SPLASH DOWN 12.20.20 @ 5:35pm, Sunday at Sundown

Distance to Pin: 165 yards

Club: Titleist T300 7-Iron with True Temper Regular Flex Shaft

Ball: Top-Flite XL [about 25 years young] 90 Compression - Condition: Worn

Weather Conditions: Partly sunny, 65-degrees

Course Conditions:  Wet to soggy fairways and greens, 1-1/2 inches of heavy rain Saturday


Ball crater repaired before putting: Birdie

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GRIP AND RIP IT

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THE GOLF GRIP

The most fundamental element in golf is the grip. It is critically important to get it right because the hands are the only physical connection between you and the golf club.

The proper grip will help you hit the ball longer with more accuracy and is essential for the short game around the green, which requires a softer, more sensitive grip.

Learning the proper grip is not difficult but it should be practiced until it becomes part of your muscle memory. If you are new to golf, the grip should feel comfortable within 2 to 3 weeks if practiced daily, which can be done without hitting balls. If you can get to the range several times during this period, it will help you adjust to the grip even better and more quickly. If you’ve been golfing for a while and haven’t had the proper grip it may actually take longer to get use to a new grip, because you must first unlearn the poor grip.

GUIDE TO GRIPPING THE CLUB

In general, you should grip the club with your left hand [for right-handed players], placing the handle across your fingers where they meet your palm. Next, curl your fingers around the handle to hold the club steady with your thumb over the handle. In this position, the handle is pressed against the palm’s thumb pad.

Then place your right hand onto the handle and slide it up so that the lifeline of this hand covers the thumb of the left hand and curl these fingers around the club with the little finger overlapping the crevice between the little and ring finger of your left hand. The hands should be in opposing positions on the handle. For a neutral grip, one left-hand knuckle should be visible when looking down in the address position, and the right hand should be gripping the club on the right side of the club 180-degrees from the left-hand position.

THREE GRIP STRENGTHS: STRONG, NEUTRAL & WEAK

3 GRIP GRAPHIC INTERNET

STRONG

The strong grip comes from rotating the player’s grip clockwise from the neutral position and it promotes a draw, or hook. When in position, the player can see two knuckles on his left hand and the knuckles of the right hand are turned under the handle. The two Vs in the hands will point more toward the player’s right shoulder. One issue with the strong grip is squaring the clubface due to the hands being rotationally manipulated clockwise. This grip promotes rotation of the forearms more than the other two grips and can be the reason some players struggle with hooks and deep draws.

NEUTRAL

There are three different grip strengths including the neutral one described earlier. The neutral grip is best for consistently hitting shots and is the best foundationally because it is easier to switch to a weak or strong grip for working the ball right or left as in a fade or a draw. To set the neutral grip, both Vs formed by the thumbs and forefingers should be pointing toward the player’s right ear [for right-handed players]. The downside of this grip is that it may be more difficult to generate high clubhead speed and to square the clubface at impact.

WEAK

The weak grip is rotated counterclockwise from neutral on the handle and it promotes a fade, or slice. This grip is often preferred by players who want to hit fade shots for more directional and distance control. The fade doesn’t roll far after it lands, and its side spin sacrifices some distance compared to a draw produced by a strong grip. The downside of the weak grip is generating power, especially for shots out of the rough. It generally is not recommended for most players because it has less advantages.

THREE GRIP STYLES: OVERLAPPING, INTERLOCKING & BASEBALL

3 grip styles graphic

There are three popular grip styles among 99-percent of all golfers. These are the overlapping grip described above and the most popular for low-handicap and professional players, the interlocking grip and the 10-finger, or baseball grip. There are pros and cons for each one.

OVERLAPPING

The overlapping grip provides more hand action including wrist hinge. It is preferred because it can increase clubhead speed and this provides more distance for most shots. However, this is mostly true for players with large hands and may not work as well for players with smaller hands.

INTERLOCKING

The interlocking grip is also popular and is sometimes used by top pros. The little finger of the right hand interlocks between the middle and index fingers of the left hand forming a solid unit of the two hands, which remain bonded during the swing. This grip is particularly suited for players with smaller hands and for players with weak hands.

