Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sweep Away your Slice

Swinging a broom can show you how.

Published: July 01, 2007

The problem
You're a chronic slicer.

Why you do it
You take the clubhead inside and behind you too quickly in your backswing. This shallow path doesn't give you much room to get the club back down past your right leg and into impact. So instead, you cast the club up over your right shoulder and down to the ball on a slicecausing outside-to-in swing path.

The solution
Swing back and through with the thin edge of a broom. Do it correctly and you'll encounter no air resistance as you swing the broom back and through on plane, but as soon as you try to take the broom back on a too-shallow plane, however, or swing it over the top on the way back down, the flat side of the broom will encounter air resistance and will immediately indicate that you're off-plane.

'Putt' your chips

Take the nerves out of your short shots with Paul Runyan's method

Jim Flick

Use your putting grip, and play the ball just inside your left heel. Set the club on its toe so the shaft is vertical, like a putter's.

By Jim Flick
Photo By Dom Furore June 2007

Paul Runyan, my friend and colleague for more than 30 years, was a master of the short game. In the 36-hole final round of the 1938 PGA Championship, he beat Sam Snead convincingly. Sam was outdriving Paul by 50 yards, but Little Poison won, 8 and 7.

Paul's mind was analytical, but he was also creative. One of the concepts he pioneered was to chip like you putt.

Paul didn't mean to just use a putting grip, which helps minimize wristiness for more reliable contact, especially under pressure. He also showed me how to set the club on its toe so the shaft is more vertical, similar to a putter's shaft. Setting the club with the heel off the ground:

•Helps replicate your putting stance, so the ball is more directly under your eyes, and your motion is simpler.

•Encourages the clubhead to slide through the grass, guarding against mis-hits.

•Promotes contacting the ball toward the toe of the club, which gives the shot a softer feel and allows you to make a more aggressive swing.

Take your normal putting grip (I use a reverse-overlap). This helps keep the back of the left hand stable. Play the ball just inside your left heel. If the ball is sitting down,tilt your upper body a bit to your left. This encouragesa slight angle of descent through impact.

Keeping your body still and with a pendulum motion, swing the clubhead up with your arms going back, then let it swing down into the ball.

Lateral Move

Step forward for power

This drill will help you feel the lateral move seen in top players.

RANGE DRILL: 1. Take a narrow stance with the ball forward. 2. Swing to the top with a full turn. 3. Step forward, and swing through the ball.

By Rick Smith
Photo By Stephen Szurlej May 2007

A split second before completing the back-swing, the best players make a slight lateral move with their hips and trunk toward the target. This move not only allows the arms to swing down on plane, it helps increase swing speed by providing improved leverage between the body and club. It's a real power move. If you want to copy it, first train with my step drill to get the proper feeling.

On the range, grab a 7-iron, tee up a ball, and address it with a narrow stance. Your front foot should be in line with the ball. Take the club to the top, but before you start down, step toward the target with your front foot. This action will help you feel that lateral move the best players make. Hit balls this way to get a feel for this shift to your front side.

Ranked No. 5 by his peers among Golf Digest's 50 Greatest Teachers, Rick Smith is based at the Treetops Resort near Gaylord, Mich., and Tiburon in Naples, Fla.

Tiger's Extension For Power and Accuracy

Tiger Tips: Extend for power and accuracy

Turn your head to the target

New look: My head doesn't stay down well past impact.

By Tiger Woods
Edited By Pete McDaniel and Mark Soltau
Photos By Dom Furore August 2007

One of my main keys to hitting the ball farther and straighter is full extension down the target line. Reminding myself to "shake hands with the target" gets me in the right position. Examples from other sports--baseball batters, hockey players and bowlers, to name a few--also help me visualize extension.

Some players flip the right hand through impact to try to get more clubhead speed. That kind of flash speed would have negative consequences for me, mainly inconsistent distance control and accuracy. Instead of extending down the line, these players flip the handle, the left wrist breaking down and the right hand crossing over the left.

