The low, running shot from a plugged lie in a bunker isn’t too difficult, so long as there’s plenty of green between you and the hole. In this video, I show you how to play a soft-landing bunker shot from a plugged lie, which is useful when you’re faced with a tight flag location.
50 Second Fix: Putting slump
Want to fix a putting slump? Don’t be afraid of change, and learn something new!
Stickney: The deadly double-cross
OK. Here we go. Number 17 at Punta Mita. Water all down the left side. OK. Aim right and hit a slight draw—been hitting the ball wonderfully all day, scoring conditions are perfect—I’m ready to make a birdie!
Over the ball. Check my alignments—good! Last look—where we want the ball to end up—good! No swing thoughts—great! Go!
Ball begins on the line I wanted—so far so good—apex perfect. Oh no! Now it’s not drawing! In fact, it’s fading! Crap! There’s out of bounds right! Don’t hit the path…
BOING! Gone. UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! The dreaded “double-cross.”
Why does this seem to happen to all of us from time to time (only when there is a problem on one side we’re trying to avoid?) The answer is simply one of three things normally
- Not committed
- Poor pivot
- Faulty grip pressure
This one is simple: Anytime you have conflicting thoughts over the ball and you are unsure of what to do next, step back and regroup! Easy sounding right? Not at all! This take a ton of self-discipline and awareness to actually notice the signs and make the choice to stop yourself in the middle of your routine. If you can, you are one of the few.
Not being committed comes in the physical, mental, and emotional forms. Regardless of which you are fighting on the tee in this situation, it’s best to stop and regroup. If you do not, a double-cross and double bogey can be lurking!
Whenever you have doubts about your ability to pull off a shot mechanically the first thing to go is your control of the “pivot” which is how you twist and turn and displace weight. The pivot, per “The Golfing Machine,” controls things like rhythm, balance, the head, the club shaft, etc. so if you “stall out or outrace yourself” then your ball can go anywhere. Usually, when you have trouble that you are trying to avoid, you will tend to slow down in efforts to try and guide the ball—when this happens you will hang back and either hold on or flip it through impact, and this will cause you to lose control of the clubhead and clubface. No bueno!
Faulty Grip Pressure
As stated above, you will find non-commitment in one of three forms, and normally when you have emotional or physical issues your grip pressure will spike. Anytime you have a grip on the club that’s in death-mode, you will find that having any type of normal or consistent release is impossible. When your release becomes an issue so will your ball’s flight. Try your best to relax and let things happen without trying to force them; squeezing the grip too hard can only make things worse.
Now that we know what the issues tend to be, what can we do besides step back? Your goal is to swing the club, just like you do every other time, as normally as possible. The fewer “thoughts” you have, the better. Usually, if you try to stay aggressive, you’ll have a better chance of having the ball land on grass. Try it and you’ll surprise yourself!
TXG: 8 handicap fairway wood & hybrid fitting
Finishing the full bag fitting for our Mizuno contest winner by dialing in a fairway wood and hybrid!
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