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Here’s a good tip we found from GolfDigest to help you with muddy lies.

Source: GolfDigest
By Michael Breed

If winter for you meant no golf, I know you’re itching to get back out there. First, we need to do a little prep work. I’ve learned from all my years in New York that spring lies—those muddy ones with no cushion under the ball—are prime territory for fat shots. And when you hit a few of those, you can lose it fast. Let’s talk.

Golfers who are afraid of hitting the ball fat tend to bend over too much, with their weight on their toes. They feel more in control if they’re closer to the ball. But your body will find its balance as you swing, so you’ll pull up and dump the club behind the ball (fat) or hit it thin. To stay in the shot, set your weight in the arches of your feet. Next: ball position. With an iron, play the ball in line with a spot on your body between the buttons on your shirt and your chest logo (short irons in line with the buttons, longer irons farther forward). I’ve got a 6-iron here (see below).

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Now I’m going to give you just one swing key to think about: Drive your left shoulder closer to your left hip as you start the downswing (far right). That’s probably a strange concept for you, so let’s break it down. I want you to shift toward the target and feel like your upper body is leaning that way, your spine tilting left—we call that side bend. That will shift the low point of your swing in front of the ball so you hit the ball, then the ground. You’ll love that crisp impact, and your confidence will soar because you won’t be worrying about the next iffy lie.

That move—left shoulder toward left hip—also causes your upper body to turn open slightly. Perfect, because that brings your arms and the club back in front of your body, which is another key to avoiding fat shots. Golfers blame fat contact on a steep, choppy swing, but a shallow swing will often skim the ground before impact—and that’s fat, too. The common denominator is, the club hits the ground too soon. Driving your left shoulder forward will prevent that and add compression to your strikes.

So get the ball in the right spot, set your weight in your arches, and focus on that left shoulder. You’ll have the pieces in place to hit it solid—and beat those muddy lies. Come on, spring!

BUTTONS TO THE BALL Focus on two positions at address: (1) Weight in the arches of your feet, never on your toes; (2) Ball just ahead of your shirt buttons (for a middle iron).

TURN INTO YOUR RIGHT SIDE Let your weight shift to the heel of your right foot, and be ready to drive forward. What you do next will determine how solidly you strike the ball.

LEFT SHOULDER TO LEFT HIP This is the key move for solid contact: Drive your left shoulder toward your left hip to start down. When you feel like your spine is tilting left, you’ve got it.

Michael Breed is Golf Digest’s Chief Digital Instructor.


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You’re looking over a long, breaking putt, and in your mind you start drawing a picture of the ball snaking its way to the hole. What’s wrong with that image? Nothing, as long as you don’t forget about speed. Speed is the biggest factor in putting. Good speed with a bad line almost always puts you closer to the hole than bad speed with a good line. Think about that.

“IF YOU USE AN AIMING POINT, MAKE SURE IT’S BEYOND THE HOLE.”

What you need is a way of combining those two elements. You probably already pick an aiming spot on long putts. For a lot of golfers, that spot is the high point of the break, which might be halfway down your line. If that’s what you do, don’t be surprised if you’re leaving putts short—you’re aiming at something halfway to the hole!

For better speed control, try this method. First, estimate the high point of the break, then draw an imaginary line through that point to a spot even with the hole. Second—and this is the big one—move that spot a couple feet farther out on the same line (below). Why? Because you want the ball to have a little roll left when it approaches the hole. To quote Yogi Berra: “Ninety percent of putts that are short don’t go in.”

Here’s one more image to help you get putts to the hole: Picture one of those annoying speed bumps three or four inches before the cup. You want to hit the ball with enough pace to get over the bump. You can even practice this concept with an alignment stick on the green.

The best part about getting the speed right is, you become a better green-reader. You’ll have a mental database to access when you’re reading a putt. The more putts you’ve hit with proper speed, the more experiences you have to guide you. Putts hit with poor speed poison the database.

Michael Breed is Golf Digest’s Chief Digital Instructor.

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Source: GolfDigest
By Keely Levins

Learn how to turn back, not sway.

Let’s talk about hip turn. James Kinney, one of our Golf Digest Best Young Teachers and Director of Instruction at GolfTec Omaha, says that from the data GolfTec has collected, they’ve found lower handicap golfers have a more centered lower body at the top of the swing. Meaning, they don’t sway.

If you’re swaying off the ball, you’re moving yourself off of your starting position. The low point of your swing moves back when you sway back, so you’re going to have to shift forward to get your club to bottom out where the ball is. That takes a lot of timing, and is going to end up producing some ugly shots.

So, instead, Kinney says you should turn.
“When turning your hips, you are able to stay more centered over the golf ball in your backswing and the low point of your swing stays in the proper position, resulting in consistent contact.”

To practice turning, Kinney says to set up in a doorway. Have your back foot against the doorframe. When you make your lower body move back, your hip will hit the door fame if you’re swaying. If you’re turning, your hips are safe from hitting the frame.

Remember that feeling of turning when you’re on the course and your ball striking is going to get a whole lot more consistent.

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Use this quick stretch to get the shoulder action you need to hit bombs.

STEP 1

Take your regular backswing and stop at the top. If you’ve noticed a serious lack of power in your game recently, you probably look like this (photo, below): left elbow bent, hands in close to your body. You’re all arms and no turn, and it’s costing you yards.

STEP 2

Try this: Using your left hand only, swing the club back until your left arm is parallel to the ground and straight. Grab the shaft with your right hand about a foot from the bottom of the grip and pull it toward your right shoulder. Keep pulling it until your left shoulder swings under your chin. That, friends, is a proper windup.

STEP 3

Thanks to this easy drill, you’ve learned how to combine arm swing with shoulder turn to create maximum potential energy on your backswing. Do this on the range when you’re practicing with your driver or even on the box during your round when prepping to tee off. It’s a great way to remind yourself during play to complete your turn and deliver with authority.

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