I want the club to release naturally. I've even amended my "shake hands" visual: I'm learning to look at the target as I'm shaking hands. I tend to hook the ball when my head hangs back, so to keep everything moving together I try to get my head and eyes turning through with the club. My friend Annika Sorenstam does this, and it seems to work for me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Distance And Power

Golf Instruction:
Create Power To Maximize Distance

By Kelly Kleckner,
Staff Writer,
Golf Publisher Syndications

A primary concern for most women I teach is that they would like to gain extra yards with each of their clubs. To do this you must use the small muscles in your hands, wrists, and arms together with the larger muscles of your upper and lower body. All of these must work together to produce the maximum effect on the ball-sending it farther and straighter.

To efficiently achieve this effect, you must pay attention to your wrist hinge, arm swing, and the coil of your body. I will give you some key pointers that will help you increase power and distance, without spending extra hours in the gym! These pointers will be helpful getting you started on the right track as we enter the new golf season.

If we start with the basic set-up, correct hand placement on the club should allow you to feel the pressure in your fingers-not your palms with the V's between your index finger and thumbs of each hand pointing in the general direction of your right shoulder. Then I have my students grip the club using "normal" grip pressure for them.

To test their grip pressure, I have them hold their club out in front of them while I pull from the shaft. Most of the time I can't pull the club from their hands-they're too tight! Keep a pressure on a scale of 1-5(1 being light) at a 3 during you your entire swing; this enables the wrists and arms to move freely through the swing maximizing power.

After we set the hands and achieve the proper grip pressure, we are now ready to start the motion of the swing by hinging the wrists and swinging the arms. Where should your wrists hinge? There's no rule, but hinging before your wrists are even with your hips can result in an up-and-down swing that loses distance.

To maximize power you must use wrists, arms and coil (pivot) to achieve more distance.

On the other hand, cocking too late can result in "casting" the club and losing distance as well. Cock your wrists as you turn maintaining a "3" grip pressure, and extend your arms so that your chin meets your left shoulder. Let your arms swing down from the top of your swing by pulling the end of the club down through the ball-we want to swing through not hit the ball!

This is all wonderful news, but if we forget to coil or pivot we cannot shift our weight from right to left as we swing and we become "upper body swingers" losing the incredible power we can generate from our lower torso.

To generate the hip and leg action we need to make sure our take-away is as a unit. Make sure you are in an athletic set-up with your arms hanging comfortably from your shoulders, bend from the hips, knees slightly bent, make sure your rear is out, and weight is on the balls of your feet.

The left side of your body then pushes the arms with the club back so that at the top of your swing your left shoulder is over your flexed right knee and your back is facing your target. Your left heel can come off the ground, but careful to not push up and off swing center with it. I like to think of my collarbone as my swing center-everything must coil around it-not move laterally away from it. The weight at the top of your swing should feel 70-80% on your right side with the majority felt on the inside of your right heel.

This is the easy part-we just undo what we just did by pulling the arms, hips and legs down and through the ball so we end up with a full turn-hips facing the target, arms high and the weight is now 90% on the left foot with the right toe and knee falling into the left leg to maximize power!

To maximize power you must use wrists, arms and coil (pivot) to achieve more distance. The following drill will help you develop the upper body turn and wrist action: Set-up in the athletic position stated above. Then use a mid-iron and set-up with your feet together and a tee in the middle of your stance.

Swing the arms just below the waist(one quarter swing) making sure you hinge the wrists, and clip the tee out of the ground. Gradually swing higher and as you do so make sure your hips are turning and at a full swing your back faces the target. Keep clipping tees until you are consistent, then go ahead with your feet together and clip three tees and then "clip" three balls. This drill encourages hip and shoulder turn along with cocking the wrists and sending the arms in the correct position!

Keeping the Point Between You and the Hole

Q. What Does "Keeping the Point Between You and the Hole" Mean?

A. When a golfer dunks his ball into a water hazard (as differentiated from a lateral water hazard), one of his options is to drop behind the water hazard.

The rules, specifically Rule 26-1b, describes the procedure for the drop:

"Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped."

Many golfers fail to understand exactly what this means, specifically "keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped."

