Welcome to YOUR Swing Support Center, a blog with tips to help you transition to your new straight leading arm back-swing. This blog allows us to share information which we find in articles by golf professionals or success stories submitted by GOLFSTR users. These tips have helped me and I hope they help you too.

Bill Curry, inventor of GOLFSTR

Archives for the ‘YOUR Swing Support Center’ Category

Putting Success!

Have you ever said “If I could only make a straight putt, I could sink this one”. Then you push or pull or leave your putt short. It’s so frustrating but it happens all the time. Fortunately if you say this to yourself, you are way ahead of 50% of all golfers. At least you understand the critical component of putting: Choose your line and make a straight putt.

Alignment is critical. If you swing your putter directly up your target line and impact the ball dead center on your putter face, you should at least hit the right line. Developing a “Feel for the Break” is the hard part. Getting the right swing speed for the right distance is a matter of practice but the break and slope is different on every putt.

Alignment
I saw an ad for a putting alignment mirror highlighting steps to hit a straight putt:
-Choose the right target line. The mirror has a line which is easy to line up when you stand behind it and line it up with your target point. [Too bad it’s not legal on the course.]
-Make sure that your head and eyes are directly over the ball to avoid a distorted view of the direction to your TARGET. [Basically, that’s all the mirror is helping you control.]

Prove to yourself that you can hit a straight putt on a flat surface. Build CONFIDENCE in you ability to putt straight.

-Swing so that the putter will impact directly on the center point of your putter. [That’s your primary thought during your swing.  [Test your putter on a perfectly flat surface to build confidence in your putting stroke and your swing for a straight 4 foot putt.]
-Limit your backswing so that you can accelerate through the ball and continue your swing directly up your target line. (Don’t jab at it and quickly return your putter.)

Feel the Break
We can all play catch by tossing a ball 4 feet or 10 feet or 15 feet. Unfortunately putting is infinitely more difficult. Judging the distance is easy but you must develop your feel for the green speed as well as the slope and break of the green to hit a very small target. Jerry Seinfeld is NOT a fan of golf. He said “golf is about as challenging as throwing a Tic Tac 100 yards into a shoe box.” And sometimes we wonder why we play this crazy sport.

PowerPutting
During the COVID-19 recovery period, you may be fortunate enough to play on a course where the holes are ringed with a rubber insert. On those course, if you hit the insert, USGA ruled that it counts as a sunk putt. Smart golfers quickly learn that a firm putt does not break as much near the hole and they nail that rubber ring every time. BINGO, LIGHT BULB: Why not hit firm putts to limit the break and sink more putts. Hitting PowerPutts (that could run 2 or 3 feet past the hole) are much more likely to sink.

Practice putting using your GOLFSTR+ to hold your leading wrist flat. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #14: One birdie is a hot streak.

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Shallow Your Driver

That may seem like a pretty strange phase for a golf training solution but stay tuned and I guaranty that it will turn your drives on.  Yes, shallowing your driver in the backswing will be a key for your future power and consistency with your driver. The length of your driver is actually messing up the swing that you have honed with your irons. It’s easy to make your downswing from the inside with your iron and not as easy with your much longer driver.

We are all watching the pros swing their driver on TV and it appears so easy. They seem to swing back on one plane and then swing down on a slightly lower plane. Well as it turns out for recreational players it ain’t so easy.

Webb Simpson shallows his driver in the downswing so that his trailing elbow almost grazes his rib cage for Power and Consistency.

David Leadbetter and Jim McLean both talk about swinging from the inside or from the slot. It’s easier said than done.
Top Speed Golf Blog gave us 3 areas to focus on at impact (for right handed golfers)
1/ Your left bicep should be squeezing against your left chest or peck muscle,
2/ Open your hips first (as you are rotating them toward the target)
3/ Your swing is to the right of your target line or you may feel that way as you shallow your club in the downswing.

