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

To Bend or NOT Bend Your Leading Arm

Every pro that we see on TV has an amazing straight leading arm during their backswing and downswing. They depend on their straight arm for consistency and added power. So why is it that we also see some recreational golfers who consistently bend their leading arm and still play a pretty good game of golf?

I have been working on a straight leading arm swing for years. That’s why I developed GOLFSTR+. I needed a training aid that I could use during my practice rounds of golf as a constant reminder to keep my leading arm straight in the backswing.

Realizing that I had limited spine and shoulder rotation, I started using one of the Golf-Info-Guide exercises to train my body to rotate. I use my trailing arm to pull the elbow of my straight leading arm across my chest as I rotate my spine. It’s just a great stretching exercise. I still have limited overall rotation (due to age and upper body injuries) but my straight arm swing is crutial for consistent drives and fairway shots. It forces me to coil my upper body for a more powerful swing release.

My wife has a much worse problem with spine rotation as a result of a major auto accident. She almost wraps her leading arm around her neck and releases her arm with tremendous power for her driver. I have never tried to change her swing as her neck is fused and her drives are very consistent as she is able to straighten out her leading arm before impact with the ball.

Unfortunately she has lost the ability to straighten out her leading arm for her iron shots. Her lighter irons don’t extend her leading arm as easily as her driver so she is either hitting off her trailing leg (as she does not shift her weight to her leading leg) or she tips the ball off the toe of her club with her shortened bent leading arm.

Problem: Aging golfers have less flexibility to coil their hips and spine so they compensate by bending their leading arm for a longer backswing.

Solution: Use your feet, hips and shoulders to rotate your body with a straight leading arm. Avoid bending your leading arm by using body rotation and less arm rotation.

Phil lifts his leading heel (check the shadow) and bends his leading knee to add rotation to his hips in his backswing. You don’t need the full straight arm rotation that Phil gets but it sure helped him win the PGA Championship at the record age of 50.

1/ Start your backswing with a slight lift of your leading heel as you bend your leading knee to increase the rotation of your hips and to prevent your head from swaying back
2/ As you hinge your flat wrists for lag at the top of your swing, shift your weight into your leading foot and focus on a balanced finish [as recommended by Danny Maude].
3/ You need a straight arm at the point of impact for a consistent hit and more power as you release your wrists.

If you aren’t bending your leading knee at the start of your backswing, your aren’t getting enough rotation with your hips to allow for a sweeping shallow swing instead of a chopping downswing. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for the straight leading arm. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com.

Golf Truism #60: If there is a ball on the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is in the bunker. If both balls are in the bunker, yours is in the footprint.

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Putt like a Pro and Make More Dough

It’s amazing to see how many putts the professionals sink. If you practice their techniques, you can putt with the same amazing precision and win more dough on the course. Pros work on (1) reading the break, (2) feeling the distance and (3) learning how to hit a straight putt up their target line. This blog is a summary of Andrew Tursky’s recent article covering the techniques used by Aaron Baddeley, one of the PGA Tour’s best putters of the last 20 years. [In 2004 Baddeley finished in the top-10 in the putting category ten times and he led the tour in 2015 which is nearly unmatched.]

“Poor putting tends to wear down the psyche of a golfer more than any other part of the game.” Aaron’s putting strategies and practice tips may be your gateway to success:
1) Just putt it: Baddeley’s approach is to allow his inner athlete take over, rather than doubts or concerns. “I just putt…I just try and hole it,” Baddeley says. “It sounds funny, but it’s like throwing a ball to first base.” He sees downhill putts gently falling over the front lip of the cup and on uphill putts he sees the ball going into the back of the cup. From there, he simply reacts to the speed he has in his mind.
Speed Drill 1: Find a putt with a good amount of break on your practice green, and place three balls down about 4-5 feet from the cup. Hit each putt with different speed; one fast, one slow, and one medium. Each putt will break differently, and over time, you’ll get comfortable controlling the speed needed for all 3 balls to tumble into the hole.
Speed Drill 2: The tee drill. Surround a practice hole with tees at around 5-6 feet, and go around the circle from tee-to-tee hitting putts at the cup. This helps simulate the different breaks of putts you’ll see on the course.

