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Class Continues Sept 6, 2011

Q: At times, the wind is so strong on the range that I find practicing for distance control is impossible! Are there drills I can do to have a productive practice session when the wind picks up?  Great show!
-    Jack G. (Dayton, Ohio)
A: British Open Champion Sandy Lyle once told me that the only things worth practicing in the wind are “wind shots.”  You are more likely to hurt yourself than help if you try to make your normal swing in windy conditions on the range.  Try hitting low punch shots.  Try fading the ball into a right-to-left wind to hold it straight.  Try hitting draw shots in a left-to-right wind to hold it straight.  Pay attention when you are chipping and pitching.  If you are into the wind, the ball will stop more quickly and if you are downwind, the ball will roll more.  So, if it’s windy, practice wind shots.  Good luck.

Q: Martin, the show is great! My question is about shaft flex. Is there a hard, fast rule for swing speed (driver for me is mid- to upper-90's) or is it subjective, whatever feels right?

-    Robert
A: The answer to your question is no, there is not a hard and fast rule about shaft flex.  In order to find the best shaft flex for you, get yourself professionally fitted.  Take advantage of the new technology that will give you the proper launch angle, spin rate, club head speed, etc.  It’s easier now, more so than it has ever been to be quite sure you have the optimum club shaft, head weight, loft, etc., in your hands.  This is a must for the serious golfer.

Q: One of my biggest flaws is looking back at the club at the start of the backswing. Is this really that bad of a habit? Any drills to fix it?

-    Mike T. C. (Facebook)
A: It is not necessarily a disastrous habit as long as your eyes go back to the ball before you start your downswing.  I know a Masters champion who did it for years!  That being said, I would not recommend it; instead try focusing on one dimple at the back of the ball before you start back and keep your gaze there until the ball has been hit.  Hope this helps.

Q: I am having trouble with transferring my weight to the left side which is causing me to hit a high slice. Please help.                      

-    Ross (Spokane, WA)
A: Very likely your open club face slice at impact causes you to hang back and not shift your weight in an effort to get the ball on target.  I would suggest fix the slice first and then work on the weight shift.  To stop that curveball to the right you need to get your club face at least square or even a degree or two closed to your swing path at impact.  Check your grip at setup, make it somewhat strong.  Get your left wrist flat and your right wrist bent back as you finish your back swing, and then get the knuckles of your left hand down to the ground prior to impact.  This should close the face and make the ball curve left.  When you get to that point it will be no big task to persuade your weight to shift to the front foot.  I’ve seen this work many times and think it should for you to. Good luck.