Wet lie? Here’s how to play it (and when to drop)

Use your bunker technique to escape almost any sloppy condition

Everybody has seen the tour player roll up his pant legs and get down into the hazard to try to play a ball that’s partially submerged.

Luckily, most situations aren’t quite that dire — but you do need to know how to account for a wet, muddy lie around the green. If you don’t, you’re going to hit more than your share of fat or bladed shots.

The secret? Don’t let the leading edge of your sand wedge get caught up in the muck, says short-game guru and 50 Best Teacher Stan Utley.

“Out of fear, a lot of players swing too easy, which will usually cause you to duff it,” says Utley. “From these lies, you should be thinking about playing a standard bunker shot.”

To do it, you need to unhinge your wrists aggressively on the downswing while keeping your right palm pointed upward — the key to keeping the bounce on the bottom of the club aimed at the ground. If you swing too slowly or let your wrists turn over, you’ll catch the leading edge in that wet muck and you’ll probably move the ball ten feet.

The feel? Like you’re skipping a rock across the surface of a pond.

Speaking of wet, how deep is too deep when the ball is partially submerged in water? If a quarter of the ball is above the surface, it’s possible to get it out–but you’re going to get wet. Wear rain gear, and swing hard.

SOURCE:  GolfDigest

Simple steps for getting your hands on right

I see a lot of amateurs approach the golf grip with a lot of tension. Many are holding the club too tightly. I notice it most when they try to waggle. The movement looks stiff and short.
To swing correctly, the right amount of grip pressure—and where you apply it—is important. You should feel the club being supported by the last three fingers of your left hand (above, left). Those fingers should grip the firmest. My longtime teacher, the late Stan Thirsk, used to remind me to keep the club in the fingers of my left hand and never let it slip into the palm.
In the right hand, the middle two fingers do most of the work. The forefinger and thumb of the right hand should feel relaxed. In fact, I’ve seen many great players, including Ben Hogan and Fred Couples, practice with those two fingers clear off the club (above, right).
Back to waggling. With softer grip pressure, your waggle will be looser and will help relax your hands and arms. During the swing, the right hand should be free enough to fire the clubhead through the hitting area.
When it comes to your golf grip, how tight is too tight? Here’s an exercise: Next time you practice, try backing off with your grip pressure until the club is almost falling out of your hands. Then firm it up just enough so you can control the club. That likely is your ideal grip pressure. Will it feel lighter? I’m guessing it will.
Tom Watson is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional.
SOURCE:  GolfDigest

5 MENTAL MISTAKES YOU SHOULD NEVER MAKE ON THE GOLF COURSE

Most golfers lose way too many shots to poor mental decisions and not knowing how to systematically approach each shot and control their emotions to maintain confidence. This article will show you the 5 most common mental game mistakes that most golfers make and how to eliminate them.

1) Don’t analyze your swing, or think about it while swinging

2) Don’t think about your score (unless you really have to)

3) Don’t beat yourself up, be your own caddy and remember it’s just a game

4) Don’t just aim at the fairway or green – have a very precise target in mind

5) Don’t forget about your routine

 

This is a guest post by David MacKenzie from Golf State of Mind

SOURCE: practical_golf.com

The most intriguing grips in pro golf

 

A substantial subsection of the golf canon is devoted to romanticizing Ben Hogan and his technique. And that includes his grip, which is shown in the photograph shown above for Life Magazine in 1947—before he weakened it to stop hooking and went on to dominate golf through the mid-1950s.

Even with all of the changes in equipment, clothing, agronomy and, most of all, the ball, how the best players hold the club has stayed mostly within a familiar set of parameters. “There has always been debate about grips—should you be weak, strong or in the middle,” says top Arizona teacher Terry Rowles, who coaches Aaron Baddeley and Martin Trainer on the PGA Tour.
“But the span of grips has always been the same. Henry Cotton looks like Tiger Woods. The action item is how players match their grip with the way they release the club.”
A stroll back through history reveals Arnold Palmer (“The Grip,” Rowles calls him) with his weak right hand turned toward from the target, Johnny Miller with both of his hands set weak and Lee Trevino and David Duval (below), who both believed you couldn’t grip it strong enough, or turned away from the target.
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.
SOURCE:  GolfDigest

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There is no Masters this week, but had it been played at Augusta National, Tiger Woods says he would have been there in good health and ready to go.

Woods, who has not competed since Feb. 16 at the Genesis Invitational and missed at least two tournaments he would have normally played, told endorser GolfTV that he has been using the time away due to the coronavirus pandemic to his advantage.