However, the interlocking grip may sacrifice clubhead speed which could affect the length of the shots. In addition, there may be less feeling of connection between the hands and the club with this style grip because not all fingers are touching the handle.

BASEBALL OR 10 FINGER

The baseball grip is the third style and is also known as the 10 finger grip. While it is less popular than the overlapping and interlocking grips, there have been world class champions who have successfully played with this grip.

This grip allows for a more freewheeling swing and can lead to greater wrist cock and wrist hinge which in turn can lead to greater clubhead speed. But there is a downside in that it’s harder to control the clubface at impact and this can lead to greater dispersion away from the player’s target.

GRIP PRESSURE

There are many theories about how much hand pressure should be applied to holding the club during the golf swing. Learning the proper pressure requires understanding the dynamics of each golf shot. For example, the grip pressure for hitting iron shots from fairways is very different from the pressure needed to hit out of deep rough off the fairways. It’s also different for making delicate shots around the greens.

correct grip pressure

The most common error that amateur golfers make is holding the club with an overly tight grip. This causes tension in the forearms and is usually transmitted throughout the upper body. Tension in the golf swing leads to poor shot making.

Additionally, it is important how the pressure is applied by the hands and specifically where the pressure points are located in the fingers. I recommend the pressure points to be in the little finger of the left hand near the top of the handle where it flares out. This helps the player from losing their grip during the swing. I also recommend pressure be applied by the right index and middle fingers to stabilize the overall grip from one end of your hands near the butt of the handle to the other end nearer to the shaft.

Naturally, the club must be held firmly enough that the grip doesn’t breakdown during the backswing. This is especially destructive at the top of the swing where many golfers loosen their grip which exacerbates an overswing.

I prefer to think of grip pressure on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the tightest and 1 the lightest and these should be rarely, if ever, employed. The following scale is my recommendation for most situations faced by the player. The best range of pressure is within one of the three pressure ranges below.

PRESSURE RANGES

1: This pressure is too low to recommend its use

2 to 3: For delicate shots around and on the greens

3 to 4: For most shots, including teed drives and shots made with irons, hybrids and woods on clean lies in the fairway

5 to 6: buried lies in bunkers and second cut loose rough not exceeding 6 inches

7 to 8: deep, thick rough, or other difficult shots that require extra strength to hold the clubface square

9 to 10: This pressure range is too tight to recommend under most any circumstance, but it’s included here to demonstrate there is a pressure that should be avoided

The player should try to maintain a consistent pressure for each one of these different shot situations. Otherwise, the players shot making won’t be reliable and the follow through awkward, such as the one-arm finish.

Discovering the proper grip for any player requires experimentation, however it’s not wise to stray from proven and accepted norms that have been established over many generations of golf. Considering there are three grip styles, three grip pressure ranges, and three grip strengths, golfers already have 27 different variations with which to experiment.

Tweaking the grip for your particular swing will lead to more consistent shots and this should be every golfer’s goal. And remember, the most important three words in golf are practice, practice, practice.

  • Copyright, August 2020, Glen Bowen, Certified Professional Golf Coach, US Golf Teachers Federation

WRECK YOU GOLF GAME —With These Three Death Moves

THE SLICE

The slice can wreck your golf game. Golfers often lose their balls, and their minds, when they slice the ball. The reason a slice occurs is because the golfer takes the club back too quickly inside during their backswing. To get back to the ball, the golfer has to swing over the top of the target line, and this can lead to the ball starting out left, or even straight, then veering severe right.

To correct this swing flaw, the takeaway during the backswing should be triggered by a three-quarter shoulder pivot. The arms remain in front of the chest and the club is taken straight back along the target line until the club reaches waist high. The last quarter of the shoulder pivot is accommodated by releasing a resisting pelvis. This generally will help the golfer return the club on inside path to through the impact zone rather than the “over the top move” of the slicer.

