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Top 100 teacher Tom Stickney tells you what you need to know to deal with green-side cabbage and shows you how to play the shots you need to succeed.

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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

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Steve Cantwell

    Feb 25, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    I could only dream of having problems such as thick rough around the green. Unfortunately, most of the courses I play have sparse, patchy, clumpy grass around the greens where the ball often is near impossible to strike first. How do i hit THAT shot?

    • geohogan

      Mar 4, 2019 at 9:03 am

      David Leadbetter taught a method when ball is covered :
      Cock wrist quickly ie V shape up swing
      and keep wrist cock for DS, dropping clubhead behind the ball
      with no follow through.
      if wrists dont uncock I guess the right shoulder has to continue\
      to turn through.

  2. Bob

    Feb 25, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    You didn’t mention loft. Is it better to use your maximum loft club or go with less?

  3. Tiger Noods

    Feb 25, 2019 at 12:59 am

    We all know not to decelerate, but the right shoulder coming through is a great tip. “It prevents the hands from taking over.”

    A lot of short game shots can use that same advice.

  4. geohogan

    Feb 24, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Not all cabbage is the same.
    Some allow the ball to nestle down while others hold
    the ball up.

    I’d appreciate some ideas for each type of “cabbage”. Thanks

    • Iutodd

      Feb 24, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      I’m not a top teacher but, IMO, you have to figure out where the ground is in relation to the ball and make appropriate practice swings. If it’s all the way at the bottom you have to “go down and get it” so you practice taking a divot and make sure to utilize the bounce of the wedge. If the grass is holding it up you practice sort of just sweeping through – the club might not even hit the ground at all – keep the club square so you don’t fluff it.

      • geohogan

        Feb 25, 2019 at 8:35 am

        @lutodd, thanks for input.

        Patrick Read had a short chip on his last hole
        Sunday(Mexico). The tropical kikuyu is much different than rye or bluegrass]

        While Tom S. demonstrated a lob type shot in the above video. ie open face and long swing, back and through; Patrick Read hit more a hit and hold type chip with plenty of run out. What is go to method from 10 feet from green, for kikuyu?

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The value of video

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In the age of radar and 3-D measuring systems, video analysis has somewhat taken a backseat. I think that’s unfortunate for a few reasons. First of all, video is still a great assist to learning, and secondly, it is readily available and it can be accessed continually.

Of course, it has limitations, that is a given. It is ultimately a 2-D image of a three-dimensional motion. The camera cannot detect true path, see plane, and can be misleading if not positioned properly. That said, I still use it on every lesson, because, in my experience, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

Things like posture, ball position, and aim can all be seen clearly when the camera is positioned exactly as it should be. In swing observations such as maintenance of posture, club angles, arms in relation to body, over the top, under, early release can all be a great help to any student.

But the real value is in the “feel versus real” area! None of us, from professional to beginner, can know what we are actually doing. The very first reaction I get upon viewing, is “wow, I’m doing that?” Yes, you are. You did NOT pick up your head as you thought you were doing, you ARE lifting well out of your posture, you are NOT coming “over the top”, your aim is well left of where you think you’re aiming, your club is pointing well right of your aim point at the top of the swing, your transition is excessively steep, your lead arm is very bent at impact, the clubhead is past your hands, your wrists are cupped or bowed and on and on!

Some of these positions may be a problem; some may be irrelevant. It’s all about impact, and how you’re getting there that matters. The chicken wing that is causing you to top the ball may very well be the result of a very early release, or a steep transition, or too much waist bend etc. The weight hanging back on the rear leg may be the result of the club so far across the line at the top, and so on.

I never evaluate video without knowledge of ball flight or impact. If one were to observe a less-than-conventional swing, perhaps a Jim Furyk, with knowing how he put matching components together, it might seem like a problem area. Great players have matching components, lesser players do not! IMPACT is king!

I have a video analysis program, as I’m sure your instructor, or someone in your area, does as well. It can only help to take a good, close slow motion look at what is actually happening in your swing.  It takes very little time, and the results can be massively beneficial to your golf swing.

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Shawn Clement: Dealing with injuries in your golf swing, lead side.

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