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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Trent Wearner on the Art of Swatting Flies (Video)

If you've read my blog for any period of time, you know I frequently use a flyswatter as my example of how your forearms and wrists work during a swing. Well, instructor Trent Wearner actually posted a video with a flyswatter drill to help you get more clubhead speed. Of course I'm going to post it!



The drill is self-explanatory. I've posted some similar drills before, but actually seeing this move made using a flyswatter with a golf grip may help some of you get a better feel for how the motion works.

The one thing I wish Wearner had done was make a "swatter swing" using both hands so you could see the actual arm motion of each arm. It may help you figure out the motion more easily if you cock your wrists upward directly in front of your body, with the shaft swinging up and down vertically. Both elbows will bend slightly as you change direction -- the bend will feel bigger than it actually is -- and to get the same feel in your normal swing you'll have to make sure you let your shoulders turn fully in your backswing.

You might find that my post called The Wall Slap Drill is useful for transferring the feel of the "swatter swing" to your regular swing.

This really isn't difficult unless you're dead set on tensing your muscles a lot during your golf swing. A flyswatter-style motion feels a lot more relaxed, and consequently a lot more natural, than most players think their swing should feel.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The New Ko You Need to Know (Video)

The "New Ko" is of course Jin Young Ko, the KLPGA player who won the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship on Sunday. Consider this your crash course on the LPGA's newest winner.

Jin Young Ko with KEB trophy

Korean golf fans are well-acquainted with Jin Young Ko. When you see her, you may be struck by her resemblance to World #1 So Yeon Ryu, although you wouldn't confuse the two. She's 22 years old, been a KLPGA pro since 2013 and had nine KLPGA victories until winning the co-sponsored LPGA/KLPGA event this past weekend. She also won the 2016 World Ladies Championship with partner Jung Min Lee.

Stats-wise, she's 5'7" tall and hits the ball around 250 yards, which is plenty long for most of the women's courses. And she's deadly on the course -- her KLPGA page (this version is in English, but you'll have to pick the 'K' category and then pick Ko Jin Young from the list) puts her Driving Accuracy at 82% and her GIR ar just under 80%. She leads the KLPGA in both categories.

And here is a nice video of her swing -- regular and slo-mo, face-on and down-the-line -- kindly posted this weekend by Golfcast TV.



In my opinion, the only real question at this point is when she'll join the LPGA. She has the option of do it now (so she can play the few remaining events this season) or wait and start fresh in 2018. Because in my opinion, Jin Young Ko definitely has the game to take her place on the LPGA.

And the rest of the Tour should probably be a little nervous about that.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Limerick Summary: 2017 CIMB Classic

Winner: Pat Perez

Around the wider world of golf: Jin Young Ko earned her LPGA Tour card with a win at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship; Tyrrell Hatton made it two weeks in a row as he won the ET's Italian Open; Colin Montgomerie won the SAS Championship on the Champions Tour (playoffs start next week); Rodolfo Cazaubón won the 64º Aberto do Brasil on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; and Yuta Ikeda won the Japan Open Golf Championship on the Japan Golf Tour.

Pat Perez hoists the CIMB trophy

There was a time when Pat Perez was regarded as a can't-miss kid (he beat Tiger at the 1993 Junior Worlds) who couldn't control his (mostly angry) emotions on the course, which cost him a lot of chances to win. He won only once, back in 2009 -- nearly a decade after he reached the Tour.

About five years ago, he says he started to change. About a year-and-a-half ago, he had shoulder surgery and his club sponsor dropped him. That was a bad choice on their part -- although not for PXG, who snapped him up -- because he won last November, made it to the Tour Championship for his first time ever...

And then, this past week, the 41-year-old entered the final round of the CIMB Classic with a four-stroke lead, which he stretched to six strokes at one point before pounding the field by that same four strokes. That's two wins in less than a year, for a guy many had written off as done. To be specific, two wins in his past 25 starts versus one in his first 378.

I love these kinds of stories! And I love his approach, since he knows what got him to this point (his short game and putting). As PGATOUR.com quoted him, "I'm not going to change anything. I'm still not going to work out. I'll still have a bad diet and I'm going to enjoy myself."