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Rory MCIlroy with correcct straight back takeaway

THE FLIP

The flip is a common swing flaw that causes the ball to fly too high and too short. This is caused by the golfer scooping the ball off the turf with an open clubface because of the erroneous thought that this will help get it into the air. This is a regular mistake among high handicappers and those newer to golf. For irons, hitting down on the ball gets it up and away. In addition to the flip sending the ball flying high and short, it often flies right of the target line. This flaw can also lead to a skulled shot when the leading edge of the clubhead comes into contact with the ball. And my golfing friends, the ball will go nowhere if the leading edge digs deep into the turf far behind the ball. So many bad things can happen with the Flip. To avoid this swing flaw simply keep your wrists straight and the clubface square to your target at impact. The clubhead should always be trailing your hands during the downswing. If you see the clubhead getting ahead of your hands, then you’ll know that you’re probably scooping the ball. Don't Flip Out. Hit down and fly longer!

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The Flip

THE REVERSE PIVOT

The golfer should look like the capital letter A during the golf swing. The reverse pivot is usually the result of straightening, or locking, the back leg while shifting the weight during the backswing and it distorts the golfer’s A frame. This causes the upper body to tilt away from the ball and is exactly the opposite of what is needed for strong hits. This results from turning the lower body too far away from the target and locking the back knee during the backswing while the upper body tries to remain over the ball. It’s a strange look. To avoid this deadly swing flaw, the golfer should maintain the same knee flex they had at address while pivoting their upper body during the backswing. Because they also pivoted their lower body far away from the target they didn’t store energy for the downswing leading to a weak hit at best. Stay over the ball for stronger shots.

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Reverse Pivot

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Tiger Woods with Correct Pivot

  • Copyright, August 2020, Glen Bowen, Certified Professional Golf Coach, US Golf Teachers Federation

THE SLICED SHOT [F]

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THE SLICE - [F]

Many golfers, especially high handicappers, often struggle with slicing the ball. This is when the ball starts left of the target line and then makes a sharp turn to the right. The most common cause is an improper transition at the top from the backswing to the downswing. Less experienced golfers believe they should pull the club down with the hands and arms and this causes the right shoulder to move out around the body taking the club outside the target line on the downswing. As the club approaches the ball it is crossing over the target line heading left of the target. The clubface hits the golf ball with a glancing blow, and this adds left to right sidespin on the ball and hence the slice.

To correct the dreaded slice, you must first correct the downswing sequence. The downswing must start with your lower body. Many golfers believe it starts with the pelvis pivot and shift. But this isn’t exactly true. The downswing start correctly by shifting the lead foot so the weight that is on the inside of the foot moves to the outside and this is accomplished with an ankle shift. The ankle engages the knee and it engages the pelvis…all connected by muscles and bones and tendons. They are basically unwinding the torque that was hopefully created and stored during the backswing if it was made correctly. That’s another issue. The sequence of the takeaway and backswing starts with the shoulder pivot while the arms remain in front of the golfer’s chest. The takeaway error is caused by the hands and arms initiating the swing as they reach across the golfer’s chest. This leads to more swing flaws.

In the downswing, your shoulders, arms and hands along with the club are last to respond to the downward motion. This brings the club on an inside path to the impact zone and straight into the target line. The ball will then be impacted with a square clubface in the direction of the target and this eliminates the slice.

Copyright, August 2020, Glen Bowen, Certified Professional Golf Coach, US Golf Teachers Federation

THE HOOKED SHOT - [G]

BALL DIRECTION HOOK

THE HOOK - [G]

The most common flaw causing the golf ball to hook, or fly left of the target line is a grip that is too strong. The left-hand grip is likely overly rotated on the handle so that more than two knuckles are visible while the righthand grip placed under the club handle. If this is the flaw, then adjust the grip as follows. The left-hand grip should be set so that you can see the two large knuckles prominently. The righthand grip should snug into the righthand with the lifeline covering the left thumb.

The other possible flaw that causes the ball to hook is when the club gets stuck behind them. Getting stuck is coming from too far inside and behind the body. The upper body gets in the way of the club’s path to the ball. The most common reason this happens is because the arms and club are not kept in front of the chest during the backswing. This means that the club trails the upper body on the way down and the hands have to flip the clubhead over to recover. This flipping causes the ball to hook.