 

Swing Trick to Shallow your Club in the Downswing
I saw this in Rory McIlroy’s swing as he likes to take a wide or straight back takeaway which is on a more vertical plane than his wider and flatter downswing. You should actually feel more power thrown into your swing as you thrust from the inside and up your target line.  You may even feel your trailing elbow graze my rib cage on the way down. That forces my early hip rotation and my shallow swing “up the slot”.

In slow motion you can see a slight loop at the top of the swing during the transition. That loop creates the shallowing of the driver club head. You only need to practice this with your driver as it is your longest club so it naturally needs to be dropped or shallowed from the top of the swing.

Brooke Henderson is about 5 foot 6 inches tall but she uses the longest regulation shaft (mind you, she does chock down on her grip). Her loop at the top is very exaggerated but it has a huge impact on her ability to hit longer drivers than most of the LPGA pros.

If you are very tall and have no problem with your hip and shoulder rotation in your backswing, you may not need to shallow your club in the downswing. But for golfers who struggle with consistency and power you should try to loop and shallow your driver head from the top of your swing. The 3 points listed above will make it happen automatically.

Learning to shallow your driver from the top takes a little practice. Try it out with your leading arm straight using your GOLFSTR+ for your straight arm swing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #13: No foursome in front of you ever played too fast.

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Are you a “Trigger Finger Golfer”?

Too many golfers pull the trigger too early in their swing. I’m an active recreational golfer and I watch a lot of other golfers (as well as myself) who get so frustrated by their ability to hit a golf ball perfectly 100% of the time. They would even be happy with 50% or any improvement but they can’t seem to calm down and execute the shot. I know the secret.

Unfortunately golfers love to watch the pros on TV executing every shot perfectly. We rarely see the duck hooks or the fat shots or the topped balls, but the pros do it too. The program producers just make sure that they only show the best of shots unless they happen to be following one of the tournament leaders who happens to make a poor shot.

My point here is that the pros have an amazing ability to start the transfer of their weight from the trailing foot to the leading foot during their swing transition at the top of their swing. They have no problem doing this with amazingly fast swings. We see this and our minds think we can repeat it on the golf course.

Ernie Els is a great image to remember your weight transfer starting during your transition. And he holds off on the wrist release.

In the Heat of Battle on the Golf Course
We are always wondering where our bad shots are coming from especially when we do them on the golf course. It seems so simple to repeat great shots on the driving range. But on the course it all changes. When our minds are caught up with our last amazing drive or our last disappointing flub, we tend to internalize our feelings and release them by pulling the trigger too early in our next shot.

The Problem
You rush your downswing with your arms and never give your body the time to transfer your weight from your trailing foot to your leading foot. Your practice swing may be perfect because you are calm and relaxed. I see it all the time. Your practice swing is at 60% of your actual swing. At the moment of truth, YOUR ARMS TAKE OVER. You are already bottoming out the arc of your swing 4 inches before your club head reaches the ball.

The Result
Either you hit a fat shot, a topped-ball or you power through the ball causing a pulled shot or major slice. This is caused by 2 situations. 1/ When you are over confident because of an amazing last shot [often referred to as the PBSU, Post Birdie Screw-Up) or 2/ You are really steamed after a missed last shot and you are trying to make-up for lost distance.

The Solution
Slow down. Realize what is going on in your mind. Take control of your mind. You can’t afford to let your arms take over the swing. Make sure that your backswing takes twice as long as your down swing by saying “1,2,3” during your swing. “1” during your takeaway, “2” during your transition and weight shift and “3” as you swing down to impact.

In your practice swing, feel an early weight shift to allow you to impact your ball before any turf. This is a critical step before you move up to your ball. Feel your weight shift when you practice with your GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #12: No golfer ever swung too slowly

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Discover Perfection with Irons

The different length and style of each club has a major impact on the way that you swing that club. Past Swing Tips have focused on swinging up with your driver off a tee. For an iron the point of impact is just before your swing arc bottoms out. The face is actually dropping and causing a reverse spin. When hit properly your ball will actually climb before it drops to the ground.

