Slicers: Try to Hook It
Get better swing plane where it matters, near the ball
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Wide = Far: How to get more out of your full-swing shots
Written by: Keely Levins
The Jutanugarn sisters had one heck of a 2018. Older sib Moriya picked up her first LPGA Tour victory, while Ariya won the U.S. Women’s Open title, was LPGA player of the year and moved to the top of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. So when they give advice on better ball-striking, it’s wise to listen.
One of Moriya’s favorite drills to hit it higher and farther is as simple as it gets.
Take any full-swing club and set up to the ball normally. Now adjust your feet so they are several inches wider apart, and then start hitting shots.
“We call it the flat-feet drill,” Moriya says. “It helps shallow out your angle of attack, which is going to help you hit it more solidly using the club’s proper loft.”
Moriya also uses this drill to slow hip rotation, which improves her swing’s timing. And a wider stance has a benefit for amateurs: It helps prevent the common fault of swinging with weight on your back foot to try to “help” the ball up. Your weight should shift into your lead foot in the downswing.
To improve this drill, alternate hitting 10 balls with the wider stance and then 10 with your normal stance.
Written by: Keely Levins
Michael Breed: Try My Secret Move To Flush It From Any Lie
5 tips to help you keep your golf resolutions in 2019
Written by: T.J. Auclair
The new year has arrived and a lot of you golfers out there might be uttering the words, “new year, new me.”
Most of us make New Year’s resolutions and, unfortunately, most of us fail to see them through for all 365 days.
If your resolution involved improving your golf game in 2019, here’s a list of things you can do every day/week — even if you’re in the bitter cold like a lot of folks right now — to help you achieve those goals.
And, once it warms up in your area, you can take all five of these drills outside.
5. Exercise. Yeah, we know. That’s what we should be doing every day anyway, right? But when it comes to golf, you don’t want to be tight. There are a number of stretches you can do right from your desk while reading emails that will benefit your arms, shoulders, neck, back, hips and legs for golf season.
Even better, place one of those handy, elastic, tension bands in the top drawer of your desk.
4. Take 100 swings per day in your house or garage… without a golf ball. The best players in the world visualize the shot they want to hit before they hit it. With a drill like this one, you’re going to be forced to visualize, because there’s no ball there to hit. If you’re able, place a mirror in front of you and pay attention to the positions of your address, takeaway, the top of your swing and impact position as well as follow through. Do it in slow motion. Become an expert on your swing.
3. Work on your chipping. Can’t do it outside? No worries. You can purchase a chipping net, or even put down a hula-hoop as a target. Get a few foam golf balls and a tiny turf mat to hit the balls off of.
Will it produce the same feel as a real golf ball? Of course not. But what it will do is force you to focus on a target and repeat the same motion over and over. After a long layoff, “touch,” is the first thing that goes for all golfers.
This will help you to work on some semblance of touch all winter long.
2. Practice your putting. Anywhere. All you need is a putter, a golf ball, a flat surface and an object — any object — to putt at. If you’re so inclined, rollout turf can be purchased for around $20 with holes cut out.
Since the greens are where you’re going to take most of your strokes, doesn’t it make sense to dial that in whenever possible? It can be fun too. Does your significant other, roommate, or child play? Have regular putting contests.
The feel you gain during those sessions may not seem like much, but man will they come in handy when your season begins on the real grass.
1. Make a weekly appointment with your PGA Professional. Even in areas of the country that are suffering through the cruelest of winter conditions, you can always find a place to hit golf balls inside. Contact your local PGA Professional to find out where places like this in your area exist. You might be surprised at all the options you have.
With your PGA Professional in tow, you can work on your swing throughout the winter months and keep your game sharp. How nice would it be to be on top of your game as soon as the courses in your area open in the spring?