There is a third more complicated reason for a hook which is called Gear Effect. This has to do with hitting the ball away from the center of the clubface, or sweet spot.

Copyright, August 2020, Glen Bowen, Certified Professional Golf Coach, US Golf Teachers Federation

THE PULLED SHOT - [H]

BALL DIRECTION PULL

THE PULL - [H]

There are two primary reasons for hitting a pull.

The most frequent Pull flaw is not often recognized. It is due to aligning your lower body to your target line while aligning your shoulders to the left of your target line. This is not an open stance as many golfers believe. This results from the right shoulder being pushed forward at address. The right shoulder should be down but not out. To check it, look down at your ball and you should see both shoulders equally. In your case it’s likely that your right shoulder is more prominent, which means it’s pushed out in front of you. This also pushes your left shoulder out of alignment in the opposite direction to the rear. Keep both shoulders equally visible at address and you will avoid hitting pulls.

The other but less likely reason you hit pulls is because you are consistently aligned left of your target.  You hit the ball in this direction because you were misaligned left of your target, or because you came over the top and crossed the target line and impacted the ball with a square clubface to the clubhead direction.

Copyright, August 2020, Glen Bowen, Certified Professional Golf Coach, US Golf Teachers Federation

THE PUSHED SHOT — [E]

BALL DIRECTION PUSH

THE PUSH

The Push is an enigma for many golfers. Typically, the Push is the result of hitting the ball straight to the right of the target. The often occurs when the downswing brings the club in an inside path that crosses right of the target line at impact. This causes the ball to fly straight to the right of your target line. The most common reason this happens is because the clubhead crosses the target line to the outside during the backswing takeaway and then loops around at the top to an inside path that continues in a straight path across the target line at ball impact and hit with a square to slightly open clubface. If the ball was hit with an open clubface, then it would become a push-slice and the ball would go from right to more right on a curved path.

The cure is to take the clubhead straight back along the target line and not cross over it. The club will find it’s natural slot without looping at the top. With the correct downswing sequence your club will take an inside path back to the ball and it will chase the ball after impact straight down the target line. This creates a straight flight to your target.

Copyright, August 2020, Glen Bowen, Certified Professional Golf Coach, US Golf Teachers Federation

HE WON THE GOLD MEDAL!
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Proud Golf Teacher.
July 25, 2020, my golf student Chris O. won the First Place Gold Medal with the lowest overall score at the STPGA Junior Link Tournament hosted by Texas A&M. This is his second medal ever and his first Gold. Rebuilt Chris's swing during the past 6-months with a 2-month break during golf shutdown due to C-19. Great student.

Copyright, August 2020, Glen Bowen, Certified Professional Golf Coach, US Golf Teachers Federation

GO JOSE! WOW! That's some distance!

JOSE M
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JULY 31, 2020... My student Jose M. had a huge breakthrough today! He is new to golf and has had 8 lessons plus his initial consultation. His first lesson was November 8, 2019, and we had a long break for C-19.

His results are below pictured on my Swing Caddie. He hit his 7-iron 194 yards carry distance. He hit my driver 288 yards carry distance.

Congratulations, Jose!

Copyright, August 2020, Glen Bowen, Certified Professional Golf Coach, US Golf Teachers Federation

SMASH FACTOR...The Holy Grail of Golf

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SMASH FACTOR — The Holy Grail of Golf

The most important metric in golf is Smash Factor. This is the ratio between clubhead speed and ball speed as it leaves the clubface. It is simply ball speed divided by clubhead speed. For example, a clubhead speed of 100mph and a ball speed of 135mph is a Smash Factor of 1.35. Smash Factor is a measure of the amount of energy transferred from the clubhead to the ball at impact. The more efficient the impact, the greater the Smash Factor.

The average swing speed of amateur male golfers is 93mph, which also happens to be the average swing speed of LPGA Tour players. The average swing speed of PGA Tour players is about 110mph. Top PGA players and Long Distance Champions have swing speeds approaching 150mph. As a point of reference, the average amateur male golfer is defined as having a handicap of 16.1, while the average amateur female golfer has a handicap of 28.9 according to the USGA.

