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A number of errors originate in the address and takeaway position, which may result in a
shot that you didn't intend on. The shot that we will discuss in this month's golf lesson is
called a slice.

The definition of a slice for a right-handed player is where a stroke is made and the ball
curves to the right of the intended target. This is a common problem for a large number of
golfers. A sliced shot usually has loss of distance and is not accurate. With the following
information you should be able to setup and takeaway properly and rid yourself of that
awful slice that is so frustrating.
A 4-point plan to cure your slice

1) In your grip make sure that the "V" that is created between your thumb and index
finger point to your right shoulder and not your left shoulder.

2) Make sure your shoulders, knees, and feet are aligned to your target. You don't want
your body aligned left with the stance open.

3) Make sure your stance is about shoulder width apart, which allows for proper body

4) At the top of the backswing you want the forearm and hand relationship to be straight.
If they are not you will have an open clubface. Your professional should be able to check
this with a video camera or you yourself can check it by looking in a mirror.

The best way to work on the address and takeaway is to work on these four things by
hitting in five ball increments. Just think of one thing at a time; hit five balls and then
move onto the next. In time they should become natural and you should be a success on
the golf course.

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Tour players all have something in common besides being PGA Tour players: they all
manage to hit the ball with tremendous power. How do they do it? These players, as well
as LPGA players and club professionals, understand that true power and control come
from swinging the golf club with a powerful core.

To actively engage the body's center (core: the lower chest through the lower abdomen
and back) in the golf swing, here's a helpful drill.

Address the ball as you would with a golf club, only cross your arms in front of your
chest. Next, simulate your backswing with your arms crossed. Make sure to maintain the
forward spine tilt and keep your back straight; this will help you maintain your spine

At the top of your backswing, your left shoulder (right for lefties) will be positioned
behind the golf ball. Now, drive your forward shoulder toward the target so your left
shoulder covers the ball and the right shoulder follows all the way through, past the ball.

An important tip to remember: Allow your head to turn through the shot with your body
(keeping your head down too long is worse than bringing it up too soon). This head
movement allows you to rotate fully through to the correct finishing position.

For a good example of this, watch Annika Sorenstam's swing as she turns her head
through the hitting zone to allow her weight to swing toward the target. This move gives
her incredible power and distance.

This simple drill will give you the feel for what a body-driven swing feels like. The more
you practice this drill the more you will feel your weight transferring toward the target on
actual shots.

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What separates a good golfer from an average golfer? The Scoring Zone, from within 100
yards, there isn't a good player who doesn't expect to knock it close.

This was the case at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill tournament earlier this year. On the 16th
hole, Tiger Woods drove his ball into the deep rough, where from a bad lie, he decided to
lay-up to approximately 100 yards from the green.

There he played a perfectly played wedge shot to within 4 feet of the hole, making par
and taking the lead in the tournament. That wedge shot put him in position to win the

The Scoring Zone is where average golfers can dramatically improve their scores. The
difference between a long birdie putt and a short tap-in is in playing the right kind of shot
from within 100 yards of the green. There are three basic shots from within this distance:
a low pitch, the medium pitch and the lob shot.

Once you master the mechanics of these shots, you will see improvement in your scores.
The low pitch

Typically, this shot is used when the terrain between your ball and the green is flat, uphill
or there is a back pin location.
First, take a lower lofted club, your 9-iron or pitching wedge, instead of your sand wedge.
Next, choke down an inch or two on the grip, and address the ball taking a slightly open
stance. Play the ball back in your stance near the center of your body.

Finally, pick out a spot where you want the ball to land, and make a swing to land the ball
in that area. (Practice these shots on the driving range to get the feel for distance control.)
Medium-pitch shot

The medium-pitch shot flies high but releases somewhat once the ball hits the green.
They're the shots you hit most often from within the Scoring Zone, especially if you have
water, a bunker or other obstructions between you and the green.

Depending on the distance, these shots are played with your wedges, the gap, sand or lob.
As with the low pitch, start by taking a slightly open stance, and play the ball toward the
middle of your stance.

Allow the loft of the club to get the ball into the air; don't try to help it up, hit down and
through taking a divot on these shots. (Practice these shots on the driving range to dial in
your distance control with each wedge.)
The lob

The lob shot is used to hit shots over an obstruction, bunker, etc., to a tight pin. Of all the
shots you will hit from within the Scoring Zone, this is the shot that requires the most
practice to perfect.

It starts by taking a narrow and open your stance. Next, at address, make sure your
clubface is open ... and by open, I mean very open. The ball is going to fly where the
clubface is facing, so aim your feet and shoulders well to the left of your target.

Now, play the ball forward in your stance (up by your front toe) and stand a little further
away, with your hands lined up behind the ball. Finally, break the wrists early on the
back swing, and increase the speed of your hands and wrists during the swing on these
shots. (You need speed to pop the ball up into the air on these lob shots.)

On the PGA Tour, watch Tiger and Phil hit these shots around the greens, they have
mastered these shots to perfection. With a little practice you can, too.

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