Uneven Lies — Ball Above Your Feet


In our first post on the chal­lenges that uneven lies present on the course, we dis­cussed the proper setup and tech­nique for hit­ting a ball below your feet. This post tack­les its coun­ter­part, an uneven lie with the ball above your feet.

With the ball above your feet, your hands are closer to the ball. You’ll need to choke down on the club a bit, as if you swing with your hands in your nor­mal posi­tion on the club, you’ll most likely hit the ground before the ball. Chok­ing down on the club will cause you to hit the ball a shorter dis­tance. You may need to take one club more than you usu­ally do for the dis­tance you are at.

The slope of the lie with the ball above your feet will try to make you lose your bal­ance back­wards. It’s impor­tant to keep your weight in the balls of your feet to help main­tain your balance.

The ball flight, to some degree, will fol­low the slope of the lie. So for right handed golfers, your shot will want to go left depend­ing on the sever­ity of the slope.

Check out the video below from PGA pro­fes­sional Derek Hooper as he explains how to hit a shot with the ball above your feet.

Uneven Lies — Ball Below Your Feet


You make be work­ing hard on how to fix a slice and in turn hit­ting more fair­ways. Your sec­ond shot, the approach shot into the green, is a more dif­fi­cult shot. Besides the fact that your ball isn’t on a tee, there’s a chance you are not on level ground.

Uneven lies are a big rea­son it is dif­fi­cult for high hand­i­cap golfers to take their progress on the prac­tice range to the course. Even the flat­test of courses will present at least a few uneven lies per round. On other courses, you’ll have more uneven lies than even ones! High hand­i­cap and begin­ner golfers many times do not make the small changes in setup and swing nec­es­sary to hit a good shot from an uneven lie.

The first uneven lie we are going to cover is the ball below your feet. There are a few key things to remem­ber when set­ting up for a shot with the ball below your feet.

First, you’re far­ther away from the ball. You’ll need to bend more at the hips and flex more at the knees to com­pen­sate for this and get closer to the ball.

Sec­ond, both the slope and bend­ing more at the hips will want to put more of your weight on your toes and give you the feel­ing that you are going to fall down the slope. Keep your weight back on your heels to stay balanced.

Being bent more at the hips and knees will limit how much your lower body can move, so the shot will be more arms and shoul­der move­ment. It’s impor­tant to main­tain your spine angle and not come up dur­ing the shot. This is why many golfers end up top­ping the ball from this lie.

Lastly, the ball flight will tend to fol­low the slope of the lie. So your ball will go to the right (for right­ies) a cer­tain amount based on the amount of slope.

Watch the video below as Mar­tin Hall from the Golf Channel’s School of Golf explains these principles.

The Golf Club for Xbox One


Every­one in win­ter cli­mates should be find­ing ways to prac­tice their real golf game indoors through­out the win­ter. Besides work­ing on your game, there are not many things to keep up your inter­est in golf. There are fewer tour­na­ments to watch on TV and those that are on are miss­ing many top play­ers. Golf video games are a great way to keep your inter­est in golf dur­ing the long winters.

Since EA Sports dis­con­tin­ued the Tiger Woods golf fran­chise, many have pon­dered the future of the golf genre for video game con­soles. Pow­er­star Golf and The Golf Club have filled the void very well.

Pow­er­star Golf would be a great choice if you’re look­ing for some­thing to replace Tiger Woods. Game play is much the same with swing power meters and career modes offer­ing upgraded equip­ment and abil­i­ties to bet­ter your scor­ing. The physics engine in Pow­er­Star Golf offers real­is­tic ball flights and rolls.

The Golf Club offers a slightly dif­fer­ent golf expe­ri­ence than any other golf game on the Xbox One. Those who are will­ing to break away from the tra­di­tional Tiger Woods way of doing things and give The Golf Club a fair chance, will find it to be the best golf game cur­rently avail­able for con­sole systems.

There are no swing meters. Swing­ing is totally done by feel using the game pad stick. After the swing, a brief dis­play shows how you did. This takes a lit­tle get­ting used to but offers amaz­ing game play once you are used to it.

There is no career mode in The Golf Club. It instead uses a hand­i­cap sys­tem much like real golf. You are given a hand­i­cap rat­ing after you golf five rounds. You can then play rounds, tour­na­ments, or whole tours. Your hand­i­cap is applied to your gross score and the leader­board is based on your net score after your hand­i­cap is applied. This is a great way to even out the play­ing field and allow peo­ple of dif­fer­ent abil­i­ties to play together. Your abil­ity is not based on how long you play the game as in other career modes but rather your actual ability.

