consistent swing. What would be the pros and cons of us weekend golfers, who rarely see a practice range, trying to do what Matt does? Thanks.
-    Gene L. (Madison, WI)

A: A number of good players 'hover' the club head off the ground at setup; Nicklaus and Norman to name two. It promotes a smoother takeaway and very often a slower takeaway, both of which usually help. It is certainly not beyond the reach of any golfer to do this, but some still prefer to keep the club head resting on the ground at address. It really is something you need to try and see which works best for you.  Good luck.

Q: I sometimes tend to let the driver slip or turn within my grip as I hit the ball. It is difficult to judge the proper pressure one should apply to the grip. Do you think a thicker grip on my driver would help me with this? Do you have some advice on how to judge the proper amount of pressure I should apply as I grip the club? I use the Ben Hogan interlocking grip.

-    Nick N. (Germantown, TN)

A: I have found many times when the club moves in your hands that it is often because of an off- center hit, not too light a grip pressure. Try using a dry erase marker on the face of your club to help you detect where you are hitting on the clubface. If you see the hits are off-center, you have found the reason the hands slip on the club. If you hit in the center and the hands move, you can pinpoint the problem and then work on eliminating it.  Good luck.

Q: I love your show!  I am an avid golfer, but I have only been playing for a year.  Now that I am being a tad more consistent, can you break down the pros and cons of a one-plane versus a two-plane swing?  Thanks!

-    Matthew H.

A: The one plane/two plane philosophy is the work of Jim Hardy, who has written two excellent books on the subject and has another coming out very soon. The one plane swing requires more flexibility but less timing as there is less clubface rotation in the hitting area and so theoretically will be more consistent. The two plane swing is more of a hand and wrist sling of the club head at the ball. It requires more timing but is probably easier on the body, especially as you get older and less flexible. Both can work equally well, both have won major championships. If you read Jim's first book you should get a sense of which suits you best. It’s called, 'Plane Truth for Golfers'.  Good luck.