What does that mean - keeping the point between you and hole? What direction are you supposed to be going? On what line, exactly, are you allowed to drop?

It's really very easy to understand once it's visualized correctly.

But before we visualize that line, let's make clear what this rule does not mean.

"Keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped" has nothing to do with the direction your ball was traveling when it entered the hazard.

Let's repeat: the line of flight of your original ball does not matter. You might have sliced or hooked it, pushed or pulled it, or hit it dead straight. It does not matter.

OK, with that out of the way, here's how to visualize the line on which you're allowed to drop behind a water hazard.

Take a look at the flagstick. Now look at the point at which your ball crossed the margin of the hazard. Now imagine drawing a line extending straight back from the flagstick to that point. Now imagine that line continuing to travel straight back, from the flagstick to the point where your ball crossed the margin, and continuing straight back hundreds of yards.

That is the line on which you must drop.

California Golf


From the Monterey Peninsula to San Diego, discover golf in the Golden State

California Opener Within the nation’s most populated state lies some of the best golf resorts in the United States. The terrain varies greatly from one tip of this long region to the other, as does the weather—from craggy, seaside links to rolling, inland meadows; from 80 degrees and sunny to dense fog and biting wind. But one thing is certain wherever you choose to visit: It doesn’t get much better than the Pacific Coast when it comes to top-quality golf resorts.

The California coast below San Francisco presents a golfer a range of excellent choices. Just 30 minutes south of San Francisco is Half Moon Bay, where a Ritz-Carlton and two affiliated oceanfront golf courses add a splash of elegance to a charming farming and fishing town. On scenic Monterey Bay golfers find the Holy Grail of U.S. golf resorts, Pebble Beach. With several “it-doesn’t-get-any-better-than-this” courses in the Del Monte Forest—Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass and The Links at Spanish Bay among them—it’s easy to overlook the Monterey Peninsula’s other fine designs. But out in Carmel Valley, Quail Lodge and Carmel Valley Ranch have been pleasing guests for years with their sunnier weather and serene layouts.

Once you hit Southern California, look to Orange County and San Diego County to provide the best resorts offerings. The courses in this southern part of the Pacific region are less tree-lined than those found in northern California and Oregon. Instead, gently rolling hills and panoramic views are the norm. Golfers find themselves shooting over arroyos and playing through golden canyons. The weather is typically warmer too.

Along the Newport coast, the two Tom Fazio designs at Pelican Hill fit this description. They are among the most desirable upscale public layouts on the West Coast. Nearby in Dana Point are Monarch Beach and the affiliated St. Regis Monarch Beach Hotel. The Dana Point and Laguna Beach area is a favorite with nongolfers, too, as shopping, art galleries, spas and divine cuisine are in abundance.

Further south still, golfers can play to their heart’s delight at Four Seasons Aviara, La Costa and Torrey Pines—three of the top resorts in the United States, all located within 20 minutes of each other.

With such a wide and diverse selection of courses and resorts, it can be hard to choose. Clearly, multiple visits to the Pacific Region are required to make a dent in your “must-play” list.

When To Go

California doesn’t experience a true cold season, as temperatures remain comfortable all year long. That being said, The Sunshine State does endure its fair share of rainfall, typically December through March. Winter temperatures average in the low to upper 60s (degrees F), with summer months nearing the mid-90s in some regions. All in all, it’s never a bad time to plan a visit.

Getting There
Considering that the freeway systems of California are among the nation’s most complex, it’s just as important to know not only where you’re going, but how to get there.

Northern California
As for the Golden State, if you’re visiting the Monterey coast, expect just over an hour’s drive from the San Francisco Airport or 45 minutes from the San Jose Airport. Also, the coastline drive is fabulous, so don’t be shy to rent a comfortable rental car and enjoy the spectacular views from Highway 101.