Aaron practices to putt by gripping only with his lead hand and swinging directly up his target line. While playing he adds a claw grip with his tailing hand to avoid distorting his pendulum swing.

2) Setup the same way every time: The swing needs to be is exactly the same to hit the center of the face to create straight putts. Only the swing distance changes to compensate for distance. To ensure he sets up the same distance from the ball on every stroke, Baddeley uses his putter head to measure the distance from the golf ball to his feet. His sweet spot is 3.5 putter head lengths. At that distance, Baddeley has his eyes over the ball in the proper spot where he can make a free-flowing stroke. Measure your gap and check it (while your play) if your putts stop sinking.

3) “Measure” your aim: Baddeley says the most important part of putting is aiming the face properly at your starting line. Reading the putt correctly is only half the battle. Butch Harmon taught Baddeley to putt off the end of a ruler to get his putter face square. Setup a ruler about 10 feet from a hole and pointed directly at the hole on a dead straight putt. When you setup to the ball, check to see if the ruler looks like it is pointing left or right of your target? Hit putts to see what “square” really feels like.

Improve your putting by practicing to feel the break and to set up exactly the same way with a square putter face to hit up your target line. The GOLFSTR+ Training Aid is a great way to practice putting with your locked leading wrist and to build your confidence for your successful putting. By one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #59: I’s easier to get up at 6 AM to play golf then at 10 AM to move the grass.

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Because you make about 36 putts on every round of golf, shouldn’t it be the easiest way to lower your scores. Lydia Ko won the Lotte Championship in Hawaii with drives that were 30 yards shorter than the longest drivers but averaged 4 putts less per round than the longest drivers. That is great inspiration and wake up call for recreational players. You need to apply a unique strategy for every putt specifically if its a lag, uphill, downhill and sidehill putt.

A great starting point is to practice making straight putts by swing straight up your putting line. Your ball position should be slightly forward of the center of your stance to ensure a top spin roll without any bounce. Putt by rocking your shoulders and locking your wrists to make a straight putt. The best putters use their brains. They determine the speed of greens by using the practice green before they play a round of golf. They get a feel for the speed of up-hill, down-hill and side-hill putts as they are tuning up their brains. They also use these strategies:

Rory McIlroy won Wells Fargo last week with great approach shots and putting: He sets up his putts forward in his stance, putts by rocking his shoulders and stares at his ball location as he swings up his target line.

Chip or Lag Putt Close to the Hole
Your good approach shot to every green is the starting point for your first putt. Of course you want to minimize the length of your first putt but if you don’t have the skill to stop on a dime, plan for a safe landing area on or near the green (avoiding perimeter sand traps and extreme slopes). Improve your chipping skills and lag putting skills to get your ball within the 10 foot of the hole where you have a real chance to sink your putt.

Strategic Putting
You need a different strategy for uphill, downhill and side-hill putts. Walk around your putting line to determine the direction of the slope and the amount of slope. The best putters will make a firm putt to minimize the break as the ball reaches the hole (at its slowest speed where it will break the most). Remember that all putts that dies short of the hole never goes in so plan putting with enough speed to pass the hole.

Uphill Putts (Make a firm putt and expect less break.): When your putt is primarily uphill, looks for the side hill break and make sure to account for that break but your FIRM PUTT UPHILL will limit the side-hill break. Make sure that you are putting to pass the hole by up to 2 feet to MINIMIZE the side-hill break.

Sidehill Putts (Make your short putts firm.): When you putt across a minor slope on a 1 to 3 foot putt you should be putting firm enough to MINIMIZE the break and pass the hole by 2 feet (if you miss the hole). Plan to shape your longer sidehill putts to die into the hole. [You have seen golfers like Adam Scott hold up a finger or 2 fingers while planning for side hill putts where the number of fingers are a reminder for the magnitude of the slope. There is no perfect system or Adam would be on top of his game today.]