When play­ing a round, you have the option between play­ing alone, with local mul­ti­player guests, or with ghosts of Inter­net players.

Here’s where the only glar­ing weak­ness of The Golf Club shows up. There is no way for mul­ti­ple local Xbox accounts to log into the game and play against each other in the same round. It would be great for up to 4 local play­ers to play together under their own accounts. Instead, each addi­tional local player is merely a guest of the Xbox account logged in.

Play­ing against Inter­net ghosts is a very enjoy­able way to play. Ghosts are recently recorded rounds of other real play­ers. You don’t wait for these play­ers to shoot, rather you see their shots and ball trails as you play. Their scores after each shot are updated and you can see how you stack up to them as the round progresses.

The Golf Club also comes with the Greg Nor­man Course Designer. You can design your own course and then pub­lish it allow­ing oth­ers to play it. Don’t go over­board on the trees or water set­tings as you’ll get trees and water in strange places. The course designer lit­er­ally makes the num­ber of unique courses you can play unlim­ited. The abil­ity to play all of the courses designed by oth­ers keeps the game fresh.

Besides the miss­ing local mul­ti­player sup­port, the only other crit­i­cism of The Golf Club would be the graph­ics. While the graph­ics are accept­able, I was expect­ing bet­ter on the Xbox One. Hope­fully the next ver­sion takes full advan­tage of the platform.

Check out The Golf Club for some indoor golf fun!

2S14_feauture

3 Up 2S14 Golf Ball


The 3 Up 2S14 golf ball is one of the best golf balls for begin­ners. It is a two-piece ball with a low com­pres­sion of 55. It is in the same class as the Wil­son Staff Duo and Call­away Super­soft golf balls, which have com­pres­sions of 40 and 38, respec­tively. Super low com­pres­sion balls are made for play­ers with slower to mod­er­ate swing speeds.

The deep-soft core tech­nol­ogy of the 3 Up 2S14 pro­vides great feel on and around the green while still pro­vid­ing long dis­tance off the tee. The ionomer cover is very durable while pro­duc­ing less spin off the dri­ver than the softer cov­ers of 3-piece tour balls.

3 Up Golf was founded by Rob Zim­mer­man and his wife Danielle. In addi­tion to the 2S14 golf all, 3 Up also sells the 3-piece 3F12 golf ball along with apparel and headwear.

The best part of 3 Up Golf is their com­mit­ment to giv­ing back to char­ity. From every dozen golf balls that 3 Up Golf sells, they donate $3 to golf and can­cer related char­i­ties. You’re donat­ing 25 cents to char­ity every time you lose a 3 Up Golf ball!

If you’re look­ing for a great per­form­ing golf ball and a way to help out char­i­ties, check out 3 Up Golf today!

Golf Nine Holes Instead of Eighteen


Most things in golf are based on eigh­teen holes. Most golf courses have eigh­teen holes, pro­fes­sional golf rounds are eigh­teen holes, and an offi­cial hand­i­cap is estab­lished based on eigh­teen hole rounds.

Golf­ing eigh­teen holes presents many challenges.

Find­ing the time is prob­a­bly the biggest chal­lenge for many of us. A round of eigh­teen holes typ­i­cally takes four or even five hours to play. Slow play is a real prob­lem in golf. Many new golfers lack proper eti­quette and sim­ply take to long to play. Search­ing too long for lost balls and not play­ing “ready” golf are two of the biggest prob­lems. It only takes one slow group on the course to really slow down play. Com­mit­ting four plus hours with our busy lives is at many times difficult.

It is much eas­ier to find the two to two and a half hours for nine holes. This is espe­cially true if you work dur­ing the day and want to squeeze in a round after work. Courses are less crowded on week­days than they are on the week­ends and sum­mer evenings are a great time for golf.

Endurance to golf eigh­teen holes effec­tively is another chal­lenge for many golfers. Many begin­ner golfers will get phys­i­cally and men­tally tired before the end of eigh­teen holes. This leads to miss hits and frus­tra­tion. Walk­ing, stretch­ing, and core strength­en­ing will all help you build up the sta­mina for 18 holes. Until you get there, it’s many times just eas­ier to golf nine holes.