Handicap is the numerical value that is above or below par based on the golf course rating. Most golf courses are designed to be 72 strokes on par and are usually measured as 36 strokes per nine holes front and back. Therefore, a 15-handicap golfer will have an average score of 87.

A low handicap player transfers the stored power in the clubhead to the ball more efficiently at impact than high handicap players, because better players hit the ball more consistently in the center of the clubface and generally with higher swing speeds than higher handicap players.

Every golfer wants to hit the ball longer and straighter, especially with their driver. The male golfer with a seven handicap has an average swing speed of 100mph and drives the ball approximately 230 yards in carry distance [in flight], or 2.30 yards per mph, according to data collected by the USGA. High handicappers hit the ball an average of 201 yards.

However, swing speed is not everything when it comes to distance. A slower swing speed can lead to longer distance by delivering the clubface more efficiently to the ball. This can be true if the golfer reduces ball spin, increases his launch angle and hits the ball more squarely in the center of the clubface. This relates directly to Smash Factor. The more efficient the transfer of energy the higher the Smash Factor.

An ideal Smash Factor is 1.5, but the average amateur male golfer has a Smash Factor of about 1.42 according to research by TrackMan. If the golfer could increase his Smash Factor to 1.5, he would increase his ball speed by 8mph and reduce his spin rate by about 30 percent. This would potentially add more than 40 yards to his drives on average.

Now you know why Smash Factor is the Holy Grail of Golf!

Copyright, July 2020, Glen Bowen, Certified Professional Golf Coach, US Golf Teachers Federation

ABSTRACT

On the Efficiency of the Golf Swing
 
Rod White, American Journal of Physics 74, 1088 (2006); https://doi.org/10.1119/1.2346688

A non-driven double pendulum model is used to explain the principle underlying the surprising efficiency of the golf swing. The principle can be described as a parametric energy transfer between the arms and the club head due to the changing moment of inertia of the club. The transfer is a consequence of conservation of energy and angular momentum. Because the pendulum is not driven by an external force, it shows that the golfer need do little more than accelerate the arms with the wrists cocked and let the double pendulum transfer kinetic energy to the club head. A driven double pendulum model is used to study factors affecting the efficiency of a real golf swing. It is concluded that the wrist-cock angle is the most significant efficiency-determining parameter under the golfer’s control and that improvements in golf technology have had a significant impact on driving distance.

COVID UPDATE:

We practice social distancing during lessons: 6 feet minimum and fist bumps. Masks are optional while on the range and the putting green. Masks are required to enter the club house, restaurant and pro shop.