Downhill Putts (Die into the hole): These putts are the most difficult to sink as you can’t make firm putts to avoid imperfections on the green. Firm downhill putts may just end up in a longer return putt and possibly a third putt so you have no choice but to die into the hole. Choose your line and prey for success based on your experience to choose the right line for any side slope during your putt.

Practice all of our putts with GOLFSTR+ to keep you leading wrist locked. See you success and then apply the same shoulder rocking swing for all of your putts. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #59: I’s easier to get up at 6 AM to play golf then at 10 AM to move the lawn.

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How to Avoid Early Release

Too many golfers destroy their swing by starting their downswing with their arms and wrist release from the top of the swing. If you are one of these golfers you need to “FEEL” A NEW approach to your swing. You will never improve the consistency of your swing unless you commit to learning the correct way to swing. START YOUR DOWNSWING WITH YOUR LEADING KNEE AND YOUR LOWER BODY ROTATION.

As shocking as it may seem, your downswing STARTS WITH YOUR WEIGHT SHIFT TO YOUR LEADING LEG as your backswing reaches the transition from swinging up to down.

Because this is a new approach for your swing, you should learn this move at half the speed of you normal backswing. Remember that the change in direction from up to down is ZERO MILES PER HOUR. The transition of your club reaches a dead stopped at the top BUT YOUR LOWER BODY IS IN CONSTANT MOTION as you start your down swing with an EARLY LEADING KNEE BEND for a weight shift to your leading leg.

Your backswing and downswing must include:
1/ a rotation of your hips and shoulders to coil up your body for POWER and wrist cocking for lag at the top of your swing.
2/ a BEND IN YOUR LEADING KNEE for weight transfer to your leading leg during the transition at the top of your swing.
3/ a straight leading arm (and flat wrist) or a leading arm that will straighten out before the impact with your ball to keep a consistent distance to the ball for your setup and your point of impact.

These 3 images are critical for your golf swing success. (1) Shoulder Slope for your driver and less slope for your irons as you setup with your ball back in your stance, (2) Bend your leading knee during the transition to allow your weight to transfer forward and (3) Shallow your downswing (with your bent trailing elbow) from the inside and up your target line.

How to Create Your Weight Transfer
1/ Weight transfer happens as your swing approaches the top of your backswing. YES, your body weight is shifting forward with the momentum of your backswing. It happens as you reach the transition point where you change club direction from up to down. Give yourself more time in your backswing to make this weight shift. Instead of using the UP and DOWN cadence of “1, 2”, mentally think the words “1 and 2”. Adding the word “and” to give you a little more time to bend your leading knee to shift your weight to your leading foot and cock your wrist to create lag at the top of your swing.

NOTE: Your weight shift and wrist lag are your focus so that early release of your wrists is not happening.

2/ As your weight shifts to your leading foot, your hips are already rotating forward so you are uncoiling from your legs up to your shoulders as your arms start to drop without an early release of your wrists.

3/ Your straight leading arm drops and finally releases your wrists to whip your club through impact at the bottom of your swing. [Early wrist release is the killer for lost power so practice creating a whooshing noise with and inverted club at the bottom of your swing.]

To feel your corrected swing, practice with a mid-iron AND SAY THE CADENCE “1 and 2” in your mind (where “2” is the start of your downswing. An iron is shorter and lighter than your driver so it’s critical that you learn this forward weight transfer with an iron. Use your GOLFSTR+ to learn to swing with a straight leading arm for your backswing and then flip the plastic plate to test for your trailing arm lag at the top of your swing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #58: A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game.

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Finally: An Instant Putting Solution!

Are you missing short putts that you expected to sink? I recently discovered an immediate solution using any conventional putter. I have been practicing my short putts with a GOLFSTR+ to putt with a locked leading wrist. That practice improved my confidence to putt with a locked wrist but using GOLFSTR+ during any competitive rounds of golf is PROHIBITED.