Southern California
When heading to Southern California, we advise you find ways to minimize drive time. Traffic can be a bear. Luckily, there are at least five major airports (and many more) that are in close proximity to a host of golf-friendly areas. If you’re heading to L.A. County, the obvious choices are LAX and Burbank Airport. But if you’re heading southward to places like the Newport coast, then the John Wayne Airport is a much smarter and closer choice. Ontario is a solid choice for an inland flight, and Long Beach is one of the favorite airports among Southern Californians for its fewer crowds and easy access.

Check with each golf course and/or hotel that you plan to visit, and make sure they give you not only street directions, but freeway instructions, as well.

Where To Play
Northern California
The Lodge At Pebble Beach
The Inn At Spanish Bay
Pebble Beach
The Lodge at Pebble Beach Far and away the most revered golf resort in the United States, Pebble Beach boasts three outstanding hotels, an unbeatable location on the Monterey Bay, and legendary golf courses rich with history and lore. Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill typically top everybody’s lifetime “must-play” lists. But don’t forget Spanish Bay: Both the course and the accommodations on the Pacific Grove end of 17 Mile Drive are superb. The Pebble Beach Golf Academy, located at Spyglass Hill, is a recommended stop, where all the latest teaching tools and excellent instruction by Laird Small and team will keep you on the course—critical on any of these classic designs. Rates at The Lodge at Pebble Beach range from $555 to $2,635; The Inn at Spanish Bay from $475 to $2,555; and at Casa Palmero from $685 to $2,250. Golf packages available.

(800) 654-9300

San Martin
Cordevalle This quiet resort 30 minutes south of San Jose and 45 minutes north of Monterey offers the best of everything: a big, sweeping Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course, a luxury lodge and a country club atmosphere. You feel as though you’re a member of a special private club here. The course ranges through a distractingly pretty, oak-studded valley where hawks fly and red tail fox are common. Jones Jr.’s design pays homage to the classics, yet is every bit part of its landscape, feeling as if it had been there for a hundred years. Accommodations at Cordevalle consist of 45 bungalows, villas and fairway homes, all very private. A full-service spa is available for guest use. The 45,000-square-foot clubhouse serves as golf and social center, and also offers excellent dining. Rates range from $525 to $2,300. Golf packages available.

(877) 695-4500
St. Regis Monarch Beach
Dana Point
St. Regis Monarch Beach The combination of the St. Regis Monarch Beach hotel and the Monarch Beach Golf Links presents an alluring destination. From many holes on the golf course, wide ocean views can be seen, and a couple holes run alongside it. The course was built to conform nicely to the terrain. Several carries off the tee can jump up and bite, but most everyone enjoys their experience on this friendly Robert Trent Jones Jr. design. The St. Regis, meanwhile, is situated above the golf course and has even better coastal views. It exudes luxury from the moment you walk into the lobby. Dark woods and cool marble decorate the 400 snazzy guestrooms and suites. Several award-winning restaurants and a popular spa round out the offerings. Rates range from $490-$5,500 (in season) to $450-$5,500 (nonpeak). Golf packages available.

(800) 722-1543
Barona Valley Ranch
Barona Valley Ranch At Barona Valley Ranch, 30 minutes inland from San Diego, the concept of play takes on added dimension, as a bustling Indian casino adds to the lure of this resort property. If you’ve lost the skins game to your golf mates, you always have a chance to win it back at the blackjack tables. Golf course designer Gary Roger Baird had a serene, inland valley setting on which to work his design magic, with massive boulders strewn across the landscape. There is plenty of sunshine and a tranquil feeling out here in what feels like rural California, yet it is only 30 miles from San Diego. There are 364 guestrooms and an additional 32 luxury suites. Several restaurants service the needs of guests, with the Barona Oaks Steakhouse being a standout. Rates range from $89 to $650 per night. Golf packages available with some rooms.

