FALL 2017

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44 FALL 2017 | NCGA.ORG Hoop It Y ou can control your short game distance in several ways. I teach the importance of controlling the speed of your arms to hit pitch shots of varying length. I also endorse the concept of random practice. Likewise, try not to practice in a straight line. I encourage my students to alternate distances. One way I like to make practice fun is by playing games. I spread out five hula hoops. If a pitch shot lands inside the hoop, you earn one point, and if it stops inside the hoop, you get two points. We typically play first to 10, but you can adjust that figure accordingly. With my junior students, we play for Starburst candies and that always makes this game a big hit. The more you make practice fun, the longer you will practice. No Flip, No Pain T o hit a proper bump-and-run shot, position the ball in the back of your stance, hands forward and shoulders angled to the left. Make sure the left arm is the leader to avoid flipping. Shannon Donlon, general manager and head professional at Stanford Golf Club, (pictured above) demonstrates one of my go-to drills to drive this point home. Grip a short iron and an alignment stick at the same time. With a few feet of the rod past the butt-end of the club, try to hit pitch shots. This drill teaches you to square the clubface with the body instead of using the hands. It also provides immediate feedback if done incorrectly. Release your wrists and the shaft of the alignment stick is going to whack you in the side (pictured left). Do it wrong enough times and you'll likely have a black-and-blue reminder of your mistake.

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