You may want to estab­lish a hand­i­cap. Unless you’re plan­ning to play in offi­cial tour­na­ments, and if you’re a begin­ner you’re prob­a­bly not, there’s no need for an offi­cial USGA or R&A hand­i­cap. Most courses will help you estab­lish a local course hand­i­cap and this can eas­ily be done by using nine hole rounds.

You can even estab­lish a com­pli­ant course hand­i­cap by your­self by using one of sev­eral apps. Here at Shoot­ing 90 we rec­om­mend using The­Grint to cre­ate your hand­i­cap and track your stats.

Even if you still want an offi­cial hand­i­cap, you can still com­bine nine hole rounds to estab­lish one.

Golf­ing is a game that is meant to be fun and there’s noth­ing wrong with golf­ing nine hole rounds when you can’t do eighteen.

How to Fix a Slice – Stop Casting the Club on Your Downswing


We’ve pre­vi­ously dis­cussed the key for a golfer look­ing for how to fix a slice is to cre­ate an in to out swing path. Many high hand­i­cap and begin­ner golfers have the oppo­site, an out to in swing path, which is the main rea­son for their slice. Many golfers with an out to in swing path also “cast” the club dur­ing their down­swing. Cast­ing refers to straight­en­ing your wrists and los­ing the angle between your left fore­arm (for right­ies) and the club shaft very early in your down­swing which makes con­sis­tent ball strik­ing very difficult.

One rea­son for cast­ing is the ten­dency to lift the club up with your arms and hands to start the back­swing. This sets up what is referred to as a nar­row to wide to nar­row swing. Golfers with this swing lift the club dur­ing the back swing (nar­row), extend their arms and cast the club to begin the down­swing (wide), and finally col­lapse their arms through impact with the ball (narrow).

Cre­at­ing a wide to nar­row to wide swing is a great way to stop cast­ing the club.

If you watch any pro­fes­sional golf, you’ll notice that a professional’s swing is much dif­fer­ent. In fact it’s very much the oppo­site, a wide to nar­row to wide swing. A pro­fes­sional brings the club back wide with their arms extended, keeps a nar­row down­swing with their wrists still hinged, finally releas­ing the club by extend­ing their arms and going wide.

The fol­low­ing video by Simon Weston is a great expla­na­tion of a wide to nar­row to wide swing.

 

There are big ben­e­fits to a wide to nar­row to wide swing.

The first is a more con­sis­tent in to out swing, help­ing you to fix a slice. Rotat­ing your body with hip and shoul­der turn min­i­mizes you using your arms and hands to swing the club. It is dif­fi­cult to build con­sis­tency in a swing with a lot of hand and arm movement.

Sec­ondly, you lose club head speed and shot dis­tance when you cast the club. By keep­ing your wrists hinged until later in the down­swing, you cre­ate lag in your swing. Lag refers to keep­ing your hands in front of the club shaft and releas­ing the club right before impact with the ball. A wide to nar­row to wide swing pro­motes more lag and gives you a higher club head speed at impact.

One of the keys to a wide to nar­row to wide swing is get­ting your weight mov­ing for­ward towards the tar­get to start your down­swing. This helps to drop your hands down inside to start your down­swing. If you start your down­swing by drop­ping your hands before mov­ing for­ward towards your tar­get, you are more likely to come over the top with an out­side to in swing path.

Here’s a great drill from Karen Palacios-Jansen to help you start your down­swing by get­ting your weight mov­ing towards the target.

 

By not cast­ing the club on your down­swing, you’ll help elim­i­nate your slice, cre­ate more con­sis­tent ball strik­ing, and gain dis­tance through increased club head speed.

Fall is a Great Time for Golf!


It’s fall here in the north­ern hemi­sphere, and depend­ing on exactly where you are, this may mean noth­ing to your golf or it may mean you have a week left of your golf sea­son. Some of you live in places which allow you to golf year round. Some of us, myself included, live in a place where we have a sig­nif­i­cant win­ter. I thor­oughly enjoy four dis­tinct sea­sons, so while it does not bother me, the approach­ing win­ter means no more local out­door golf for me.

So while fall means your local course may soon be clos­ing, it shouldn’t mean you should not golf as much as pos­si­ble up until then. In fact, with the excep­tion of deal­ing with aer­ated greens and pos­si­bly mak­ing a new local rule to han­dle lost balls in leaves on the ground, fall golf has many things going for it.