(888) 7-BARONA
The Lodge at Torrey Pines
La Jolla
Torrey Pines Along the sunny La Jolla coast, just a few miles north of San Diego, two of the best public layouts in the country await at Torrey Pines Golf Course, home of the PGA Tour Buick Invitational, and site of the 2008 U.S. Open Championship. Majestic Pacific views distinguish both tracks. Opened in 1957 they are revered for their combination of beauty and beast since. Prior to the 2002 Buick tournament, architect Rees Jones made some significant improvements to the South Course, bringing this popular design to its best shape in years. Recently, with the opening of The Lodge at Torrey Pines, golfers have a 175-room luxury retreat at which to hang their spikes, dine and relax after golf. Best of all is the fact that the lodge has guaranteed tee-time privileges at the two world-class golf courses. Rates range from $450 to $4,200. Golf packages available.

(858) 453-4420
California Must-Plays
Santa Cruz
Pasatiempo This course on the north side of Monterey Bay opened in 1929 and still ranks as one of the best daily-fee tracks in the nation. The par-four 16th was course architect Alister Mackenzie's favorite hole in golf. Mackenzie spent the last years of his life living in a home on Pasatiempo and tinkering with the design.
Par 70, 6439 yards (72.5/136)
(Alister Mackenzie)

(831) 459-9155
Bayonet/Black Horse
Bayonet/Black Horse Both of these are excellent choices and should be on your play list when in the Monterey Bay area. They will both challenge even the top professional from the back tees, and have done so in various tournaments over the years. The Bayonet Course is long and difficult. The Black Horse Course is shorter and somewhat more forgiving. Both have great ocean views.
Bayonet—Par 72, 7117 yards (75.6/136) (Gen. Robert McClure)
Black Horse—Par 72, 7009 yards (75.2/134) (Gen. Edwin Carns)

(831) 899-7271

Oak Creek
Oak Creek Oak Creek is a picturesque course where good shots are rewarded and bad shots are penalized. Landing zones are generally wide open and driver-friendly. If you miss fairways, though, bring plenty of golf balls, because they get lost easily in the deep rough. The course is particularly women-friendly, with the silver tees measuring under 5000 yards.
Par 71, 6729 yards (72.7/132)
(Tom Fazio)

(949) 653-7300
Arroyo Trabuco
Mission Viejo
Arroyo Trabuco Set amidst Trabuco Creek and Ladera Open Space Reserve, Arroyo Trabuco provides a “high-end golfing experience at a competitive price.” The 240-acre site occupies an old gravel pit (whose operations were shut down in December 2000), and several holes play around the old facility. The layout encounters quite a bit of rolling topography, making for some fun and memorable holes.
Par 72, 6974 yards (73.7/134)
(Tom Lehman & Casey O’Callaghan)

(949) 364-1881

Rancho Bernardo Inn
Rancho Bernardo Inn An 18-hole course first built in 1962, this design is set in a small, scenic valley and surrounded by homes. A meandering creek, two lakes, natural vegetation areas and fast greens add to the pleasant experience. A local’s favorite.
Par 72, 6631 yards (72.3/133)
(William Bell)

(858) 675-8470
The Auld Course
Chula Vista
The Auld Course Resting in the foothills of Mt. Miguel, this traditional course includes 18 distinctive holes. It features panoramic ocean and mountain views, acres of natural wetlands, and no homes or roads. The hillsides influence most tee shots, so placement off the tee is important. It is a big course with no trees, which is significant because it tends to get windy in the afternoons.
Par 72, 6855 yards (73.4/132)
(Cary Bickler & John Cook)

(619) 482-4666
Where To Learn

Pelican Hill Golf Club,
Newport Coast
Lead by director of instruction Glenn Deck, Pelican Hill Golf Academy focuses on developing sound fundamentals and getting the club on path for more consistent shotmaking. Learning programs are available in a variety of forms, including those for individuals, groups or juniors. Two-day VIP clinics, which include video analysis, short-game and full-swing fundamentals as well as an 18-hole playing lesson also are available.

(949) 760-0707

Four Seasons Resort Aviara,
In operation since 1991, the Aviara Golf Academy, which is run by noted instructor Kip Puterbaugh, has a curriculum that gives players of all ability levels an opportunity to learn about the golf swing. The Aviara Golf Academy operates year-round and specializes in two- and three-day golf schools and short-game schools.