Advice from Dr. Faheem Younus, the Chief of the Infectious Diseases Clinic, University of Maryland, USA:
1. We may have to live with COVID-19 for months or years. Let's not deny it or panic. Let's not make our lives useless. Let's learn to live with this fact.
2. You can't destroy coronaviruses that have penetrated cell walls, drinking gallons of hot water - you'll just go to the bathroom more often.
3. Washing hands, wearing face mask/face shield and maintaining a two-meter physical distance is the best method for your protection.
4. If you don't have a COVID-19 patient at home, there's no need to disinfect the surfaces at your house.
5. Packaged cargo, gas pumps, shopping carts and ATMs do not cause infection. Wash your hands, live your life as usual.
6. You cannot catch COVID-19 from the packaging of food or from ordering take-out food. COVID-19 is not a food-borne infection like Salmonella. It is a droplet-related infection like the ‘flu. There is no demonstrated risk that C19 is transmitted by food.
7. You can temporarily lose your sense of smell with a lot of allergies and viral infections. It's a non-specific symptom that may or may not happen with COVID-19.
8. Taking hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin preemptively is NOT a good idea to prevent COVID. These experimental drugs for coronavirus should only be used in selected COVID patients. They can sometimes cause fatal heart rhythm problems plus other side effects.
9. Once at home, you don't need to change your clothes urgently and go shower! Cleanliness is a virtue, paranoia isn't! Let's not scare people. Our biggest return on investment is in handwashing, staying 6 feet away from people, avoiding large crowd and wearing face mask.
10. The C19 virus doesn't hang in the air for long. This is a respiratory droplet infection that requires close contact.
11. The air is clean, you can walk through the gardens (just keeping your physical protection distance), through parks.
12. It is sufficient to use normal soap against C19, not antibacterial soap. This is a virus, not a bacteria.
13. You don't have to worry about your food orders. But you can heat it all up in the microwave, if you wish.
14. The chances of bringing C19 home with your shoes is like being struck by lightning twice in a day. I've been working against viruses for 20 years - droplet infections don't spread like that!
15. You can't be protected from the virus by taking vinegar, sugarcane juice and ginger! These are for immunity not a cure.
16. Wearing a mask for long periods interferes with your breathing and oxygen levels. Wear it only in crowds.
17. Wearing face shield is a better option than face mask. It protects the eyes and is less suffocating.
18. Wearing gloves is also a bad idea; the virus can accumulate into the glove and be easily transmitted if you touch your face. Better just to wash your hands regularly.
Immunity is greatly weakened by always staying in a sterile environment. Even if you eat immunity boosting foods, please go out of your house regularly to any park/beach.
Immunity is increased by EXPOSURE TO PATHOGENS, not by sitting at home and consuming fried/spicy/sugary/junk foods and aerated drinks.
Live life sensibly and to the fullest. Be smart and stay informed!

Please contact me if you have any questions. 281.703.8035, or coachglen18@gmail.com.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again.

Coach Glen

Clay Ballard's Perfect Back Swing video provides excellent information about how to start and finish a great backswing. It's definitely worth absorbing if you're having trouble with a full shoulder turn, a reverse pivot or cupping your left wrist at the top of your swing.

ADDRESSING THE GOLF BALL

FEET: Your feet should be about shoulder width apart, square to a training rod, or target line, with your left foot one-quarter turn toward the target line.

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LEGS: Your legs should form a triangle between your feet and hips and each separately have different duties during the golf swing and they are firmly connected to the hips. Your left leg should be prepared to bend, but only slightly toward your right knee, while your right leg remains stationery in the address position, grounded and firm against the pivoting of your upper body around your spine…preventing your body's weight from getting outside your right ankle. I like the feeling that there is a mildly strong magnet attracting my knees to each other to help keep them stable through the swing.

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HIPS: Your hips should be square to the training rod, as well. Your upper body bends forward from the hips in order for your to get positioned over the ball. Your knees are moderately bent and you should be in a comfortable and stable athletic position.

SHOULDERS: Your shoulders should also be square to the training rod and in a slightly rounded position so that your arms have adequate room to move freely like a pendulum [or lever] from your shoulders.

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ARMS: Your arms should drop straight down from your shoulders in order to grip and freely swing the golf club.

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ELBOWS: Your elbows should be married throughout the swing [like with a magnet], and should not separate. Keeping your elbows together eliminates many swing flaws that can arise including the dreaded flying elbow [aka chicken wing], which is where your right elbow moves away from and behind your body at the top of the swing. This can also happen at the finish with your left elbow. Your right elbow should bend in the upper part of the swing and remain vertical and close to your left elbow.

WRISTS: Your wrists remain neutral and supple while connecting the arms to the hands, but not too flexible or too stiff. Your wrists should avoid becoming cupped during the golf swing, however it is okay that your left wrist and possibly your right wrist to be cupped in the address position.

HANDS: Your hands should grip the club as discussed above under the GRIP header.

HEAD: Your head should be tilted up enough to maintain a good view of the golf ball, while facilitating the winding of your upper torso around your spine.

BODY: Your body will take on a slight reverse K position, which assists in setting the club-head behind the ball while the club's grip is forward of the ball. 

ALIGNMENT TO THE TARGET [description for right-handed golfers]

The most effective way to align your shot is to stand 3 to 6 feet behind your ball with your left foot and left side aligned with your ball and your target line.

