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One Thing For A Great Short Game

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Recently I have asked quite a few golfers what they believe is the most important part of a good short game. Most say that the answer is creativity, and I have to say that I definitely agree.

You may face many different situations around the green; each one is new and challenging and no single shot or technique will suffice. Instead of just giving you a new technique, I want to open your mind to being more creative and show you benefits this will have for your game.

What I often see with golfers around the green is that they position the ball back in the stance and place their hands in front of the club head, which delofts the club and leads to powerful shots that come off the face quickly. This is great for some shots around the green, but not so ideal for others. My challenge for you is to try to hit some higher shots from around the putting surface, and monitor the results.

If your ball flight is low with deep divots and the club head is digging down into the turf, you won’t be comfortable with some shots. It’s often said that you should try to use the bounce of the club, which will allow you to hit higher shots without digging.

But what is this “bounce?”

Think of the efficient action of a speedboat gliding through the waves. Then think about what would happen if that boat nosedived into the water. Just like a speedboat uses its bottom curvature to glide through the water, golfers should use the curvature of the soles of their wedges to allow the clubs to glide through the turf.

Bounce

Imagine a ball sitting on a putting green. If you place your hands in front of the club, the sharp leading edge (the most forward part of the club) is now pointing into the ground. This is a recipe for deep divots, low shots and the lowest margin for error in terms of contact.

Here’s what I mean by lowest margin of error: If contact is one inch behind the ball, the sharp edge will dig in and the result will not be pretty. If  the club is played in a more neutral position, however, and the strike is one inch behind the ball again, the result is a lot more manageable. Instead of the leading edge digging, the bounce will come into play, which will keep the club from digging as much and increase margin of error.

The next time you are around a green at your club, place your left hand behind your back and grip onto the club with just your right hand. Make a few swings trying to just graze the ground with the club as if you were playing a shot from on the green. Of course, taking a divot would not go down too well with the green keepers of the course, so the only way to avoid this is to use the bounce of the club, which right-hand only swings will help you feel.

This advice is NOT for everyone though. If you currently have a bit of a “scoopy” chipping action, this is not for you. However, I would encourage all golfers to experiment with hitting all kinds of shots around the green. The feeling of hitting a low shot is often enough for a “scoopy” impact position golfer to add another shot to their locker.

Now go and increase your creativity!

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Andy is currently coaching in Shanghai, China. He is a UKPGA member and graduate of the AGMS degree at the University of Birmingham. Andy has coached in more than 30 countries and traveled to work with many of the best minds in golf to constantly improve his coaching. His No. 1 desire is to help golfers reach their dreams, and to enjoy the process! Website: andygriffithsgolf.com Online Lessons: swingfix.golfchannel.com/instructors/andy-griffiths Twitter: twitter.com/andygriffiths1 Facebook: facebook.com/andygriffithsgolf

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Instruction

Right Knee Bend: The Difference Between PGA Tour Players and Amateurs

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The knees play an especially important role in the golf swing, helping to transfer the forces golfers generate through our connection with the ground. When we look closer at the right knee bend in the golf swing, we’re able to get a better sense of how PGA Tour players generate power compared to most amateur golfers.

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Instruction

How to eliminate the double cross: Vertical plane, gear effect and impact location

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One of the biggest issues teachers see on the lesson tee is an out-to-in golf swing from a player who is trying to fade the ball, only to look up and see the deadly double cross! This gear effect assisted toe hook is one of the most frustrating things about trying to move the ball from left to right for the right-handed golfer. In this article, I want to show you what this looks like with Trackman and give you a few ways in which you can eliminate this from your game.

Below is the address position of a golfer I teach here in Punta Mita; his handicap ranges between scratch and 2, depending on how much he’s playing, but his miss is a double cross when he’s struggling.

Now let’s examine his impact position:

Observations

  • You see a pull-hooking ball flight
  • The hands are significantly higher at impact than they were at address
  • If you look at the clubhead closely you can see it is wide open post impact due to a toe hit (which we’ll see more of in a second)
  • The face to path is 0.5 which means with a perfectly centered hit, this ball would have moved very slightly from the left to the right
  • However, we see a shot that has a very high negative spin axis -13.7 showing a shot that is moving right to left

Now let’s look at impact location via Trackman:

As we can see here, the impact of the shot above was obviously on the toe and this is the reason why the double-cross occurred. Now the question remains is “why did he hit the ball off of the toe?”

This is what I see from people who swing a touch too much from out-to-in and try to hit fades: a standing up of the body and a lifting of the hands raising the Vertical Swing Plane and Dynamic Lie of the club at impact. From address, let’s assume his lie angle was 45 degrees (for simplicity) and now at impact you can see his Dynamic Lie is 51 degrees. Simply put, he’s standing up the shaft during impact…when this happens you will tend to pull the heel off the ground at impact and this exposes the toe of the club, hence the toe hits and the gear effect toe hook.

Now that we know the problem, what’s the solution? In my opinion it’s a three stage process:

  1. Don’t swing as much from out-to-in so you won’t stand up as much during impact
  2. A better swing plane will help you to remain in your posture and lower the hands a touch more through impact
  3. Move the weights in your driver to promote a slight fade bias

Obviously the key here is to make better swings, but remember to use technology to your advantage and understand why these type of things happen!

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Instruction

Master your takeaway with force and torques

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Most golf swings last less than 2 seconds, so it’s difficult to recover from any errors in the takeaway. Time is obviously limited. What most golfers fail to realize is that the force and torque they apply to the club in the initial stages of the swing can have major effects on how they are able to leverage the club with their arms and wrists.

Our research has shown that it is best to see the golfer as a series of connected links with the most consistent golfers transferring motion smoothly from one link to another and finally to the club. Approximately 19-25 percent of all the energy created in a golf swing actually makes its way into the motion of the club. That means the remaining 75-80 percent is used up in moving the body segments. This emphasizes the fact that a smooth takeaway is your best chance sequence the body links and become more efficient with your energy transfers.

In the video above, I give a very important lesson on how the forces and torques applied by the golfer in the takeaway shape the rest of the swing. There will be more to come on the subject in future articles.

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19th Hole

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