You may have seen a training video on the proper way to swing an iron by using a towel. When you swing with an iron, your goal is to impact the ball before you impact any turf (before your swing arc bottoms out). Practice your iron shots by placing a tee or a bottle cap or towel flat on the ground about 2 or 3 inches behind your ball. Shifting your weight to your leading foot during your swing will allow you to impact your ball before the arc of your swing bottoms out.

Impact you ball first before the bottom of your swing arc.

Turning Point
Practicing with a towel is wonderful but when you are on the course, your mind goes into autopilot and your arms take over. My wakeup call came on the course while hitting my ball out of the rough. I knew that I had to swing down to hit the ball before catching any of the fluffy grass behind the ball. Thinking about my downswing, I impacted with the ball before I swung through the rough and nailed the perfect shot. BINGO, EUREKA!
1/ Setup properly with the ball midway between your feet depending on the iron that you are using.
2/ During your swing transition at the top of your swing, allow your weight to shift from your trailing foot to your leading foot.
3/ Weight shift is caused by what some pros call “the bump” as hip rotation starts your down swing (and weight transfer).
4/ Don’t rush the start of your downswing or your swing will be all arms with your weight still on your trailing foot. Another way to feel this is to keep your wrist weak as they hold their lagging position from the top of the downswing. The combination of weight shift and whipping your wrist release through the ball will generate surprising power. Let your club do the work. Don’t try to muscle your arm through your swing.
5/ Impact on the ball should be just before the bottom of your swing arc which is directly below your leading shoulder.
Practice with GOLFSTR+ by letting your straight leading arm control the consistency of your swing while your wrist release generates the power. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com.

Golf Truism #11: It takes 17 holes to really get warmed up.

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The New Normal for Golf

In our weekly Golf Swing Tips I typically minimize humorous comments as some may be offended. I just wanted to provide some interesting thoughts. I suspect that COVID19 may mess up our lives as well as our golf for the next year or 2 as I hear that the vaccine may not be developed for up to 3 years.

I know that President Trump continues to pump the positive comments to keep our spirits as well as the stock market up. Unfortunately the common cold is a Virus similar to the Coronavirus and how successful have we been in eradicating the COLD?   Scary isn’t it?

Please golf responsibly so that governments don’t reverse their thinking and decide to close it down. I’m hoping that these rules will help you keep your spirits up.

You may only understand how important this is when you lose a friend.  Please Play Safe and apply Social Distancing at all times.

The New Normal Rules of Golf:
Hazmat suits are permitted. As an alternative, one can wear a college mascot costume or big bunny pajamas.
Masks are not permitted, because we would look more like stagecoach robbers than a foursome. (Social distancing is critical.)
Leave the flag in. And to avoid retrieving balls from the hole, any putt shorter than Lebron James is good.
Ride in separate golf carts and don’t come closer to another player than a fully extended ball retriever.
Don’t touch another player’s balls. This is always good advice.
• No high fives. Fortunately, we seldom have a reason.
No petting the geese or the cart girl.
• Don’t use the Porta-Potty. More disease in there than Wuhan China.
No excuses. Slicing or hooking are not side effects of COVID-19.
Make an online bank transfer to pay your bets. No cash allowed.
Straddle the sprinkler on the 18th hole before getting into your car. (Chilly but refreshing.)

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for bad golf. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to avoid those poor swing habits. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #10: One good shank deserves another.   [Unfortunately as it’s all in your mind]

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Crazy Quirks Can Help

If a crazy quirk works for you, Just do it!  COVID19 forced me to take a break from golf. In my first round back on the course I learned a few things about my game as a result of my physical limitation. My inspiration started when I watched Rory McIlroy partner with Dustin Johnson in a skins game against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at Seminole Golf Club, Florida, Why was Wolff using that crazy quirk in his pre-swing motion?

By now every passionate recreational golfer has either seen Wolff in that first live broadcast since the start of Covid19 or winning his first tournament in 2019. He looks like a freak of nature when he incorporates his pre-swing motion into his swing. As he explains it, he is just duplicating the turn of his body that he wants to feel at the point of impact. He just includes that “motion and feeling” instead of a waggle at the start of his swing. It works for him so why not learn from his quirk.

