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Stickney: 8 quick tips for better golf

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One of the biggest myths in the golf swing is that you only “rotate or turn your hips” during the transition. Of course, you must rotate them at some point but as you see Tiger here in the photo above there is a very distinct bump AS the hips begin to rotate. If you only rotate you will tend to stay on your rear foot during the downswing causing over the top transitions and poor quality impact!

Most average players have trouble compressing the golf ball and hitting the ball solidly during impact. In fact, the thin and “clicky” shot is more often hit than not. This shot comes from the absence of longer arms through impact and whenever you “pull up” through the shot you will tend to hit the equator of the golf ball. As you look at this LPGA Tour player in the left frame you will see long arms and more solid impact!

Attention women, you have more flexibility than 10 men and this can be an issue when you play golf. As you can see in these photos the LPGA player on the left has a tighter turn to the top allowing a more explosive downswing! The player on the right has wasted too much motion on the backswing and therefore will have trouble producing speed through impact!

When pitching, it’s easy to forget about using the pivot of the body and only focusing on using the arms. As you can see in the photo above this player is rotating his rear shoulder through the shot keeping the rear wrist in a great condition for solid impact. If you only use your arms here you will tend to “flip” at the ball and use your hands too much making quality impact a fleeting thing.

One of my favorite ways to look at the putting stroke is from the hole back to the player. As you can see, Rory has hit the ball in the left frame and continues into his follow through in the right frame. What you can see is that the putter continues down the line with little twisting and turning of the blade post-impact. As we know the stroke works in an arc and the face will close on its own but it’s not your job to “release” it or try and make it happen on your own. Just let it flow!

To be a good pitcher of the golf ball you must do two things around the green…number one, just bruise the turf coming through impact and have some type of shaft lean forward (SLIGHT). If you possess these two things then you will have a much better chance of hitting good solid shots around the green. If you come into the golf ball too steeply or have the shaft backing up through impact then you will find that you will have impact quality issues.

When it comes to club fitting most golfers have clubs that are fit to them when it pertains to the length and hopefully the lie but with putters 99% of all golfer don’t even consider fitting. Most putters come off the rack around 35 inches with a lie angle of 71 degrees…great if you fit this mold but if you do not your impact will tend to look like this one above. The putter is toe-up with a faulty impact location giving you inconsistent misses. Get your putter fit—length, loft, and lie and you will thank me.

If you want more distance and more consistent impact then you should work on having more “width” at the top. When the lead arm is straighter you will find that these things will happen automatically. If you want the lead arm in a better condition then check out your rear arm…that is the controller! If the rear arm is at 90 degrees or more, you will find the lead arm will be straighter. Try it and you’ll be walking farther down the fairway.

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Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: tom.stickney@puntamita.com

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. RBImGuy

    Jan 23, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Funny enough the real deal is happening elsewhere

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6StOgiFHdY

  2. geohogan

    Jan 19, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    One of the biggest myths in the golf swing is that you only “rotate or turn your hips” during the transition. Of course, you must rotate them at some point but as you see Tiger here in the photo above there is a very distinct bump AS the hips begin to rotate. If you only rotate you will tend to stay on your rear foot during the downswing causing over the top transitions and poor quality impact!

    When the lateral move toward the target happens during the BS, we can make as large a BS turn as comfortable, we get to our left side sooner and maintain stable COG longer and SIMPLY TURN THROUGH IMPACT.

    Ben Hogan said he pushed off his right foot asif pushing off the wall in a swimming pool: DURING THE BACKSWING.

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Instruction

Tip of the week: Dealing with downhill-sidehill lies

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In this week’s tip, Top 100 teacher Tom Stickney shows you how to play from downhill-sidehill lies and avoid a shot that flies well right of target.

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Phil the thrill wins again at Pebble! Exploring his 6 mph clubhead speed gain

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It’s just awesome what is happening with Phil Mickelson! In this video, we will look at first how and why he is able to achieve another 6 mph compared to last season, as well as the thrilling shots he was able to pull off last weekend at Pebble Beach, which will soon be re-named Mickelson Beach.

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Lesson of the Day: Improve the transition to improve impact

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In our “Lesson of the Day” video series with V1 Sports, we match a different GolfWRX member with a different V1 Sports instructor. It’s extremely important to both V1 Sports and GolfWRX to help golfers improve their games and shoot lower scores, and there’s no better way to do that than getting lessons. While we not only want to provide free lessons to select GolfWRX members, we want to encourage and inspire golfers to seek professional instruction. For instructions on how to submit your own video for a chance at getting a free lesson from a V1 Sports instructor as part of our Lesson of the Day series, CLICK HERE.

In today’s lesson of the day, PGA pro Jake Thurm helps GolfWRXer Steffen Jensen improve his transition.

About the pro

Jake Thurm is a PGA Instructor and Director of Instruction at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club in Lemont, Illinois. Jake has been recognized as one of “America’s Best Young Teachers” and one of the “Best Teachers by State” by Golf Digest from 2017-2019. He was also named “Instructor of the Year” by Chicago Golf Report in 2017 and 2018. Jake is also the Midwest Director for the U.S. Junior National Golf Team.

Lesson synopsis

In today’s Lesson of the Day, PGA Instructor Jake Thurm helps a GolfWRX member improve the transitions within his golf swing. In order to get the club more laid off at the top to help with closing the face at impact, Jake recommends standing further from the ball, starting the club more outside than inside, and shallowing out the downswing at the top.

Student’s action plan

  1. Stand further from the ball at set up
  2. Start the club outside the hands during the takeaway
  3. Shallow out and lay off the club in transition from backswing to downswing
  4. Flatten left wrist to close the face during your backswing to downswing transition

 

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