Pocket Tips : A portable summary of 12 key lessons – golf – Brief Article

Create a power squat


At the beginning of the downswing, Tiger Woods starts his body moving toward the target while his upper body holds. The resulting squat position shows his powerful body torque. The “L” shape of his right arm also is perfect. All this leads to the clubhead lagging behind, until it whips through at impact. (From page 70.)

Go on the clock


To develop short-game distance control, chip balls as if you were “on the clock” (above). Graduate from 7-to-5, to 8-to-4, to 9-to-3, to 10-to-2 swings. Note where the balls land. Now try to hit those targets without thinking of the clock. Experiment with different clubs. (From page 135.)

Put your best foot forward


A good swing requires good balance. Practice standing on one foot with the other in front of you. Start at 30 seconds and then go to a minute. Then try looking up while doing it. Your increased muscle tone and heightened body sense will improve your swing. (From page 52.)

Shortcut to hit long irons


Jack Nicklaus is the finest long-iron player I have ever seen. Jack says his keys to a good long-iron swing are to finish his backswing, stay down on the ball, and fully release the club. To gain confidence with long irons, take a shorter club like a 7-iron and alternate shots with that club and the long iron. (From page 30.)

Solid Grip: hold a wrapper


If you lose a sense of feeling in your hands, take a candy wrapper and place it on top of your left thumb where the right hand covers it. Now take some practice swings and see if the wrapper falls out of your hands. If it does, your hands are separating at the top of the backswing. Try taking some swings while keeping the wrapper in place. Then try hitting some shots. Your grip will be more solid. (From page 53.)

Move the triangle


Tiger Woods has a classic one-piece takeaway. The upper body turns and the lower body resists. That creates coil and coil creates power. The triangle formed by the shoulders and arms has been pushed away from its starting position together with the club. From here, the arms and body can move in perfect synchronization to the top. (From page 69.)

Punch under pressure


When your nerves are acting up, you need a backup shot you can always rely on. Try a simple knockdown. Take more club, shorten your swing and restrict your follow-through. You’ll get solid contact, distance control and accuracy. (From page 139.)

Flop it with no-arms shot


When you have to get the ball airborne but have little green to work with, set up with your feet close together, your head over the ball, your hands centered, the club in an open position and your arms forming a “V.” Now just flip your hands. Don’t swing your arms at all. The club should slide under the ball and pop it straight up. (From page 58.)

Keep the apple edible


For a rhythmic, balanced swing, put an apple in a long sock, assume your normal address position and swing slowly. Gradually increase the swing speed until you’re making a full swing. The apple should fall between your shoulder blades at the top of the backswing and the finish position. Don’t bruise the apple! (From page 56.)

Putting: Use distant target


On breaking putts, first find the line on which you want a putt to start. Then pick a target on the horizon that’s on that line. Now use that target. Play the most break that will still give the ball a chance of going in. (From page 137.)

Hide the ball under a cup


Some players have trouble hitting the sand behind a ball in the bunker because they focus too much on the ball itself. Place a paper cup over the ball with the ball closer to the targetside edge of the cup. Now blast down under the back lip of the paper cup. Try to hit the cup and the ball onto the green. This will show you how the ball rides out on a cushion of sand. (From page 59.)

See what it feels like


Whether it’s a mirror or a professional video system like the this one, one of the quickest ways to break 100 is to see yourself swing. Pay attention to your setup, grip, ball position, spine angle, knee flex and alignment. Swing the club and see if you maintain the setup posture. (From page 134.)

COPYRIGHT 2001 New York Times Company Magazine Group, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group

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