NCGA Golf

Fall 2018

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44 FALL 2018 | NCGA.ORG Cindy Vining has been a member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division since 2005. She taught Cal alum and Fresno native Michael Weaver when he reached the final of the 2012 U.S. Amateur. She played on the LPGA Futures Tour in the early 1980s. From Toronto, Vining is a 1982 graduate of McMasters University, in Hamilton, Ontario, and earned a Masters Degree in kinesiology in 2002 from Fresno State University. Her thesis was on the alleviation of back pain during the golf swing. She owns and operates The Valley Golf Center, in Fresno, which includes a 9-hole par-three course and an extensive practice range and teaching area. Al Barkow, one-time editor of Golf and Golf Illustrated magazines, has been chronicling the game, its history and instruction for 56 years. He lives in Oakland. BALANCE EVEN IT UP Balance is best achieved with your weight centered. Vining discour- ages addressing the ball with your weight back on your heels, a common distribution that is meant to provide stability. It restricts a flowing rotational backswing. But she doesn't want you up on the balls of your feet either; it gives a feeling of instability. Being centered on your feet allows an ease of movement in both swing directions. And, to enhance the degree of coil in the backswing, the left heel should be allowed to rise in the backswing. "We are seeing today's young tour pros swinging more or less flat-footed, at least in the backswing, but they have the flexibility to make a full turn without raising the heel," she says. "Most golfers are not as physically gifted." BALL POSITION THE COMFORT ZONE Ball position is the final brick in a sound Founda- tion. Vining believes that with all clubs the ball should be played left of the center of your feet. From the pitching wedge to the 7-iron the ball position is just slightly left of center. As the clubs get longer the position moves an inch or so left. With the driver the ball is on a line just inside your left heel. As Vining explains, "Playing the ball to the right of center with the shorter irons, the most common positioning, often causes the ball to go right of the target because the hands haven't had time to uncock at impact. It also produces a more vertical path into the ball and the ground, which has an impact shock that if done often enough will hurt your back. In all, as Vining says, "Your swing is only as good as your Foundation. It is important in making a good score, and playing pain-free golf."

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