He also includes a major leading heel lift and a huge Furyk type of loop at the top and shallowing of his downswing.   All of this extra motion must have some effect on his consistency which must cause good and bad rounds of golf.

Matthew Wolff adds about 10 moves to his swing that no other golfer tries. It’s mind boggling. Klick image to see the video of his swing.

As it turns out, every professional golfer has their own quirk, even though it may be hidden to the viewers:
-Dustin Johnson: His takeaway has an early wrist break and his transition has a bowed wrist.
-Jim Furyk: He loops his golf club at the top of his swing.
-Bubba Watson: He loves to hit a huge draw or fade on every swing of his club
-Matt Kuchar: His light practice swing is from the outside and across his ball to avoid his duck hook. He also hovers his club behind his ball before he swings.
-Phil Michelson and many golfer love to press their shaft forward to initiate a swing or putt.

I now realized that every golfer that I play with have their own quirks. Some are minor and some are almost hilarious, but they work.  One of the most interesting quirks that I have seen is the closed driver setup stance (for a person who shall remain nameless), where he moves his trailing foot at least 12 inches back from his target line (to create an inside-to-out swing.

This got me thinking. I like to shallow my driver in my downswing but I tend to hit my longest drives up the right side of the fairway (or into the right rough). I must have a physical limitation that is stopping me from driving up the center of the fairway. To fix this, I now open my stance about 10 degrees to the left (as a right handed golfer), shallow my downswing (to swing from the inside or slot) and drive my best drives directly up the center of the fairway with a slight draw. This only works for my driver so it must be my limited strength handling the extra weight and length which was causing my push shots.

I’m sold on my quirk. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to improve your consistency and incorporate any quirk that improves the consistency of your drives and iron shots. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #9:  Progress in golf consists of two steps forward and ten miles backward.

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Attitude is Everything in Golf !

The more I read about golf the more I realize that our Positive Mental Attitude is the reason why we have streaks in our games. That’s right streaks of great shots and pars or streaks of poor shots and bogies or doubles. Poor shots happen. The winners in this game know how to block the bad shot memory and move on to the next shot. Ben Hogan said that “the most important shot in golf is the next one”.

I realize that I am a temperamental golfer so I rationalize why I made a poor shot before I can move on to the next shot. I notice that some pros like Jim Furyk will execute the perfect practice swing after they make a poor shot. They know the swing required to execute every shot so they use their practice swing to build that mental corrective action.

Moe used a single plane swing with both arms straight.  He also used his cocked wrists to create lag and power.

Moe Norman’s Philosophy of Golf
There was a wonderful Golf Digest article about Moe Norman, the autistic Canadian golfer. He used a full hip and spine rotation in his backswing but with both arms straight from setup to impact. It limited the arc of his club head but it gave him and amazing accuracy. He looked like a windmill. It was not a pretty swing and not extremely long but it was perfectly accurate.

I’m not suggesting that we should duplicate Moe’s swing but I do believe that if we limit our backswing, every recreational golfer will improve accuracy. As an autistic person he was noticed for his shy nature and his seemingly silly quirks.

Moe learned to ignore others and golf within his own mentally focused world. He constantly said “Golf is to have fun. What do you have to lose? A lousy ball, that’s all. If you lose yours, grab another one out of your bag and hit it.” [A great suggestion for beginning golfers or when you play a none competitive round of golf.] “That’s what the game’s about. Most golfers don’t see the bright things. All they see is the bad. But if you see the bad things, that’s where your mind will take you.”

“If you drive a car down the road and look at the sidewalk, where do you think you’re going to put the car? It’s the same thing on a golf course. People see only trees and water. But I don’t. To me, they are only there as an ornament. They are there to make the course look nicer. All I see is the tee, middle of the fairway, and middle of the green. That’s golf. I hit my 18 fairways and 18 greens, and go on to the next day.”