BINGO!!! I have now discovered a way to use my existing putter to lock my leading wrist and solve my problem with shaking, nervous hands for short putts under 6 feet.

I got this idea when I noticed Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson, Bernhard Langer and Matt Kutcher using an ARM-LOCK TECHNIQUE with longer putter handles pressed against the underside of their leading forearm. I have seen the method used for some time but when the up and coming Will Zalatoris used this technique to win runner up at The Masters, I realized that shaky hands and wrists could be a problem for most golfers, young and old.

Bryson looks so rigid when he putts but it works.

For my short putts under 6 feet I have now improved my putting by gripping down on my putter handle with both hands at the same level and allowing the extended putter grip to press against my forearm. To do this with my standard putter I just have to bend over a little further at my waist. I almost bend over like Michelle Wei West in her table-top putting stance. The good news is that if I choose a putting line, I definitely hit that line.

I just putt with a normal shoulder rocking motion to swing my putter directly up my chosen line. Shaking hands and wrists are no longer a problem. Now that I have more confidence I am hitting more firm putts to ensure that I have enough speed to pass the hole and limit the brake as the putt slows down near the hole. Short putts never go in.

For my longer putts over 6 feet I don’t seem to have the same wrist and hand shaking problem because there is a lot more motion in my shoulders to swing my arms for the longer putts.

You don’t need an extended putter to lock your wrist. Just choke down on your conventional putter and lock it against your leading forearm.

Anchored Putting is Banned
We all know that anchored putting, where a golfer holds the end of a long handled putter with a leading hand and anchored against the chest is not legal. Pressing the extended end of your putter shaft against your forearm is perfectly legal under the Rules of Golf. According to Rule 10.1b, a player’s putting stroke must not include an anchor point on which they plant their forearm — i.e., the technique used with broomstick putters, with the end of the putter (or the player’s forearm) anchored against a player’s chest. Adam Scott prevailed at the 2013 Masters while anchoring, as did Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship” but that style of putting is no longer allowed.

I call this WRIST-LOCK PUTTING. Most golfers miss half of their putts within 6 feet of the hole. You are losing about 5 to 9 strokes per round. Stop missing short putts. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to prove to yourself that a locked leading wrist putt will help you sink more short putts. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #57: Golf is the perfect thing to do on Sunday because you spend longer praying than you would in church.

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Golf is a Game Played by Your Mind

If you have made par or birdie on a hole, what’s stopping you from doing the same on every hole that you play?  Your swing must have been perfect for the successful holes that you played in the past so what is holding you back for your future successes in golf.  As it turns out, it’s all in your MIND.

There have been some amazing wins and accomplishments from new and also past winners in recent tournaments.   Why are these golfers suddenly re-surging?  I started thinking about this when Sean Foley brought Lydia Ko’s golf career back to life.

Sean Foley (Certified PGA Trainer for Tiger and Lydia Ko) shared an emotional Instagram, praising Lydia for her first tour victory in 3 years.  His primary focus on training Lydia was to build confidence from her past successes.  He recognized that she just had to find and release the game that he knew was within.  He helped her understand that she had performed well in the past so her skill and attitude was already in her mind and body. All that he did was to give her the conviction to let it re-emerge. 

Sean Foley got Lydia Ko’s mind in the right place. Just focus on the stroke that you have made perfectly so many times before. (ref. NZ Golf Magazine)

These are a few of the recent golfers who changed their mental focus into success (in addition to Hideki Matsuyama who won the Masters, his first PGA win in 4 years).

1/ Stewart Cink winning RBC Heritage at Hilton Head by 3 shots at the age of 47.  He focused on a hole by hole game plan each night before each round with his son who happened to also be his caddy.  He said that it cleared his vision and his ability to make the shots that he wanted.