(800) 433-7468

Pebble Beach Resort,
Headed by 2003 PGA Teacher of the Year, Laird Small, the Pebble Beach Golf Academy covers all areas of the game, including putting, short game, long game, mental and physical training, and on-course practice. Video analysis also is available, as is a Callaway professional clubfitting system. Various programs are designed to satisfy groups of different size, skill level and schedule. Each member of the school staff is hand-picked and trained to make an experience at Pebble Beach Golf Academy as enjoyable as possible.

(831) 622-8650

Local Knowledge

With the task of breaking down local attractions in an area as large as California almost impossible, heed our advice and plan a vacation that includes experiencing some top designs from one of course architecture’s all-time greats: Alister Mackenzie

The name Alister Mackenzie (1870-1934) evokes instant images of top-tier golf designs. If you have ever had the pleasure of playing one of this transplanted Scotsman’s better U.S. creations—Cypress Point Club, Augusta National or Valley Club of Montecito—the experience no doubt will stick with you forever. The problem is, all of those mentioned above, and many of his other memorable designs are guardedly private.

There are, however, several public Mackenzie courses that one can and should play in California. The best of them is Pasatiempo (1929) in Santa Cruz, on the northern rim of the Monterey Bay. Mackenzie lived in a home on one of the fairways at Pasatiempo and continued to refine this design until he passed away. Tree-lined fairways and panoramic ocean views combine with strategic arroyo crossings and Mackenzie’s signature bunkering patterns to create a wonderful, fulfilling experience here.

A bit north, just below San Francisco in the small coastal town of Pacifica, golfers will discover an 18-hole Mackenzie layout called Sharp This design is flatter than Pasatiempo and has fewer ocean peeks, but Mackenzie enthusiasts will enjoy its strategic shot requirements and demanding greens.

North of San Francisco is Northwood Golf Course (1928), a nine-hole Mackenzie course on the Russian River. Huge redwood and fir trees grace play on this unassuming design. And in Sacramento is the newly renovated Haggin Oaks (1932), a popular municipal course that boasts very distinct Mackenzie design features. Pittsburg’s Delta View Golf Course features nine holes of Mackenzie design.

Golfers who enjoy the history and traditions of the game are likely to find an Alister Mackenzie pilgrimage nothing short of sacred. If you count yourself in this category, northern California is the place to do it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What Your Golf Glove Can Tell You About Your Slice

Glove Secrets


By Jeff Ritter, PGA

Glove Secrets The first fundamental I teach every new student is how to properly hold the club because good golf swings start with good grips. Your hands are your only connection to the club, thus making them the primary mover of the shaft and controller of the clubface. If you hold the club incorrectly, you’re immediately at a disadvantage and more likely to make compensations in your swing.

While I reinforce proper grips to my students, I can’t always be there to check up on them, so I teach them how to monitor their progress. One simple way is to analyze how their glove wears out. Take this battered glove, for example. It took only 10 rounds for this to happen! As you can see, sometimes the root of a swing fault lies in the palm of your hand.

Worn-Out Palm
The most common glove-wear pattern, a worn-out palm is caused by holding the club in the palm instead of correctly holding it beneath the heel pad of the hand and fingers. Gripping the club this way leads to a lack of distance and a tendency to slice. What’s really amazing about grips like this is that they can wear down a glove after only a few holes! So if this has ever happened to you, and you thought that new glove of yours was defective, think again.

The Fix: Hold a ruler vertically in your glove hand. Cradle it in your fingers and feel the heel pad of your glove hand resting on top. This home remedy is a great way to exaggerate the feeling of a proper grip.

Thumb Tear
Look at the massive tear in the thumb! It resulted from a two-fold problem: poor thumb placement and incorrect grip pressure (too much or too little) applied between the thumb and the handle. This grip usually results in a lack of control.

The Fix: Adopt a “short thumb,” where the thumb is cinched up and pinched against the top of the forefinger. Hold a business card between your thumb and forefinger with a grip pressure of “3” (out of 10) to learn the appropriate feel.