The interviewer said, “It must be boring for you.” Moe replied, “Like heck it is. That’s fun”

The golf season has pretty well opened up across North America (in spite of COVID-19). This is a good time to play with safe social distancing and to drop an extra ball when you miss a shot. Learn from your mistakes and create a new attitude for your game. Have fun. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve the consistency of your swing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #8: If your driver is hot, your putter will be ice cold; if you can hit your irons, you will top your woods; if you are keeping your right elbow tucked in, your head will come up.

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Golf is NOT Natural: Take Notes!

Golf is not a sport that you learn without putting a lot of effort into the game. Anyone who learns to play golf tries to apply the basic motion learned with a baseball bat or a cricket bat. Unfortunately that swing does not apply for the ideal golf swing and its different with each of your golf clubs. That’s why golf can be frustrating for so many golfers.

Ideally you can start playing golf with any strength and equipment that you have. If you try to learn golf by watching others at a driving range, hitting some balls and heading for a golf course, you will most likely end up frustrated and never become a good golfer. If you missed any of the following steps I highly recommend that you go back to the basics:

This is definitely not a baseball swing. Controlling your backswing and your downswing requires new patience and skills.

1/ Take lessons from a PGA Golf Pro: You will never appreciate how poor your swing is until you get instruction for the basics in swinging a driver, an iron, a wedge and a putter. A group session will be helpful but one-on-one instruction will help you progress much faster.

2/ Practice at a Driving Range: It will help you understand how difficult it is to hit a ball consistently with each of your clubs. Knowing the different setups and the distance that each club hits is critical for your success.

3/ Take Notes: Check out the internet or buy some books to help learn the finer details of hitting with every type of club. Write down brief points that you should apply for grip, setup and balance for every type of club. Each club performs best with its own unique formula.

4/ Practice and Exercise: You will only build confidence in your swing when you learn to hit consistently and when you build up the power in your swing. Many of the pros start their practice with short light shots to wake up their muscles and create consistent hits with each type of club.

5/ Enjoy Golfing with Friends at a Similar Skill Level:  Patience is crucial.  Don’t play this game if you can’t see this as a challenge to improve your skills as well as improving your mental attitude. Learn from every mishit or go back to your notes or your books or back for more lessons. See golf as a way to learn to control your mental outlook and your newly found skills.

Example of Chipping and Pitching Notes: (It’s more than a putting stroke.)
1/ Stance: Feet open and almost touching, ball is off your leading foot instep and shaft forward.
2/ Swing: Equally back and forward with acceleration to the same height.
3/ Loose Knees: Pivot around your leading leg to a forward balanced finish (don’t lock-up).
4/ Pressure is 55% forward: Helping you swing through the ball and up your target line.

You can’t learn this game without practice and patience to develop consistency. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to help you overcome the 6 critical swing faults. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com.

Golf Truism #7: If you want to be better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.

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Some Pros Bend their Leading Arm

Over the past few weeks I have been emailing with one of our subscribers about professional golfers who bend their leading arm in the backswing. Gilles allowed me to share our discussion as it is so relevant for many recreational golfers.

Gilles’ Email: “I am writing an e-mail rather than using the “comment” section so as not to pass for the “smart ass” who attempts to bust your theory.” About the “straight leading arm” concept, which I must say I fully endorse. I saw Corey Conners (who swings with a bent leading arm) win a recent PGA tournament and place 2nd and 3rd in 2 others tournaments in 2019. He has a

Cory Conners won his first PGA tournament in 2019 with a bent leading arm in his backswing. It works because is able to straighten his arm in the downswing.

smooth, simple and efficient swing. He hits it pretty long too. Yet, he BENDS HIS LEADING ARM in the backswing up to about 45 degrees. How can he play so well?”

Will Curry’s Response: I also saw his bent leading arm. He is amazing but you will notice that his bent arm actually straightens as his lagging wrist releases. BTW Lee Westwood also has a slight bend at the top of his swing. However most pros play with a straight leading arm so it must be the ideal way to swing. However, I have seen many of the senior pros add a slight bend to their leading arm.