2/ Lydia Ko had not won in 3 years and won by a margin of 7 strokes at Lotte Championship in Hawaii.  Since she started working with Sean Foley she has had 9 top 10 finishes in her last 16 starts.  She also set a low round scoring record in the final round of the ANA Championship.  NOTE: Her drives are still about 30 yards shorter than the longest drivers but her accuracy to hit greens and putts is blowing the field away.

3/ Jordon Speith is back on a tear with a fresh return to his winning form.  He just changed back to his original swing style by shallowing his downswing.  We expect to see him win a few tournaments this summer.

4/ Will Zalatoris came from the college ranks to place second at the Masters.  He is a new comer on the pro scene but he sure is shaking up the golf world.

I’ve seen the same commitment and success happen recently in the Professional Tennis world.  Winning gives them confidence and that confidence breeds success.   It’s caused by their new found mental attitude.

Focus on One Shot and One Hole at a Time. 

Mark-up the corners of the box on your score card for each hole with a check for your drives staying in the fairway (or on a par 3 green), a check for Greens in Regulation and number of putts.  Total your checks for FIR, GIR and Putts for comparison to your next round.  Playing against yourself from round to round is a great way to lower your scores, or pclubgolf.com may also help.  You may want to put in some extra practice with your GOLFSTR+ to help you focus on your perfect hits.  Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #56: A good golf partner is one who’s always slightly worse than you are, that’s why I get so many calls to play with Friends.

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Frustration: Stop Mishitting Your Golf Shots

Every golfer has a certain skill level based on the time that you have golfed and the amount of training and practice you have put into the game. You have improved your game by adjusting the clubs that you use and the balls that you prefer. At this stage in your game you have hit perfect shots with every club in your bag and you know that wonderful feeling of executing perfect shots. So why do you still mishit a percentage of shots?

Each type of shot requires a different set of skills. Putting is the easiest skill but it is the most difficult to perfect. You have to learn to read every green based on the speed of the green to estimate a line for your putt and the power required to at least reach the hole. An approach shot to the green requires the skill to choose the right club and power for your swing to get your ball to stop on the green near the hole. The easiest shot should be a tee shot on a par 4 or par 5 where distance is your preference because you only need to land your ball on the fairway in preparation for your next shot.

We all hate to mishit shots that we have completed perfectly a hundred times before. Ben Hogan said: “The most important shot in golf is your next one.”

Personal Pressure Causes Mishits
So why is it that you still mishit tee shots as well as every other shot that you have made a hundred times before? You are actually putting pressure on yourself to control your shots and to hit longer shots. You can only blame yourself for that pressure. Here are some solutions to minimize that pressure! It’s all in your mind.

How Do YOU Minimize Mental Pressure?
1/ Practice Builds Confidence: If your driver is not working, get fitted for a club that works for your swing speed. Over the years I have changed from a stiff to a regular and now to a senior shaft. When your speed and strength goes, you need to let the whip of your shaft do the work.
2/ Take Pressure Off: Don’t go for the hero shot. Use a less lofted club and swing at 80% for better direction and distance control. Restrict your backswing as your bent arm backswing is not helping you. Learn to swing with a straight leading arm as you coil your body for more power. GOLFSTR+ is a great training aid to help you cure this problem.
3/ Choose a Club That you Know Will Reach Your Target. Don’t choose a club that you know can only reach your target 25% of the time. It’s better to swing at 80% and choke down on a club to ensure that you can reach your target.
4/ Take an Unplayable. When you know your swing or shot is obstructed take a stroke penalty for a 2 club relief. It’s much better than hitting into more trouble or burying your next shot in a bush. [On day #4 at the Masters, Billy Horschel hit into Rae’s Creek and lost 2 strokes before he used an unplayable to escape. It was an expensive 8.]
5/ Expect More Rollout on a Green. When hitting any club into a green plan for extra rollout. It’s far better to stay on the green than to roll off the back.
6/ Layup When the Green Won’t Hold Your Shot: Hit to a good entry point if you know that your long iron will not check up on that green.