That's the way to do it, Pat -- your way. And while you're at it, have a beer to celebrate your second Limerick Summary in less than a year. There aren't many players who can say they've done that either!
A bum shoulder isn’t the end.
With both temper and game on the mend,
Pat seems to have found
How to shoot a low round
Without giving his club shafts a bend.
The photo came from the tournament page at PGATOUR.com.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Trent Wearner on Toe-Down Chipping (Video)

A simple GC video but very informative. Instructor Trent Wearner teaches the basics of toe-down chipping from thick rough.



I was very interested in this because tilting the club up on the toe tends to change your aim. How would he deal with that? I did a walkthrough of his technique and was surprised.

Wearner simply takes a wedge -- he recommends pitching wedge -- and sets up normally, then steps closer to the ball. That automatically gets the club up on the toe. You may need to grip down a bit. (I did.) He says you can use your putting grip if you're so inclined. (I didn't.)

Then you step toward the target a bit to move the ball back in your stance. And that's it -- no adjustment to the face.

What surprised me? I automatically hooded the face a bit, so it looked to be aiming at the pin. I like it when things I desire happen automatically!

I can't promise that you'll make the auto adjustment when you move the ball back, but it appears that Wearner expects that to happen since he says nothing special about it. So try it -- if it works for you, it should simplify many of the tricky chips you face from the rough.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Molinari 12-Hour Ace Challenge (Video)

I'm sure a number of you have seen this, but I'm still fascinated by it. Edoardo Molinari -- the brother of Francesco Molinari, the defending champ at the Italian Open -- made 500 attempts from 145 yards in 12 hours to make a hole-in-one. He failed...



But I can't get over how many times he came close to doing it! In fact, he nearly holed his very first shot, missing by only FOUR INCHES.

Sometimes it's good to just sit back and appreciate how good ALL of these players are, not just the biggest names.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Jon Rahm on Three-Quarter Shots

Jon Rahm did a short Golf Digest article on what he's learned about hitting three-quarter shots. He says it lets him hit and hold more greens, so let's take a quick look at his keys.

Jon Rahm

Jon doesn't use a club longer than a 7-iron. He says the longer clubs hit the ball too low to be of any use UNLESS there's a lot of wind.

He plays the ball back in his stance. He doesn't give specifics here but he says "slightly." I would take that to mean it's just a little back of center.

In terms of mechanics, he makes the three-quarter swing with less than full wrist cock. He makes sure he gets a full shoulder turn so his downswing isn't too steep, and he cuts off his finish just a bit -- hands at roughly shoulder height with the club pointing straight up. (At least, that's what the header photo shows.)

Jon says the shot creates less spin but flies straighter and is easier to control the distance. And he quotes Lee Trevino: "Hit the ball only as high as you need to."

Sounds like good advice to me.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dave Pelz on High Pitches (Video)

Yes, I have to post a tip from School of Golf's Wedge Week with Dave Pelz. Here's Dave on how to hit a high pitch with a 60° wedge.



Note how Dave alters his address position. At first he sets up perfectly square to his aim line, with everything -- feet, knees, hips, shoulders -- aligned parallel to a line straight at the pin. The ball is in the center of his stance. That means a line from the ball position running between your heels forms a T with your aim line.

Then he shuffles around counter-clockwise so his stance is open to his aim line and he's aimed left. BIG NOTE HERE: These instructions are for righthanders. IF YOU ARE LEFTHANDED, you will shuffle around clockwise so your stance is open to your aim line but you are aimed right. You got that?

However, one thing remains the same in both cases: The ball position is still in the center of your stance, as it was when you were lined up straight at the hole. The difference is that your T is now OPEN -- it points to the open side of the flag. Then you just rotate the club in your grip so the face once again points STRAIGHT AT THE FLAG. Now when you swing along your foot line, the ball will fly toward the flag, not curve.

How can this be? you ask. Simple -- although the ball is still positioned in the center of your stance, shuffling around had the effect of moving the ball back into the curved area of your swing. The club is actually moving toward the flag when it strikes the ball, even though it won't necessarily look that way to you while you're standing over the ball.

Confused? Don't feel bad. The reason we all have trouble getting our mechanics correct is because we often have trouble understanding how body rotation alters swing path. Just trust Dave here and do what he says. After a bit of practice you'll be happy with the results.