My wife had her neck fused at C3-4 after a car accident. She has this amazing golf swing with a BENT leading arm and drives consistently about 190 yards. A pro at our Golf Club told her that her “arm is naturally straightening out during her down swing so at impact she is in the perfect position.  Don’t try to change it.”

I created GOLFSTR after I saw the video of my swing lesson with a bent arm, swinging over the top and slicing across the ball. Practicing with GOLFSTR, I have improved my swing dramatically and I know that I often have a slight bend. Habits are hard to break but my best shots are with a straight leading arm.

Rory is the #1 golfer in the world because he commits to every shot with full power (and a straight leading arm).

Reply from Gilles:I use my GOLFSTR but I must admit that I am not using it as often as I should. It does provide mental training to stop going too far back. I found that the tendency to over rotate, using the bent arm, is due to a subconscious thought that “further back equals a longer shot”. Of course, I need to fight this faulty reasoning and this is where the GOLFSTR helps. I’m finding that what appears to be a limited rotation with a straight leading arm produces more distance with added control. And, as you mention, “habits are hard to break”.

By the way, I always read, and appreciate, all of your blogs. I find they provide a fresh, and summarized, view of the golf swing. Somewhat like a “Readers Digest” of all the instructions in circulation. And God knows we can drown in this flood of golf tips coming from everywhere. It’s refreshing to have you give us a “layman’s” point of view, in a condensed form.”

Will Curry’s Response: Your understanding is exactly what I want you to feel about these blogs. I am always looking for that nugget of knowledge that will improve my game and then share those points. GOLFSTR+ is a training aid that reminds you to limit your backswing and limit your bent leading arm. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com.

Golf Truism #6: Don’t play with anyone who would question a 7.

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Take Your Brain Out of Your Swing!

How many thoughts can you cram into the instant of time that it takes to swing a golf club? The more you try, the worse it gets. The best solution is to take your BRAIN out of your swing. Ideally you want your subconscious mind to take over with the right feeling for every swing in your game. The trick is to change from a mechanical swing to the feeling for a perfect swing.

If you have played this this game for 1 year or 40 years, you know that your game has its ups and downs. As it turns out, it’s all driven by your emotions. Your best shots are effortless and seem to come out of nowhere. Your goal is to bundle those shots every time you play.

Jason Day seems to go into a trance as he  visualize each shot.  He and Jack and Tiger can see their shot and lock it in their mind.  You can do it too.

Turn on Your Subconscious Mind
I was recently reminded (by the 2 best golfers who have ever played this game) that you will never be a great golfer until you shift your knowledge of the mechanics to visualization and feel for the swing that you want to execute.

Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods both been asked to described the reasons for their success. Of course they talk about their hard work but at the moment of truth they “zone into their swing”, they visualize flight of their ball and the target they want to hit. They change their focus from the mechanics of their swing to the “feeling” of the swing needed to launch their ball on the right path to their target.

Every successful professional golfer knows that they have to take their mind into a zone where they ignore the CLUTTER IN THEIR MIND (noise, a recent poor shot, personal problems and the pressure to win a match). Brooks Koepka says that he has no thought in his mind when he makes his shot. What he is actually trying to say is that he knows the feeling and swing path that he needs in order to execute each shot. His total focus is on launching his ball with the right shape to land on his target.

Bad Thoughts Create Bad Shots
Years ago, Dr. Bob Rotella had an article featured in Golf Digest that basically said “Your muscles have no capacity to remember anything.” Memory resides in your head. Muscle Memory does not exist. It doesn’t matter how much you practice or even how great your swing may already be. Great shots are created with positive thoughts and the right visualization and feelings for each shot.

The Solution:
Clear your mind by choosing your target, distance, club, line-up and grip. With that positive mental attitude, stare at your target to burn that image into your mind. Make a practice swing to FEEL the right swing. Relax your shoulders & arms to execute the right swing with the FEELING and mental image that you know will hit your target. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to develop confidence with your mind to let go when it counts on the course. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com.

Golf Truism #5: The only sure way to get a par is to leave a four-foot birdie putt two inches short of the hole.

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