Index-Finger Wear
A tear or wear pattern here indicates a poor connection between a player’s hands and is usually caused by an overlapping grip, where the dominant hand’s pinkie digs into the glove hand’s knuckle. You may even notice a callus forming on your dominant hand’s ring finger. What results isn’t just a torn glove but discomfort as well.

The Fix: Extend your pinkie farther into the gap that separates the knuckles on your glove hand. Another option is to adopt an interlocking grip, where your dominant hand’s pinkie and glove hand’s index finger “wrap” around each other.

PGA Professional Jeff Ritter is director of instruction at the ASU Karsten Golf Academy.

Kenny Perry's Power Move

Kenny Perry

Check out Kenny Perry's outstanding power move

By Brady Riggs, PGA, Photo by Warren Keating

Kenny Perry At 46 years of age, you’d think Tour veteran Kenny Perry would be struggling to keep up with today’s young guns. After all, the closer players get to the Champions Tour, the shorter they’re supposed to hit it. Not Perry. As of this year’s PLAYERS Championship, the Kentuckian is ranked 21st in Driving Distance, placing him six spots (and 1.1 yards) ahead of Tiger Woods. Of course, technology can get some of the credit, but Perry wouldn’t be able to routinely hit 300-yard bombs off the tee without a well-greased swing. After a disappointing 2006 in which he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, it’s only a matter of time until the sneaky-long Perry returns to top form.

While his ballflight may be one-dimensional, his mechanics are spot on. Perry’s shoulders, arms and club are now traveling back up the inclined plane. It’s easy to visualize this plane by drawing a line through his shoulders that’s parallel to a line drawn through his elbows.

A key element to Perry’s prodigious length off the tee is the action of his right arm through the hitting zone. It’s fully extended with the hand in a position similar to the release used when throwing a discus. This is a great visual for hitting a powerful draw.

While most players on Tour have their left wrist flat at this point in the swing, it wouldn’t work for Perry because his left-hand grip is in a very strong position at address. Flattening the wrist through the release would close the face dramatically and exaggerate his already strong, right-to-left ballflight.

The scrunching of his right side on the downswing enables the clubhead to attack the ball from the inside. This is critical for Perry, as he needs to start the ball right of the target to allow for his patented draw. This tilt is illustrated by the steeper angle of his shoulders compared to his hips.

Perry’s feet remain flat on the ground well past impact. This unusual aspect of his swing is critical, as it allows his arms and club to swing out away from his body. Activating his feet and knees during impact would be counterproductive as it would take his arms back inside after impact, instead of outside.

With a well-greased swing and top-notch equipment, Kenny Perry regularly bombs it 290 yards off the tee. He plays the TaylorMade r7 Superquad.

Make A Powerful Release

Give the ball a right-hand slap for explosive contact

This story is for you if...
• You want more distance and accuracy
• You often miss your target to the right
• You don't understand what "release" means

The Standard Advice
Try to square the clubface at impact for straighter and more accurate shots.

Why it's misleading
Impact lasts only a few milliseconds, so trying to perfect that moment is nearly impossible.

The Tip You Really Need
A solid release guarantees proper clubface rotation through impact, so perfect it instead. Plus, it's easier to control your release. As you drive through the hitting zone, give the ball a slap with your right hand, changing your right wrist from bent back to bowed. Check the positions at left to see what it looks like.

Elbow In
Your left elbow should hang tight against your torso as your hands release. You can't unhinge your wrists if your left arm bows out (no chicken-winging).

Shoulder Under
Your right shoulder moves under your chin, not in front of it. This allows your hands to power the clubhead correctly through impact and then around your body.

KEY MOVE - Active Wrists
Prior to impact your right wrist was bent. Now it should be bowed. This doesn't happen by itself—"slap" the ball with your right hand to release the club properly.

Club on Line
A proper release whips the clubhead around your body in a circular motion and into your finish.

Golf Etiquette

Golf is a game rich in culture and age-old tradition. There are strict rules of etiquette to be followed in playing a game of golf -- including your choice of attire. Most golfers respect and happily comply with the rules of etiquette, and so are welcome to play at proper golf courses.

