Lesson TeeSeptember 9, 2013

Simple Solid Strikes

What really matters when you hit the ball

GO TO THE LOGO: At impact try to get the back of your lead hand pointing to the target.

Two main factors determine the starting point and curve of your ball: Swing path and the relationship of the clubface to that path.

Let's assume you have a fairly neutral grip. If you get to impact and the back of your lead hand is aimed at your target, your ball will start out in that direction. If your ball curves to the right or the left from there, you know the path of your swing was off.

Trouble starts when you roll your hands over to try to actively release the club and square the face. That could help a serious slicer, but it mostly makes you too reliant on perfect timing. Instead, focus on getting that logo on the top of your glove to face the target at impact. Your shots will start on line more consistently.

HOW I SEE IT

The traditional thinking when captains make their picks for the Presidents Cup (or Ryder Cup) is to favor players with experience. But I like the idea of giving the younger guys a chance. I was happy to see Fred Couples choose rookie Jordan Spieth for this year's Matches (Oct. 4-6).

The top young players have already proved they can perform under pressure, and they have a way of bringing out the best in veteran players. Besides, golf needs more stars, and playing on the biggest stages helps create them. Look how Keegan Bradley's Q rating took off when he won the PGA Championship in 2011 and then played great at the Ryder Cup last year. Teams need that kind of energy—not another veteran who might have played well in a team event a decade ago.

Hank Haney, a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, is based at the Hank Haney Golf Ranch in Lewisville, Texas.