101 Golf Secrets
Golf Secrets 7 - 9: Instruction
07 -- HOW TO HIT IT LOWER THAN A PICKET FENCE
BY RANDY SMITH
This might not be the way you've always heard about hitting it low, but it works great. I learned it through experience, trying to play under wind in west Texas—where we have wind with a capital W. Move the ball back, but only slightly. Don't narrow your stance. Make it wider. You want the arc at the bottom of the swing to be more level instead of steep, to send the ball out on a penetrating flight. Now just rotate your body. Don't drive your legs. Swinging easier and using more club—a 6-iron when you'd normally hit 7-iron—is a good play. Less loft means a lower shot, and an easier swing creates less backspin. Backspin shoots the ball up in the air.
08 -- HOW TO CHIP OFF HARDPAN
BY JUSTIN LEONARD
You have to play the ball in the back of your stance and set the heel of the club so it's off the ground and the shaft is vertical. To do this, stand closer to the ball. When you swing, keep the face square to your target, and make a putting type of stroke by rocking your shoulders up and down. Be certain you focus on making ball-first.
09 -- HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT TEACHER
BY PETER MORRICE
The latest studies indicate that golfers need to focus on three areas: flexibility, balance and symmetry. Before a round, you should concentrate on flexibility—stretching the entire back and shoulders and the rotary muscles of the hips, torso and rotator cuffs. After a round or on days when you aren't playing, focus on strength- and balance-training. Things like mimicking the golf swing with a weighted club or using resistance bands to improve range of motion are great, but they have to be performed in both directions to improve the body's symmetry. For a right-handed golfer, that means swinging the weighted club as a lefty would. Otherwise, a right-handed golfer would have a strong right side and a flexible left side. Sooner or later, injuries will develop from this asymmetry.
Performing exercises while standing on one leg instead of two (don't forget to switch legs between sets) will help improve balance. So will assuming a golf-swing posture as you go through your routine. The final element to improving your golf muscles is to do cardiovascular exercises such as running, swimming, etc. They will strengthen your legs and improve your stamina, making it much easier to perform the golf swing as you get tired.
Image: Jonathan Carlson