101 Golf Secrets
Golf Secrets 13 - 15: Instruction
13 -- HOW TO HIT IT HIGHER THAN AN OAK TREE
BY JACK NICKLAUS
Growing up in the Midwest, playing on courses like Scioto with its small, elevated greens and having to navigate tall, mature trees, I learned to hit the ball very high, even with my long irons. I just thought it was the right way to play golf. I didn't think there was a lot of trouble in the air, but there's a lot on the ground. To hit the ball high, you have to hit it from a shallow angle, drive with your legs, keep your head and upper body behind the ball and create clubhead speed. Also, position the ball farther forward at address, open the clubface, allow for a fade and hit hard with your right hand, making sure to work it "under" the left through impact.
14 -- HOW TO DRAW THE BALL FOR DISTANCE
BY BOB TOSKI
Making the ball curve from right to left is as simple as changing your setup. First, make sure your eyes, shoulders, hips and knees are parallel to the target line. Then, move your right foot back, closing your stance (or foot line) so that it is pointed slightly to the right of the target.
You can check this by putting three clubs on the ground when you practice--one parallel to the target line in front of your left foot, and another just in front of that, closer to the target line, and a third along the target line, just inside the ball. Use the first club to line up your shoulders, hips and knees, the second to line up your eyes and the third as a reference for the target line.
15 -- HOW TO STOP THE SHANKS
BY JIM FLICK
Most golfers think a shank is caused by a severely open clubface at impact. But that's not true. A shank comes from the clubhead getting outside the target line on the downswing, causing contact between the face and the hosel of the club. To fix it, practice with a shoebox just outside the ball and parallel to the target line (right). Starting back, swing the club along the box so you feel the clubshaft standing straight up. Then on the downswing, re-route the club under, so it drops to the inside. Doing this is easier if you keep your grip pressure and arms relaxed throughout the swing.
Images: Jim Herity; J.D. Cuban