  • Fall golf is inex­pen­sive. Let’s face it. Golf is an expen­sive sport. Two local munic­i­pal courses I golf on, St. Ger­main Golf Club and North­wood Golf Club, cost $45 for 18 holes in the sum­mer. Granted, even though these are town-owned, they are 4.5 star courses. Still, I don’t know about you, but $45 to golf is a sig­nif­i­cant cost for me. Today I teed off at 3 o’clock in the after­noon at St. Ger­main Golf Club, took advan­tage of their twi­light all you can golf rate for $14, and squeezed in 18 holes in the 3 and a half hours of day­light I had. Every course has deals like this. They’re still open and want golfers.
  • On many days, it is more com­fort­able to golf in the fall than in the sum­mer. For me, many days in the sum­mer are just plain too hot for golf. I’d rather put on a layer of clothes and golf in the fall than to sweat it out in the sum­mer heat. The weather for my round today was 52 F, sunny, and very lit­tle wind. The tem­per­a­ture was not too cold for my hands to get cold and I was very com­fort­able with a sweat­shirt and light jacket.
  • There are lit­tle to no bugs in the fall! The mos­qui­tos and bit­ing flies of spring and sum­mer are gone or nearly gone in fall.
  • The chance for severe weather in the fall is very min­i­mal. If fact, in gen­eral, there is much less rain in the fall. There were sev­eral times this sum­mer that my round was short­ened due to severe weather. Watch­ing the radar and not going out if there is a chance of storms is just not real­is­tic. Too many times you don’t go golf­ing and no severe weather turns up. So you end up tak­ing your chances and being forced off the course by severe weather. Never golf with light­ning in the area. Golf is never as impor­tant as your safety.
  • The fall col­ors are spec­tac­u­lar. If you are lucky enough to have a local course with woods, the course is an excel­lent place to see the chang­ing col­ors. Being out in nature is one of the great perks of golf and the out­doors are many times most beau­ti­ful in the fall.

While many of us are sad that another golf sea­son is com­ing to an end, don’t stop golf­ing just yet. Take advan­tage of all the things that fall golf has going for it and golf up until your course closes.

FixYourGame.com Online Lesson Review


There’s no doubt that hav­ing a golf coach is the fast track to improv­ing your game but very few of us have the time and money required to make that a real­ity. While there is a lot you can do on your own to improve your game, we’re some­times blind to many things with our game and this is no where more notice­able than with our swing.

While ana­lyz­ing your own swing will lead to improve­ment, it doesn’t com­pare with a golf teach­ing pro­fes­sional tak­ing a look. This is espe­cially true if you are new to the game. Have a teach­ing pro­fes­sional get you started in the right direc­tion. Even if you’ve been play­ing for years, we some­times slip back into poor fun­da­men­tals that we are blind to see. Have a teacher get your swing back on track.

For years instruc­tors have used video to help them improve their stu­dents’ swings. Now smart­phones have made it easy to record video of your own swing. The abil­ity to eas­ily upload these videos to the Inter­net has also opened the door for a rel­a­tively new form of golf instruc­tion – online golf instruction.

The idea is sim­ple. Shoot video of your own swing, upload it to a web­site, and have a golf pro­fes­sional review it and offer ways for you to improve. It’s been some­thing I’ve been con­tem­plat­ing for some time, so when Brant from FixYourGame.com offered to review my swing, I jumped at the chance.

Get­ting started at FixYourGame.com is very easy. I took two videos of my swing, one from behind down the tar­get line and fac­ing me per­pen­dic­u­lar to the tar­get line, filled out the online form and uploaded the videos. Within a few days my online les­son was ready!

Your les­son con­sists of two parts. The first is a writ­ten review with obser­va­tions and sug­ges­tions on areas of your swing to work on. Brant also included links to YouTube videos fea­tur­ing him­self demon­strat­ing proper technique.

The sec­ond part of your les­son is a video analy­sis of your swing. Areas of improve­ment from the writ­ten review are fur­ther ana­lyzed with your swing com­pared along side swings by pro golfers. My swing was com­pared frame by frame with Rory McIlroy’s and Luke Donald’s.

I felt the com­bi­na­tion of the writ­ten review, video analy­sis, and YouTube videos com­ing together to rein­force the three areas of improve­ment for my swing did a great job of empha­siz­ing what steps I need to take to improve.

Check out FixYourGame.com today for online instruc­tion for your game!

