Golf Lessons: Turning Washington DC

The key to attaining a solid, powerful position at the top of the swing is to properly rotate away from the ball, which should place the majority of your body weight in the heel of your back foot. Sliding laterally away from the ball promotes a weak, reverse-pivot position.

University of Maryland Junior Golf Camp
(301) 403-4181
University of Maryland Golf Course
College Park, MD
 
4 Star Summer Camps at the University of Virginia
(800) 334-7827
PO Box 3387
Falls Church, VA
 
Turfgrass Trends
1775 T Street NW
Washington, DC
 
Langston Golf Course & Driving Range
202/397-8638
2600 Benning Rd Ne
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
18

Data Provided by:
Ft. Mcnair Golf Course
202/685-3138
262 3rd Ave Sw Sports Center
Fort Mcnair , DC
Type
Military
# of Holes
9

Data Provided by:
University of Maryland Junior Golf Camp
(301) 403-4181
University of Maryland Golf Course
College Park, MD
 
4 Star Summer Camps at the University of Virginia
(800) 334-7827
PO Box 3387
Falls Church, VA
 
East Potomac Public Golf Course -Blue
202/554-7660
970 Ohio Dr Sw
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
18

Data Provided by:
East Potomac Golf Course
(202) 554-7660
972 Ohio Dr SW
Washington, DC
 
East Potomac Public Golf Course -Red
202/554-7660
970 Ohio Dr Sw
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
9

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Its Your Turn

Its Your Turn

It's Your TurnMost recreational golfers think the pros are playing a completely different game and that they struggle with totally different mistakes. Of course, touring pros are more advanced than weekend golfers in terms of technique and ability level, but believe it or not, there are some problems that almost all golfers struggle with from time to time. It’s just the nature of the game. I’ve been playing golf on a professional level for more than 15 years. Through my experience, I’ve learned a thing or two about the golf swing and can say with confidence that a rotational swing with a focus on the upper body is superior to one that features a lot of lower-body action. Here’s what I work on to execute this simpler, more consistent (and less stressful) motion.

Like the majority of players who are over the age of 35, I learned the swing as a kid with the technique of the day. As such, I’ve always had a fair amount of lateral movement through the hitting zone. For all golfers, particularly those of us who make our living playing the game, consistency is critical to shooting decent scores, and I came to the conclusion some time ago that in order to improve my scores, and my consistency, I needed to develop a more rotational motion that had less slide and more turn.

To take some of the lateral slide out of my swing and develop a more rotational move, I started working with the following simple drill that I recommend to anyone who wants to develop a more powerful pivot. After warming up a bit, I take a mid-iron and place it across my chest, with my hands crossed over in an X position. I assume my address position, being sure to keep an ample amount of flex in my knees, and bend from my waist so my chest is over the hitting area. I then make several “swings” in a row, concentrating on maintaining my spine angle and turning my left hip in a counter clockwise direction so my chest and belt buckle wind up facing the target. I also make sure not to let my left hip get outside my left shoulder.
Tools Of The Trade
After I’ve completed a few rotations, I simply take the club off my chest and grip in a normal way, repeating the same drill, but this time actually hitting the ball. I’ll go back and forth between the drill and hitting shots until I feel the same sensation during both. Try it and you’ll be surprised how quickly your turn and your ballstriking will improve.

Tools Of The Trade
TaylorMade Tour professional Michael Allen makes full use of the company’s fine line of equipment, including one of the most popular drivers, the r7 quad. For shots from the fairways, Allen plays rac TP irons, 3-9, a V Steel 3-wood, a 19-degree Rescue Dual and a Rossa Monza long putter. The forged TPs are joined by four other rac irons—HT, OS, LT and CGB—to form the most extensive iron line in the game.

PGA Tour player Michael Allen has been playing professional golf since 1989. Currently he ranks 51st in the driving distance category with a 290-yard a...

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The Turn Zone

The Turn Zone

Swing Don't Sway

Why the golf swing is called a “swing” is beyond me. It’s actually more of a turn than a swing, with the body’s weight moving sequentially from one side to another via a rotary motion—not a swinging one.

Perhaps the “swing” misnomer is why I see so many golfers try to force a weight shift with a sway or slide. What these golfers don’t understand is that, as you correctly turn away from the target on the backswing and toward the target on the forwardswing, your weight will shift naturally, without any need to force it to one side or another.

Check out the photo. Here I am at the top of my swing. The “core” of my body (where the arrows are) is the part responsible for the majority of my “swing.” As I rotate my core away from the ball, my shoulders will then have room to rotate even more—a must-do move if you want better power and control. Also, as I rotate, my body stays in pretty much the same position relative to the ball. From this position, I concentrate on turning my core toward the target on the forward swing so that my arms will follow behind my core, building torque and leveraging power in the forearms and hands. The key is to remember to turn, not slide!

Oh, yeah, if you look at my feet in the photo, you’ll see they’re close together. I normally don’t swing like this; I’m practicing a drill that I suggest you try to help improve your turn, balance and rhythm. Take a few swings with your feet together and practice turning without sliding, using your core to do the majority of the work on the backswing and forward motions. Go ahead and hit balls in this position, too. No doubt, you’ll improve your ballstriking and balance, and add more power to your swing.

Ben Nicholas, PGA, is a certified instructor at the Faldo Golf Institute at Marriott Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert, Calif. Visit www.marriott.com .

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Turn, Don't Slide

Turn, Don't Slide

Turn, Don't SlideMany players tell me that they’re trying to “load their right side” or “get to their right side” in the backswing, but in almost all cases, that player is sliding back instead of turning. The one thing you must do in the backswing is create space and an angle of attack with the lower body, which allows the torso to fully turn and load. In the backswing, the hips shouldn’t have any lateral movement, but instead should turn in a clockwise direction while staying inside the width of your feet. If the hips slide in the backswing, it will almost always cause the right knee to straighten and will place the majority of body weight in the front foot (a reverse pivot). This will also cause the torso to under rotate, placing you in a weak position from which to start the downswing. The term “loading” should be thought of in terms of the torso turning behind the ball and the weight in the right foot moving from the ball of the foot at setup to the right heel at the top.

To help feel the proper rotation and load, try placing a shaft on an angle from the inside of your right heel to the inside of your left toe. Practice by making backswings where your hip angle matches that of the shaft on the ground. It’s critical to keep your right knee flexed and your weight in your right heel at the top of the swing. Don’t be surprised if your torso feels more rotated than normal, but your arms feel shorter. With the hips turned more sharply and your weight in your right heel, the club will travel on a more inside-out path, and you’ll feel more powerful. If you struggle with slicing or an overall lack of power, this drill is a must.

The key to attaining a solid, powerful position at the top of the swing is to properly rotate away from the ball, which should place the majority of your body weight in the heel of your back foot. Sliding laterally away from the ball promotes a weak, reverse-pivot position.

Kevin Scheller works with a wide array of students, including professional golfers, top amateurs and recreational players.

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