Golf Instruction & Tips 8/6/2010

In this issue we’ll discuss…

1) Think Your Way To Solid Irons
2) Hit Pinpoint Bunker Shots
3) Question of the Week: Getting Rid Of The Shanks
4) Article – Five Pro Tips That Will Reduce Golf Handicaps
5) Article – Four Steps To A Slice-Free Swing

Jack’s Note: Who wants a new set of irons? Alex from the Golf Swing Speed Challenge is giving away some really nice ones if you’re interested. He’s also unloading some GPS’s and other cool stuff. Oh yeah, he’s the guy who has the simplest system I know of to add massive distance to your game.

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1) Think Your Way To Solid Irons

Do you think about your swing too much? Many weekend golfers do . Thinking about the mechanics of your swing when at the range is great. That’s the place to eliminate swing faults. But thinking about your swing while on the tee box is bad. Thinking about folding your right elbow or cocking your wrists in the middle of a swing usually ends in a shank, skull, or topper. Eliminate mechanics-based swing thoughts when on the course and you’ll hit solid irons from the fairway every time.

Below are five steps to hitting solid irons:


1. Assess and select
2. Determine shot shape
3. Picture the ball flight
4. Address the starting line
5. See the result in your mind

Accept that you’re going to use the swing you have at the moment. Then, visualize where you want to land the ball. When your mind sees something, you often achieve it. Follow these five steps to do it every time:
Determine your exact yardage, get a sense of your lie, make a good club selection, and commit to the shot.

* Determine your shot shape by standing behind the ball and visualizing the line that your lie will produce. Also, visualize your ball flight.
* Choose a point on the horizon where you want the ball to start. Picture the ball starting in that direction and landing squarely on the green…exactly where you want it to land.
* Address the ball, square yourself to the target, and draw an imaginary line to your point on the horizon. Use the line to align your clubface, hips, and shoulders.
* See an image of your ball flight in your mind as you start your swing. The better your visual image, the better your tempo and rhythm and the better your golf shot.

Forget about swing mechanics when on the course. Thinking about them usually leads to trouble. Instead, follow the five steps above to hit crisper irons from the fairway.
2) Hit Pinpoint Bunker Shots

If you’re like most weekend golfers, you’re happy to escape a bunker in one. But good bunker players not only get out in one, they also control the ball when it hits, saving strokes. You can hit pinpoint bunker shots when you need to by making a minor swing adjustment.

Basically, you have two choices when hitting bunker shots: You can run the ball to the flag or you can have it check up when it hits. Sometimes, running the ball to the pin is the right choice. Other times, checking up is the right choice. Good players can do both.

The difference between the shots is the way your wedge exits the sand. When the wedge exits on a shallow basis, the ball hits ands runs. When the wedge exits at a steep angle, the ball hits and stops. Here’s how to hit both shots:

* To get the ball to hit and run, use a shortened version of your regular full swing, with your body facing the target and your right arm (left for left-handers) stretched across your torso.
* To stop the ball, lift the club out of the sand quickly. Lift the club out of the sand quickly by bending your left elbow after impact. It should feel like you’re trying to get the shaft straight up and down as soon as you make contact with the sand.

Bunker shots are challenging. So most players are happy to get out in one. But if you want to hit accurate sand shots, learn to change how your club exits the sand to add spin to the ball or run it up to flag. Hitting pinpoint bunker shots save strokes.
3) Questions of the Week: Getting Rid Of The Shanks

Q.

Dear Jack:

I’ve been reading your lessons for some time now and there’s a problem I have I wish you could help me. I’m an 18 handicapper. Most of the time I even hit lower than this.

But these past few months I’ve been shanking my shots, especially my approach shots. What should I do to avoid this?

Thanks,
Leslie Agoncillo

A.

Thanks for the question, Leslie. We get this question at least once a year. Here’s the answer: A shank occurs when a ball is caught in the angle between the clubface and the hosel, spinning the ball sideways.

A shank occurs when the clubhead is farther away from a golfer’s body at impact than at address. The primary causes are

1. Standing too close to the ball, which prevents your hands from swinging freely past your body, or
2. Shifting your weight forward onto your toes, throwing your hands and clubface too far from the body.

If your hands are the problem, place a ball about a half-inch outside your ball. Then, try hitting the inner ball cleanly. Try to sense that your hands are closer to your body through impact and that you’re going to hit the ball on the club’s toe. If you hit both balls, your hands are still too close to the outer ball.

If weight shift is the problem, curl your toes inside your golf shoes. Keep them curled throughout the swing. If this doesn’t work, place a ball under the front of each foot, pushing your weight back on your heels. Practice hitting balls that way until the shanks disappear.

Also, gripping the club too tightly can’t cause the shanks, but it can contribute to them.

If you’ve got a golf question you’d like answered, send an email to us at questions@howtobreak80.com and we’ll review it. I can’t guarantee that we’ll use it but if we do, we’ll make sure to include your name and where you’re from.
If you want to truly discover the secrets of shooting like the Pros and creating a more reliable and consistent swing, check out: http://www.HowToBreak80.com

Also, for past issues of this newsletter and some of my most recent articles, visit our blog at www.HowToBreak80.com/blog

Here are some of my recent articles:

4) Article – Four Steps To A Slice-Free Swing
http://www.howtobreak80.com/articles/four-steps-to-a-slice-free-swing.php

5) Article – Five Pro Tips That Will Reduce Golf Handicaps
http://www.howtobreak80.com/articles/five-pro-tips-that-will-reduce-golf-handicaps.php

Until next time,

Go Low!

Jack

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About the Author

Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book “How To Break 80 and Shoot Like the Pros!”. He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicaps quickly. His free weekly newsletter goes out to thousands of golfers worldwide and provides the latest golf tips, strategies, techniques and instruction on how to improve your golf game.