Tee It Up
Dr. Eric Wilson is a PGA master professional and executive director of golf operations at Keiser University’s College of Golf and Sport Management. In his monthly column, he educates us with tips, trends and commentary on Florida’s favorite sport.
Tee It Up
Last week, my good friend and fellow PGA Professional Ken Martin and I were discussing putting and how important proper aim is in making putts.
As a neophyte collector and golf history buff, I enjoy gathering and perusing golf memorabilia such as books, magazines, golf clubs from different eras and pretty much anything from golf’s bygone times.
When I learned that the United States Golf Association proposed major changes to the Rules of Golf, (effective Jan. 1, 2019), I immediately thought of Brian Hughes—my good friend, fellow PGA Master Professional, College of Golf program director and Rules of Golf expert.
Any golfer who wants to play better golf has asked the question, “Will new clubs help my game?” The answer may seem obvious, but let’s explore the possibilities.
Throughout this column, we’ve discussed preparation, controlling shot curvature, adding distance and how the golf club should move differently on tee shots and iron shots. These concepts should be practiced if you expect to improve your golf game. However, there are many working adults who don’t have time to practice, and there are those who just don’t enjoy practicing, but like to play for exercise and fun. Without practicing, how can you improve?
In past columns, we’ve talked about controlling slices and hooks with your driver and adding distance to your tee shots. Assuming you have practiced these concepts and are now finding the fairway more often, let’s move on to getting your ball from the fairway onto the green.
Distance with the driver is a product of hitting the ball in the center of the clubface, squaring the clubface to the path on which the club is swung, generating maximum clubhead speed through impact and swinging the clubhead on a relatively level angle of approach through the impact zone. The more of these you can accomplish, the more distance you will achieve.
You just sliced your opening tee shot 30 yards to the right into the trees. If this is your normal shot shape, you have a couple of choices. For the rest of the day, you can aim 30 or more yards left so the ball has a chance of ending up in the fairway, or you can learn why your ball slices 30 yards and correct the problem. Let’s choose the latter and discuss why you slice and how to correct it.
In my summer column, I wrote about why most golfers tend to sabotage their games with either a bad front nine or a bad back nine. To further explore this tendency, let’s say you have a little two-foot tap-in for par 9, and you shoot 39. Now, you have a chance to break 80. However, it all starts to unravel on par 10—bad drive into the trees, pitch out to the fairway, blast out to 30 feet and three-putt for a triple-bogey 7. There’s no way to recover. What happened?
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