Two Areas of Fitness to Improve Your Golf


Many of us do not get enough exer­cise in our lives. The most handy excuse we give is that we sim­ply do not have enough time in our busy lives. In real­ity, we prob­a­bly lack the required dis­ci­pline and desire to lead as healthy of lifestyles as we should. It may be unre­al­is­tic to think we will imple­ment a full blown golf fit­ness pro­gram. Most ama­teur golfers sim­ply do not have this level of com­mit­ment to their golf games.

There are two areas of per­sonal fit­ness that golfers can focus on with lit­tle time com­mit­ment that will have the most pos­i­tive impact on their game, flex­i­bil­ity and endurance. Lift­ing weights is not one of them. Big mus­cles do not directly trans­late into hit­ting the ball far­ther and cer­tainly aren’t required for a con­sis­tent swing. Hit­ting your shots far­ther is achieved by increas­ing your club­head speed. Oth­er­wise bean­pole six­teen year olds could not hit 300 yard drives.

Flex­i­bil­ity is key in get­ting the proper rota­tion and turn in your golf swing. Many high hand­i­cap and begin­ner golfers do not have enough rota­tion in their swing. They com­pen­sate their lack of rota­tion by either sway­ing and swing­ing too much with their arms. Both of these actions can lead to an over the top, out­side to in swing which often results in a slice. Full rota­tion in your golf wing is ben­e­fi­cial in cre­at­ing a con­sis­tent, inside to out swing.

Increas­ing your flex­i­bil­ity will make it eas­ier to increase your rota­tion in your swing. While stretch­ing every­day is ideal, increased flex­i­bil­ity can be real­ized by stretch­ing as lit­tle as twenty min­utes three times a week. Pilates and yoga are two of the most pop­u­lar meth­ods to stretch today. The ben­e­fit of Pilates or yoga is that in addi­tion to increas­ing your flex­i­bil­ity, both also strengthen your core mus­cles (with­out lift­ing weights!). A strength­ened core pro­motes bet­ter bal­ance which helps with con­sis­tency in your swing.

Endurance is an area of fit­ness that most ama­teur golfers over­look. It is espe­cially over­looked by those who ride a cart. Why do I need to worry about endurance when I don’t even walk my round? You’d be sur­prised how many golfers tire by the end of their round because they’re sim­ply not in shape. Walk­ing more through­out your day is a great way to build your endurance and improve your over­all fit­ness. The eas­i­est way to increase the num­ber of steps you take a week is to begin walk­ing your golf round. Walk using a pull cart instead of rid­ing a pow­ered cart. There are also many other areas of your life you can increase your walk­ing. Take the stairs instead of the ele­va­tor. Do you have a dog? Take him for reg­u­lar walks. He’ll love you for it and you’ll be cre­at­ing a health­ier you.

Take at least a total of an hour a week to stretch your body. Find ways to include more walk­ing in your daily life. Your golf game will thank you for it.

Bushnell Hybrid Pinseeker Laser Rangefinder and Golf GPS System


Shoot­ing 90 has always rec­om­mended golf GPS sys­tems over laser rangefind­ers as the pre­ferred yardage mea­sur­ing device for high hand­i­cap golfers. Golf GPS sys­tems make it eas­ier to hit greens in reg­u­la­tion as they give you the dis­tance to the front and back of the green. While laser rangefind­ers will give you the exact yardage to the flag, going for the pin on every hole will often leave the high hand­i­cap golfer in green side trouble.

The Bush­nell Hybrid Pin­seeker Laser Rangefinder pro­vides the best of both worlds. It’s a laser rangefinder and a golf gps sys­tem in one.

The GPS gives the yardage to the front, cen­ter, and back of every green, allow­ing the high hand­i­cap golfer the abil­ity to think of their approach yardage as a range, increas­ing the odds of hit­ting more greens in reg­u­la­tion. The Bush­nell Hybrid Pin­seeker comes pre­loaded with over 25,000 North Amer­i­can courses and there is no sub­scrip­tion fee.

The laser rangefinder uses Bush­nell Pin­seeker tech­nol­ogy to pro­vide accu­racy within plus or minus one yard. This pro­vides the exact yardage on the holes where the time is right to go for the pin. 5x mag­ni­fi­ca­tion makes it easy to lock in on your target.

Con­sider the Bush­nell Hybrid Pin­seeker if you are in the mar­ket for a new golf GPS system.