This week, the U.S. Amateur is taking place at Pinehurst, one of my favorite places in the world. I am here all week covering the action with Fox, make sure to join me! It is also a big week in professional golf as the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs are underway today at the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club. Tune into A New Breed of Golf on Sirius 208 and XM 92 to hear my analysis of all the action in the world of golf. As exciting as it is, I know the most important golfer is YOU! That's why we're here to help you improve your game. You will find tips from my coaches, and a Q&A that is sure to help you with your game.
Interview with Carolyn Kieger
Head coach of the Penn State University Lady Lions basketball team shares how she motivates her players
MB: Here on A New Breed of Golf we have a Word of the Day, it seems like you have a Word of the Year - Pride. Why is Pride such an important word to guide the mentality of the girls in your program?
CK: Pride is where our culture begins. Passion, Respect, Investment, Discipline, Excellence. Lion Pride Today, Lion Pride for Life. We're creating a journey and a platform for them, and Pride is a big part of that.
Listen to the Full interview to hear Coach Kieg's M.V.P. acronym!
My miss tends to be a smother hook left. Only happens once or twice a round, if that. Just enough to ruin a round. I'm wondering if it has something to do with my transition.
In order to get rid of a rare, but costly miss like this, you first have to understand why that shot happens. In your case, you hit a pull hook. To hit a pull hook the club face is closed, or closing through the strike, and the path is traveling out to in. This will happen to you when your swing gets too short, and as a result, the tempo gets quick. When you focus on completing your backswing, your backswing will take longer, which will slow your tempo. It will also get your hands deeper, or farther behind you in the backswing, allowing more space for the club to approach the ball from the inside. Finally, completing your backswing will give your body time to rotate through the shot in the downswing. Rotating your body through the shot will reduce hand activity, and club face activity through the strike. To get rid of that costly smother hook, focus on completing your backswing on every swing, and you will start hitting it right down the middle!
You struggle to take your game from the range to the golf course, and you’re not the only one! The good news is, you don’t “lose your swing” suddenly when you get onto the first tee box. There are many differences between the practice tee, and the golf course, one of which is different lies you face even in the fairway. To be successful on the golf course, you need to understand what to do when you face uneven lies.
Side hill lies create a challenge for you because the distance between the ball and your chest changes. To make clean contact, you have to make some adjustments to your set up position. There are two side hill lies you will face on the course:
Ball above your feet:
The ball is now closer to your chest than it normally would be. This can cause fat shots, and shots to the pull side. To accommodate for this lie take the following steps to ensure clean contact:
-Grip down on the club to make it shorter.
-Stand tall in your address position to increase the distance between the ball and your chest.
-Play the ball back in your stance. When you stand taller, your swing will travel more around your body. This encourages the club to approach the ball on a shallow angle. Playing the ball back will allow the club to meet the ball before it meets the ground.
-Aim up the hill. On side hill lies, the ball will start and curve down the hill. Don’t fight it, just accommodate for it with aim when possible. Ball below your feet:
The ball is now farther away from your chest. This can cause thin shots to the push side, and often a loss of distance.
-Grip the club at full length. The ball is farther away from you now, so you want to make the club as long as possible.
-Widen your stance. As your stance gets wider, you get shorter. Getting your chest closer to the ball helps you get your club low enough to strike the ball properly. -Add knee flex. If simply widening your stance doesn’t get you low enough to strike the ball, increase your knee flex to get your chest even closer to the ball.
-Club up. Widening your stance, and bending your knees can limit your range of motion. These adjustments lead to a slightly shorter swing leading to a loss of distance. Take an extra club, that’s why you have 14!
--Aim up the hill. On side hill lies, the ball will start and curve down the hill. Don’t fight it, just accommodate for it with aim when possible.
Mastering these concepts for side hill lies will help you bring your swing from the range to the course!
- Greg DuCharme
Michael Breed Golf Academy
Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers in America Greg@michaelbreed.com
So many of you are losing distance with your driver because of poor launch conditions. Your ball is launching low, and spinning up into the air. That means, no roll! The good news is, you don’t necessarily need a new driver. The problem is, your ball position is too far forward. When ball position gets too far forward, our shoulders get open to the target, and also level to the ground. When our shoulders get open to the target, our trail arm tends to sit higher than our lead arm, which leads to level shoulders. This open and level shoulder position invites a steep angle of approach into the ball, which creates low launch angle, and high backspin, robbing you of distance. Move the ball position back in your stance, and feel your trail arm below your lead arm. This will get your shoulders square to the target, and tilted away from the target. From this starting position, you will launch the ball high, with very little backspin, and your golf ball will roll out when it lands for much more distance!
Dr. Nick's Mental Golf Advice:
Since golf is a closed sport meaning nothing will change at time of execution of the player’s performance such as in basketball where the defense is trying to stop from the player from scoring it is difficult for the golfer to prepare for competition. In open sports such as basketball, football, baseball, etc. the player is in a competitive mode the entire time they are practicing as the coach is always comparing who is the best player. Of course high school and collegiate golf teams experience this competition but the amateur golfer does not. In order to maintain high performnce in practice the golfer needs to consider that every shot they make is an opportunity to execute at their highest level. Continuing to hit many balls on the driving range does not prepare the player for competition. My suggestion to warm up and only hit 5 balls per club. The intention is for the player to remained focused for those 5 shots and evaluate their level of execution
Eric Terminello continues his successful Summer with an astonishing round of 62 at Knollwood Country Club. This tied the course record, but it gets even better. During the round, Eric made his second career hole-in-one on the third hole! Eric then kept his great play going in the qualifier for the Met Open at Leewood Golf Club. Eric shot a 69, good enough to qualify for the Met Open at Piping Rock Club. Good Luck the rest of the Summer Eric, keep up the great play!
Congratulations to Roe Francesa for shooting the lowest round of her career (so far!) Roe shot an 83 at St. George's Golf and Country Club. Roe may be the hardest working student we have, and now, it is really starting to pay off. Keep up the great work Roe, 79 is right around the corner!
Thomas Urciuoli is getting quite comfortable in our student highlights section. Urci has played some of the best golf of his life this Summer, and it continued in the qualifier for the Met Open at Leewood Golf Club. Urci was one off the medalist spot, shooting a 68. The Met Open is coming up at Piping Rock Club August 20-22, and Urci is definitely a contender to watch out for! Good luck, Urci!
I called in this morning with a concern regarding heeling the club. You told me the problem was an open club face and the fix was to strengthen grip, put ball back further in stance and ensure slight tilt to shoulders. I took these ideas to the course today and I have to tell you, you guys could not have been more on point! I did not heel the ball a single time, also, my good hits were about 10 yards longer than previously!
Thanks a ton guys!
Michael and Greg,
Just for the record, with everything you've helped me with I've been able to accomplish one of my major goals this year. Before this year, I had never broke 80, I have now broken it three times,
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