On the other hand, golfers who shun the rules and consider the etiquette to be too stodgy will have to settle with a golf course that meets their lower level of standards.

Most private and public golf courses enforce etiquette rules to some degree, and nearly all have restrictions on golf apparel. Wearing proper attire is considered to be one of the most important areas of golf etiquette, and respectful players will happily oblige. The most common requirements of golf course dress codes are proper golf shoes, collared shirts and long pants (not jeans). These guidelines are followed on the links and in the clubhouse.

Arriving promptly for your tee time is one of the primary rules of golf etiquette. Plan on being at the course at least twenty to thirty minutes before you will tee off. This will give you plenty of time to park the car, get changed, buy extra balls, get a cart, practice and warm up. Don't expect to be able to arrive five minutes before tee time and immediately hit the driving range.

Modern times have brought about another important rule of golf etiquette. Your cell phone or pager is not welcome on the links. Leave your electronic gizmos in the car or keep them in your locker. If you absolutely must bring the phone along to check for emergency calls, turn the ringer off and tuck it into your bag.

Being mindful of other players is what golf etiquette is all about. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of how the other players in your group want to play. For example, ask if the first ready golfer should tee off first, or whether the golfer with the best score on the proceeding hole should lead the play. You'd be surprised at how easily you can offend a stranger if you join their group and don't play by their rules.

Golf requires precision and a great deal of concentration, so you must respect the other golfers' need for a quiet place to play. Golfers can be unforgiving if they think you've blown their big shot. Following golf etiquette requires your ability to keep quiet and stay out of the other golfers' direct line of vision. This can be a hard rule to follow, especially when you're having fun with your buddies, but it is golf etiquette in its most rudimentary form.

To you, golf may be a fun game. Others, however, see it as a showcase of their good breeding and even an opportunity to climb the social ladder. It's serious stuff. If you enjoy playing a game of golf, you've got to respect the fact that there's more to golf etiquette than just a persnickety dress code. These rules are part of a culture and tradition that have been observed by generations of golfers. Press your collared shirt, put on your long-legged chinos and lace up your golf shoes. Tee off with due respect.

About the Author:
Author Emery Deiryme writes for numerous well-known web sites, on leisure and travel leisure golf topics.

Why Is Golf So Popular

Mark Twain once famously observed that to play golf was to ruin a good walk in the country, but a sport that has so many millions of dedicated players and followers, along with over 30,000 courses worldwide, must have something going for it. So why is it that golf is such a popular sport?

Aside from P.J. O'Rourke's assertion that "Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: taking long walks and hitting things with a stick", the game of golf has many benefits to offer to players of all standards. The first and most obvious is that it provides a way of escaping from the hurly burly of modern urban life. The life enhancing qualities of fresh air, pleasant scenery, and a temporary return to seemingly rural surroundings are hard to overstate, and golf provides all these in abundance. As an aside, golf can also be good for the environment, with the courses providing a managed 'wilderness' in the heart of urban areas, which has great benefits both ecology-wise and for the community.

In today's world, many people are deskbound during their working days, and while they may work extremely hard mentally, their bodies aren't put under anything like the same kind of physical strains that our forebears used to endure. While this is generally a good thing, a lack of exercise can cause serious health problems, and a round of golf provides light to moderate exertion - even a short course will involve a walk of at least two miles, even if you play to par! The muscles of the upper body also receive a gentle workout during the repeated swings you make as you progress around the course.

Golf also provides an arena for competition, whether against your peers or simply against your self and your skill level. No golf player will ever be satisfied with their game, and the quest for greater technical perfection can be a powerful spur to carrying on playing the game - the thought of knocking an extra shot off your scorecard can quickly become addictive.

Finally, golf is a very social sport, as it is played at a pace which allows conversation among the players. Not only does this mean you can relax with friends while playing, it has also led to the sport becoming popular in business circles, where negotiations and deal making can often be conducted in a much more relaxed setting than the average boardroom.

Author: Andrea Flint

About the Author:
Andrea writes for the Information Warehouse, where you can read more about golf and other sports and pastimes.