Written by: T.J. Auclair
I’m coming off a recent win at the CIMB Classic, and my iron game into the par 5s was a big reason I got it done. For the week, I played the par 5s at TPC Kuala Lumpur in 14 under par. That should get it done any week on tour. Most everyday players, however, loathe their long and middle irons and are reluctant to use them. That’s unfortunate, because these clubs are valuable tools. Whether you’re going for the green in two, trying to hit a green in regulation on a 200-yard par 3, or looking to run one up on a long par 4, let me help you rethink avoiding these clubs. I’ll take you through my strategy and swing thoughts with them and have you playing the longer holes better in no time. — with E. Michael Johnson
DECLARE YOUR INTENTIONS
Because amateurs typically have low expectations with longer irons, I’ve seen a lot of them get careless with these shots. Try to be more thoughtful. First, your goal should be to pick a conservative target so you’ll feel better about making an aggressive swing. Next, check your alignment. Some players set up to something closer than their actual target, but that doesn’t work for me. I focus on where I want the ball to end up, and I set up to make that happen by taking shot shape into consideration. For example, if there is water on the left and the pin is in the middle or the right side of the green, I’ll go at the flag. But if the pin is near the water, I’ll aim away from the trouble and try to work the ball back toward the green. Remember what I said about aggressive swings toward conservative targets. You never want to hit toward trouble and hope it curves away. What if you hit the dreaded straight shot?
TAKE YOUR TIME
Timing is super important. If it’s off, you’re not going to hit the ball very well. You’re better off swinging slower and making sure everything is moving in the right downswing order—body, arms, hands, then club. If you ever watch me swing a long iron, you’ll notice that although I’m about to hit a long shot, the shaft of my club does not reach parallel at the top. Don’t get me wrong; I make a good turn, and my arms are extended away from my body—that’s a good feeling to have—but the point is, I’m not overswinging. The tendency with longer irons is to put more effort into the shot than you would if you were swinging a pitching wedge. But if you swing these clubs just like your short irons, your timing will be a lot better. You’ll also have a better chance of making centerface contact, which matters most when swinging these clubs. This is especially true into the wind, so take your time.
“SWING YOUR 4-IRON WITH THE SAME TEMPO AS YOUR PITCHING WEDGE.”
If you want to hit one flush with a middle or long iron, don’t swing down too steeply. It’s a bad habit of mine, and I see it a lot from everyday players. It’s as if the swing thought is to trap the ball. Instead, you want the club coming in on a shallower approach so it can sweep the ball off the fairway—or even a low tee. This will produce crisp contact, a higher launch angle for better distance, and the height needed to get the shot to stop on the green. Good weight distribution is vital. When I’m too steep, it’s usually because I have too much weight on my left side as I start down. That pitches my body toward the target and prompts a steeper angle. But if some of my weight stays on the right side, I’m in business. Another benefit to being shallow is good extension of the arms, which improves contact and power. Trust me, you’ll hit it a lot better with extension than if you’re swinging with “crocodile arms.”
By: Marc Leishman
How to hit a low drive like McIlroy
Written by: Mark Townsend
For years we’ve all enjoyed Rory McIlroy launching his high bombs with the driver but, in recent times, he has added a little low cut into his armoury.
As he explained in a post-round interview it should play a big part in his plans for 2019 and beyond.
“I’ve had it for awhile. I’ve been able to hit it but I’ve just never been comfortable doing it. I went to a different setting with my driver at the end of last year, in an M3, and then it was working really well with that. And then I worked with the TaylorMade guys and the M5 and I kept saying to them, I want to have this shot in my bag,” he said.
“I realised last year that I’ve got enough distance. I need to get the ball more in play. I want my driving accuracy to get up into the 60 per cent number. So that’s when I started to try to hit these shots that I know are going to hit the fairway and are going to get in play. Having a driver with a little more spin where you can launch it lower and it holds its line in that trajectory is something that I wanted a little bit more and that’s what the guys built me.”
So how does he do it?
He seems to be hitting a little cut which is an easier shape to hit for this type of shot as it helps you stay on top of the ball through impact more and retain your spine angle.
Rory has always hit a standard draw and that swing is quite in to out and he’s hitting up on it quite a lot. With this shot he has the ball a tiny bit back in the stance and is more open then usual but he then covers the ball and stays on top of the ball throughout the shot and that makes it easier to deliver less loft.
Gripping it normally would mean hitting down on the ball more and creating more backspin so he also grips down the club by maybe an inch.
What is also interesting is that his ball flight for this shot is 181mph which is the highest of the four so it obviously helps him find the middle of the clubface and his smash factor is great.
What to practise: When playing this shot it won’t work if you try to steer it into play, you’ve got to be completely committed to it and it’s all about the chest and spine being over the ball.
There are two ways to do that, the first is to open up the lower half a little bit and get your weight towards your left heel.
And a great feel is to try and get the right shoulder past the ball at impact. The more that is the less loft there will be. You can’t do this artificially with the hands, it happens through having the correct body motion – and that means the combo of the chest staying forwards and the right shoulder leading the shot and that delivers the less loft.
Written by: Mark Townsend
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