Knowing what to do and doing it are 2 different things. You can’t change your mind after you make the shot so why not play it safe and avoid the high numbers on any hole. the best callaway edge golf clubs can also level up your performance. Build confidence by practicing with your GOLFSTR+ and save more strokes. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #55: If there’s a storm rolling in, you’ll be having the game of your life.

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Amazing Solution for the Dreaded Bunker Shot

We have all struggled with the bunker shots, especially when we are playing in a match where every stroke counts. A messed up shot on a fairway is a pain but 2 or 3 attempts to get out of a bunker is a real disaster. We all land in bunkers so wouldn’t it be fantastic if we knew that we could get out in our first attempt?

I was excited to watch a friend escape a bunker with a perfect swing. She had taken a lesson from a PGA Certified Instructor who showed her the ideal bunker escape shot:

1/ Using your sand wedge setup with an open stance and the ball in the center of your stance and weight slightly forward (on your leading foot).
2/ Wiggle your feet down about an inch into the sand for stability and to lower your swing depth in the sand.
3/ Open your club face so that the face points almost straight up from the sand (depending on the distance that you want your ball to fly). You still need to make a three-quarter to full swing and finish your follow-through.
4/ KEY POINT: Imagine a quarter placed in the sand beyond your ball. Your goal is to launch your ball, the imaginary quarter and sand on to the green. Depending on the distance you want to fly your ball take a three-quarter swing to power the head of your sand wedge under your ball and LAUNCH YOUR BALL & SAND (about 3 to 5 inches) BEYOND THE BALL ONTO THE GREEN.

Unfortunately after working on this method I would still leave about 30% of my bunker shots in the bunker.

Improved Solution

Use your open faced sand wedge and stare at the sand just in front of your ball to take the ball and that sand out of the bunker with your full swing.

Amazing Discovery
I discovered that if I STARE AT A SPOT IN THE SAND ABOUT 1 INCH BEYOND THE BALL DURING MY SWING I can now make most of my bunker shots. I have never heard a pro recommend this trick. If I want to land my ball further across the green, I just focus on a spot about 2 or 4 inches beyond my ball.

After you try this revolutionary method out, I hope to hear from you. I realize that it’s difficult to change your focus from your ball to a point in the sand beyond your ball. Just drop a number of balls in a practice trap and feel the thrill of success before you take this trick to the course. Start enjoying your bunker play forever.

You still need to swing with a straight leading arm so practice this shot with your GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com . Try out your new bunker shot and drop your comments in below.

Golf Truism #54: Golf balls are like eggs. They’re white, sold by the dozen and you need to buy fresh ones each week.

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Difficult Shot ? Take Your Medicine !

I hope you enjoyed watching the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play as much as I did. Most of the early televised matches were very close so every hole won or lost was critical for each player. There were a number of international players who added to the suspense. I always found myself rooting for one of the players in every match. Typically I found myself rooting for the underdogs and they surprisingly came out on top.

There were 8 playoffs at the end of Round 3 to eliminate a number of players from the 64 player field. In those playoffs 7 of the 8 matches were won by the underdogs. The #3 seed, Jon Rahm, was the only low seeded player to win his playoff.

One of the most exciting matches was between Bryson DeChambeau (#5- the giant killer) who was booming every drive against one of the smallest players in the field, an Englishman, Tommy Fleetwood (#22). Tommy was leading the match by 1 over Bryson going into the 18th hole. Both shot long tees shots (328 and 338 yards) but both landed in trouble in the rough.

Tommy landed his tee shot on a patch of grass in a creek where he had an impossible stretched-out stance with low hanging branches leaving a gap between himself and the hole (at least 20 feet above his location). He had a clear 69 yard shot to the hole but he realized that a low shot up hill would either hit the low hanging branches or never stop as it passed over the green. Adding to the pressure, Bryson had a clear up hill shot to the hole. Losing the hole to Bryson would result in a playoff.

