Back in the late '80s, I was struggling with the short wedge shot that Sandra performs so well. But I had the good fortune to spend an afternoon with the great teacher Davis Love Jr., just a few days before he was lost in the tragic small-plane crash flying from Sea Island to Jacksonville. He had given me a tip for the part-wedge shots (from 80 yards and closer) that I still use today. Davis showed me how to make a
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Cast your leg
in place at the top
One simple way to get more control over your swing path is to keep your back knee in place during your backswing. Your knees should be bent in an athletic position at address. At the
Two large and important muscles necessary for a good golf swing are the hip flexors (the psoas major and iliacus). They are attached to the femur, the pelvis and the spine, so you can imagine the important role they play. Not only do they stabilize the lower back and allow for the proper biomechanics of the lumbar spine, but they also help a golfer relay energy generated from hip/trunk rotation into the arms and club. In short, they protect the lower back and help provide power in the swing.
"Tight and/or weak hip flexors can be a real problem," says Golf Digest fitness expert Ralph Simpson, a certified manual therapist who worked for several years in the PGA Tour's fitness trailer.
A discussion today with Woodland's coach, Golf Digest Teaching Professional Randy Smith (see their driving article) revealed that the secret to his greatly improved putting was not really a change in Gary's technique. Rather, it was a change in his approach, brought on by the influence of Brad Faxon, who long has been regarded as one of the tour's premier putters.
Says Smith: "About nine or 10 months ago, Gary played a practice round with Brad. He couldn't believe how many putts Brad made. So I encouraged Gary to go talk to him about putting. I told him not to be shy, to get in there and pick his brain."
Faxon told Woodland that his mechanics were solid. The only thing he
Seriously, it's fine to have one swing key, but don't overdo it, And try to use non-mechanical thoughts on the course. Things like slow tempo, or smooth transition, or accelerate through. Not things like cock your wrists, or plant your left heel, or keep your elbow in. I remember watching the great Bert Yancey (pictured here at the 1967 U.S. Open) give a clinic in my hometown of Tallahassee, Fla., when I was a kid. He said he always thought of two things when he swung. Watching the ball and one other swing key. Never more than that. Bert was ahead of his time when it came to sport psychology. He knew that the brain can't think of too many things and also allow the body to make a naturally good swing.
About 10 years ago, I helped the noted teacher from Birmingham, Ala., Hank Johnson, write a
Golf Digest fitness expert Randy Myers works with some of the top golfers in the world, including uber-athlete Dustin Johnson. How athletic is Dustin? He can do a single-leg squat all the way to the ground (so his butt is nearly touching) and then stand up again. He can also stand on a physio ball and swing a golf club. Stand, I said. No joke. You might not be in the same class of athlete as Dustin, but one
There are some common threads between Stack & Tilt and Foley's swing philosophy, and Tiger is definitely more centered throughout his swing under Foley's tutelage. But to say that Foley teaches the method as advocated by Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer is not accurate.
Let's first look at the article that featured Watney, who won the Cadillac Championship on the famed Doral Blue Monster by two strokes, after crushing a tee shot on the intimidating final hole, which set up an 8-iron approach and a 12-foot birdie putt, which he drained. In the Golf Digest article, Nick's teacher, Butch Harmon, isolated three keys to bomb it off the tee: (1) Create more width, (2) Shift your weight on the backswing and (3) Get to your left side on the through swing. To do this, Butch recommends three drills:
(1) Swing outside the stakes. Put two stakes in the ground on either side of your address position, just inside the target line, on the angle of your clubshaft at address, and then make swings where the club stays in front of the shafts.
(2) Keep your knee flexed. Keeping the right knee flexed on the backswing puts you in a
I found some terrific tips, from a known "mudder," Tom Watson, for playing when it's difficult to keep your hands and equipment dry. Watson won five British Open (and almost a sixth two years ago), so he knows something about playing in adverse conditions. And even if it clears up, you'll need to understand how to hit shots off of soggy turf. Here's Tom's advice, from the pages of Golf Digest:
-- In the rain, wrap a handkerchief around the grip. If your grips are wet and slick, you might as well walk in, no matter how good a player you are. You have to maintain a firm grip
If you studied the swings of the longest hitters in professional golf, you'd see all sorts of different characteristics--short backswings, long backswings, violent downswings, smooth downswings. But one common element all the biggest hitters have is the ability to wind up and then let the body rotate toward the target quickly and powerfully.
A key ingredient to hitting it farther is increasing your swing speed, and a key ingredient to increasing your swing speed is being able to make a powerful, yet controlled rotation of your body. It's not a perfect science, but you can pick up 2.5 yards of distance for every mile per hour you increase your clubhead speed. "You want fast hips and a powerful turn," says Golf Digest fitness advisor Ralph Simpson. "Just watch the big hitters wind up and then let it go,