“Night and day. I feel a lot better than I did then,” said Woods, who skipped the WGC-Mexico Championship and the Players Championship after complaining of back stiffness. “I’ve been able to turn a negative into a positive and been able to train a lot and get my body to where I think it should be at. I’ve been able to play some golf. Fortunately, Medalist Golf Club is still open here — virtually every course to the south of us is closed — but we remain open, so it’s been nice to go out there and hit some golf balls a little bit.

“You need to get some fresh air and do something. Obviously we have our social distancing; you can’t touch rakes or touch the flags. One person per cart, but at least the members and their kids are able to play a little bit, get out there and do something active. Some want to walk the dog, some want to roam the golf course, just doing some daily activity to get some exercise and give you peace of mind.”

Woods, 44, has played just twice in 2020, finishing in a tie for ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open in January and then 68th — last among those who made the cut — at the Genesis Invitational.

It was there where he disclosed back problems that led him to skip the following week’s tournament in Mexico. There had been little information about his health in the interim.

“The hardest part that we always talk about ourselves, as professional golfers, is that it’s weird practicing with no end goal to get ready for,” Woods said in the interview. “Hypothetically, it could be this, it could be that. It changes from day to day. There seems to be something new, something different, and that’s one of the more difficult parts about it.

“You’ve seen players out there walking their dogs, some run the golf course, just doing some kind of daily activity gives them exercise and some peace of mind. Especially for the guys who were playing quite a bit and then have been shut down, they were gearing up, and I was talking to JT [Justin Thomas] about this the other day and I felt energetic, I felt really alive and wired and kind of irritable and I didn’t know what was going on.

“And I realized it was Sunday morning. I was supposed to be flying out to an event to hand out trophies to all the award winners. And my body, subconsciously I knew I was supposed to be getting ready to leave and start playing the Masters. [I thought] it’s not that; you’re not playing this week.”

Woods would have been on hand Sunday for the Drive, Chip & Putt event that has since been canceled. The Masters has been rescheduled for Nov. 12-15, and if it takes place, Woods would host the Champions Dinner on Nov. 10

In a photo he posted to social media Tuesday, Woods showed that he had replicated a Champions Dinner at home with his family while wearing the green jacket. He used the same menu he had predetermined for the former champions.

“I had exactly the same,” he said. “We had steak and chicken pieces, sushi and sashimi. We had cupcakes and milkshakes for dessert. So it was exactly what I was going to serve. As I said, Masters dinner quarantine-style with my family. We had a lot of fun, and eventually it got a little bit interesting at the end, a little ugly, where icing was flowing across people’s hair and face.”

As for not getting to defend his Masters title this week, Woods said: “This is not the way that I would’ve wanted to keep the jacket for a longer period of time. I wanted to get out there and compete for it and earn it again, like I did in ’02 [when he became just the third player to win back-to-back Masters]. But it’s not a normal circumstance, it’s not a normal world. It’s a very fluid environment, and it’s very different for all of us. Fortunately, we potentially could have a Masters in November and play it then. I guess I’ll be defending then, and hopefully that all comes about.”

On Monday, the various golf organizations announced the outline of a potential revamped schedule if government and health authorities approve a return to public activities. It has the PGA Championship in early August, the U.S. Open in September, the Ryder Cup a week later and the Masters in November.

The PGA Tour has not announced when it hopes to return to weekly events, but the Charles Schwab Cup in late May is still on the schedule, although there is considerable talk that the tour will wait until at least mid-June to attempt a return.

“I’m going to sit down with my team and figure out what is the best practice way, what is the best practice schedule, what are the tournaments that I need to play to be ready,” Woods said. “How much should I play; how much should I rest? All the things that are kind of up in the air.

“Again, we don’t exactly know when we’ll be playing these events. This environment, this world we’re living in right now is changing daily, sometimes even hourly.”

Asked for any words of wisdom during this time, Woods leaned on advice from his father.

“I go back to what my dad used to say, and that it’s true that he got through a lot of tough times, don’t look at it day by day,” Woods said. “He used to say, ‘Take it one meal to the next.’ So you go at it until the next meal, and then you figure it out, go out and get it until the next meal. When times are slow like when days feel like months or even years, you just try and break it up into pieces when you can accomplish things.

“Unfortunately for myself, I’ve been through episodes like this in my career with my back where seconds seem like months. You have to slow things down and do things at a different pace. Look at things with a different lens, from a different perspective, where you can accomplish goals, and I think at this point in time going from meal to meal has worked. I don’t know long this is going to work, how long we’re going to be in this pandemic, but for us it’s been these mini-goals that’s allowed us to keep going forward, and next thing you know it’s nighttime and it’s time for bed.”

SOURCE: ESPN.COM

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