Tommy Took his Medicine
Tommy realized that he had 3 more shots to tie the hole and win the match only if Bryson played a poor chip and then missed his birdie putt. Tommy “took his medicine” to miss the low hanging branches and pitched 91 yards to the rough on the other side of the green but away from the tree. He landed his chip about 8 feet from the hole and sank his par putt after Bryson missed his own 8 foot birdie putt.

Tommy’s path is marked in blue on the left side of the fairway and Bryson’s path is marked in red. Then Tommy had to hit 92 yards to the right side of the green in order to have a shot at the green and sink his putt.

It was fun to watch Tommy make his decision to take the shot which was the lesser of 2 evils. The shot was very difficult but he could not afford to take an unplayable penalty shot or he would have lost that hole and possibly the match.

A Great Lesson for All of Us
Don’t take the hero shot especially when the odds are stacked against you. Depend on the shot that will give you the best chance to recover. I don’t think that many recreational players could have made all 3 shots that Tommy had to make to win the hole but it was a great lesson for all of us. Golf is a game where dumb shots don’t payoff. If you hit into a bad location it is far better to take your medicine and waste a shot by hitting to an easy recovery location than it is to end up with a high score on any hole.

Learn to take your medicine and control every shot by practicing with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #53: It’s amazing how a golfer who never helps out around the house will replace his divots, repair his ball marks and rake his sand traps.

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Reading the Grain of the Green

We often hear TV commentators refer to the impact of the grain direction of the grass on greens. The grain definitely affects the speed of your putt but it appears that greens with Bermuda Bent Grass will affect the direction of your putt more than any other type of grass growing on greens. When you golf in Hawaii or the Caribbean islands and tropical Florida you definitely need to read the Bermuda grass which is used on most of the greens.

The following information came from an article written by Mark Immelman, brother of PGA TOUR professional Trevor Immelman.

Grain Affecting Your Putt (especially on strains of Bermuda Grass):
Grain is the direction that grass grows flat on a green. [Slope of the green (or gravity) has a much greater effect on a putt than the direction of the grain but grain direction will slow down putts when putting into the grain or speed up putts when putting with the grain.] By walking around the putting line of your ball to the hole, you can see lighter green areas where the grain is running away from you and darker areas where the grain in running toward you.

Reading the Grain at the Cup:

Grass grain flows to the clean cut side of the cup. Your ball will roll faster in that direction. In this image the ruff cut is on the right side.

The grain of a green has its greatest effect as the ball slows down near the cup. The cut of the grass around the cup will always have a jagged edge on the side where the grain is growing away from the holes. If the clean edge is on the high side of the hole your ball will tend to break into the hole at a faster pace from that side.

Gravity over grain:
Mark Immelman said “I know and trust gravity enough to believe that it will always beat grain when influencing the roll of the ball.” That being said, every so often you may face a putt where the grain is running against the slope of the hill. In that case, play for a little less break than normal, but never aim below the cup and expect the grass to push the ball up the hill. On the flip side, if you happen to face a breaking putt with the grain running in the same direction as the slope, play for more break to allow for the combined efforts of gravity and grain on the rollout of your putt.

Green imperfections caused by golfers using their putter as a crutch near the hole or a poor hole cutting job will always redirect your ball unless you have enough speed at the hole. They are called the “rub of the green”
Strike putts solidly on grainy greens and late in the day when grass on greens will start to lift up toward the sun or rough up with a lot of wear and tear during the day. A mishit putt on bent grass (Bermuda Grass) can still roll out significantly, but a green with coarse, thick grass will normally slow down your putt. Expect speed differences on bent grainy grass from conventional fine grass greens. Learn the green speeds on the practice green before you play a round of golf and practice with GOLFSTR+ to make flat leading wrist putts on your chosen target line. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #51: It takes longer to learn to be a good golfer than it does to become a brain surgeon. On the other hand, you don’t get to ride around on a cart, drink beer and eat hotdogs when you are performing brain surgery!

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