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Martin's Blog - February 10, 2012

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Facebook Questions From the Class
Q: How do I factor the temperature in when calculating yardage? What temperature is the base line? I play in Wisconsin and it gets chilly in the spring and fall. (James Bilski)

A: Don’t overrate temperature. I think it’s only when it’s really cold, almost freezing, that the ball is affected. Even then, I wouldn’t play for more than a 10% loss of distance.

Q: How do cure a pull? (Tim Cahill)

A: Number one, check the ball isn't too far forward in your stance. Number two, make sure you fully turn your shoulders on the backswing. Underturning often causes a pull.

‎Q: I'm a lefty, and I find that I have trouble getting my lower half to keep still during my takeaway. Is there something that could help me with that? (Derek Anthony Hanson)

A: Focus on keeping your lead knee still in the takeaway. This thought really quiets the lower body, one of the best I know.

Q: Any good drills to keep the left arm straight and not go too long on the backswing? (Matt Dubin)

‎A: As strange as it sounds, the best way to keep the left arm straight is when you swing back feel as if the right arm is straight. The left arm is just the mirror of the right.

Q: It’s the winter and there’s snow. Any drills for any of my clubs indoors or outdoors without the ball? I have a 6 foot long putting green in the house too. (Ryan Gallant)

‎A: Lots of body and pivot drills without the club are good. Practice putting with just your right hand, good to sense club-face alignment.

Q: Glove or no glove? How about when you're putting? (Dwight Karr)

‎A: Purely personal on whether to use a glove. The great Jack Nicklaus spent most of his career putting with a glove. Many other greats never used up. Don't think it makes much difference.

Q: How do you achieve width in the golf swing without disconnecting the arms from the body while maintaining the swing arc? (Michael Martinez)

‎A: Very good question. Some people take width to mean a huge stretch in the backswing but it's not. The amount of width you have is setup at address. However far your hands are from your chest at address, that's about the distance they should stay away the whole swing.

Q: How do I hit a high draw? (Peter Haught)

‎A: You have to swing out to the right, fell like you're hitting up and really stay behind with the upper body to hit a high draw. Very pretty if you can do it, for most people an unreliable shot.

Q: What can I do to keep from hitting my irons on the toe? (Steve Brown)

‎A: Make your swing more rotary. Turn the right shoulder away from the ball in the backswing, drive the right shoulder down out to the ball in the downswing.

Q: I'm a scratch and hit many balls with a towel under my left armpit which keeps me connected. But sometimes my lower body gets too fast and I hit a weak cutter to the right. Any tips on how I can combine the two? (Brandon Harper)

A: The best thought I know to get a good upper and lower body relationship is to think of driving the right shoulder through to the target. Firing the trunk decelerates the hips.

Q: I have trouble with my chipping game from 25 yards in it's either a thin shot or fat. Is this mental? Are there any drills you would recommend? (Chris Colbert)

A: This chipping tip should work for both of you. I would look to make sure the grip is neutral, not too strong. I'd also make sure the backswing is upright, not too flat. That usually puts the bottom of the arc at the correct place.

Q: How do I help straighten the flight with my 3-wood? (Steve Hutchins)

‎A: The answer is simple, the execution a littlle tougher. The answer is at the moment of impact, the club needs to be swinging at the target. At the very same moment, the club face needs to be looking at the target. For some people, imagining a nail out of the back of the ball and trying to drive it in helps.

Next Week’s Show
Chapter 4: Putt for Dough (February 15, 2012)
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