While watching the Ryder Cup this weekend, I heard Johnnie Miller talking about some players hitting shots that went right and high. He said that the player swiped the shot. He also said the golf ball wasn't compressed. What he meant was that the player was allowing his club head to apply a glancing blow to the ball rather than having the club head turning down to the ball and flattening the ball against it and then down to the ground.
The single-most common fault among less skilled players is a bent left wrist and a straight right wrist at impact (for righties). At impact, the left wrist must be flat (and supinated - that is to say the wrist is slightly arched upward) and the right wrist still bent and the shaft leaning forward. I know this will sound crazy, but the club head doesn't move the golf ball - the same way a gymnasium floor doesn't move the basketball when the ball is bounced. The ball flattens and moves itself off the floor. This must be the mind set to play solid golf shots.
A golfer who can swing the club at 100 mph and cups his left wrist at impact won't achieve as much distance as one who swings it at 85 mph and has a flat (slightly-arched left wrist) at impact.
If you are at a driving range and observe a skilled player hitting shots, you will notice how much louder his or her hitting sounds. That is because the player is compressing the golf ball fully. Work on this technique and you will find that you will hardly even feel the ball meet the club.
A player's ball comes to rest against a divot that is not completely attached. He may remove it or replace it before playing his next shot. True or false?
Answer to last column's teaser:
Water that is visible only through undue effort is not casual water. True or false?
John Lucas is the professional at SkyRidge Golf Course. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.