After taking the correct grip with your left hand only—it’s best to do this with the club at your left side and then extending it in front of you with the shaft parallel to the ground to be sure the club face is square to the target.

Next, hold your club up vertically in line with your target line so that it intersects with the exact spot you want the ball to land. In this position, shoot an imaginary laser from the target back to your ball. Then, choose several spots near your ball, approximately 1-foot from your ball and then another 3 to 6 feet more that intersect your imaginary laser line. These spots become your alignment targets. These spots may not always perfectly intersect your laser line and therefore you’ll just have to remember that one is right or left by x-number of inches, or fractions thereof. Choosing just one spot works, too, but not nearly as well as two, or more.

Once you have your alignment spots [slight discoloration in the grass, or blades of grass, or anything that will remain in place while you take your set up and alignment, ie leaves are not reliable on a windy day. With your left hand place your club head on the ground immediately in front of the ball and square the club face to your target spots. The bottom of the club face should be perfectly perpendicular to your imagined laser line. Step into this position with your club as if addressing the ball with your stance and allowing your club head to find the ground by slowly lowering it as you hinge until it rests just in front of your ball. This will be the correct distance from the ball and the target line in order to finalize your alignment.

Next, set your feet so that your ball position is correct, usually in the middle, or slightly forward of center with most iron shots. Once settled into this position you will then reach down with your right hand just below your left hand and slide it up to cover the left thumb with your right palm lifeline.

Look at your club face, your target spots and your final target to check that they are all aligned. Next be sure that your feet are aligned parallel with the laser line you imagined earlier. Then check your knees, hips and shoulders to be certain that they are all in the exact same alignment as your feet and parallel to your target line.

At this point, with everything aligned to your target you’re now ready for your pre-shot routine to strike the ball.

Now, let’s review:

  1. Imagine a laser line from your target back to your ball.
  2. Find your aiming spots such as blades of grass, discoloration, etc.
  3. Set your club head in front of the ball finding your distance by lowering the club hinging at your hips.
  4. Set your feet parallel to the laser line and aiming spots.
  5. Grip the handle with your right hand setting your grip for the shot.
  6. Align the remainder of your body parallel to the target line…the laser line and the aiming spots you chose.
  7. Now, you’re ready for your pre-shot routine.

Copyright, July 2020, Glen Bowen, Certified Professional Golf Coach, US Golf Teachers Federation

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All graphics are the copyright of Golf Distillery

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FUNDAMENTALS OF GOLF
I will be presenting the fundamentals of golf through a series of posts right here.
We'll start with the Set UP. The first and most important element is the Grip.
The grip is our "only" connection to the golf club. This basic fundamental truth is why the proper grip is so important. The golfer's lead hand [left hand for right-handed golfers] goes at the top end of the shaft's grip. Hold the club in the fingers of the left hand to get a proper release of the club at impact. The club's grip should intersect at the base of the index finger and the little pinky finger. When the grip is closed the handle will be under the heal pad. Many amateurs mistakenly place the grip in the palm's lifeline and this leads to a variety of swing flaws. The thumb of the lead hand crosses over the top of the club's grip and rests on the right side. When the player looks down at his hand he will note that the thumb and the part of the hand next to the thumb forms a V. If done correctly, this V will point between the golfer's chin and the rear shoulder. The grip for the bottom hand is to be placed along the base of the two middle fingers at a slight angle and the palm's lifeline should cover the the thumb of the lead hand [top hand]. In this position, the bottom hand snugs in close to the top hand with the thumb of the bottom hand crossing over the shaft thus forming a second V that points toward the back shoulder. Grip pressure should be about 3-5 on a scale of 10. An example of grip pressure is holding a small bird without crushing it, or a tube a toothpaste without squeezing out all the paste. The proper grip pressure should have you feel a slight squeeze at the small finger on the top hand and the index finger of the bottom hand. Very little pressure should be felt by the middle fingers. Also, the thumbs should not dig into the club's grip but instead should rest there with enough pressure to keep the club from twisting in your hands.

Copyright, June 2020, Glen Bowen, Certified Professional Golf Coach, US Golf Teachers Federation

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