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I'm working on fitness and full swing accuracy. I believe these two go hand in hand. My short game and putting are relatively solid and I'm losing all my strokes to penalties and counter-productive

My current project is perfecting a power fade with all of my clubs from driver to wedges. I must say that the amount of misinformation on this shot is mind-boggling (from professional teachers on down

Starting over from scratch! In 2007, I was 39 years old and at my best.  Handicap of 1, playing 3-4 times per week, practicing during lunch and after work 3 -4 times per week in addition to pla

1. Putting- I feel I leave alot of birdies out on the course.  Especially ones within 8-15 feet, I burn the edges but can't find the center.  Went to the "looking at the hole rather than the ball" towards the end of last season and it really helped my lag putting (eliminating all my three putts).  I get the feel for the speed and distance alot better this way.  Now I just need to fine tune it.

2. Eliminate the bad shot-  Every round I will have one hole where I blow up (double bogey) and it kills me and prevents me from shooting under par (one of my goals for 2011).

3. Ball striking-  Getting the ball closer to the hole would be nice and this would in turn help out my putting :)

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Right now, since I can not hit any balls outside or inside for that matter I am working on the following:

  1. Fitness - have started P90x and watching what I eat.
  2. Take away / Swing path - I have a tendency to move my hands away from my body and flip the club inside on my take away.  Trying to take my hands more inside on the way back and keeping the head more square and outside my hands.  This has really helped me setup to attack the ball from the inside and not go over the top.
  3. putting - Just rolling some balls in the basement.
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Short game, short game, short game. This winter I'm planning on putting in at least 10 hours a week on the practice greens. Also working on my Accuracy off the tee, so I've committed to hitting at least four buckets a week this winter as well. I'm working hard to get to scratch as soon as possible.

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Too much snow here for short game shots :(, sooo:

Everyday Putting in the living room: 3-9 feet putts to a small cup, smaller in diameter than a real golfhole

Basic and Aquired Motion drills at home in front of a mirror without a ball.

Basic and Aquired Motion at the range, going to full swing with all of the clubs.

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My current project is perfecting a power fade with all of my clubs from driver to wedges. I must say that the amount of misinformation on this shot is mind-boggling (from professional teachers on down to rank amateurs). The absolutely biggest misconception is that it is a controlled slice hit with the usual out/in swing. In fact the shot used by most professional golfers is basically an anti-hook shot which includes the following common elements: (1) an in/out swing (along the stance line), which is what provides the "power," (2) an open club face (relative to the stance line) at contact, (3) a ball flight which is long and can be a slight pull, slight push, or dead straight with or without a very little bit of left to right movement. Done correctly it should be impossible to hit a significant draw or hook. There are different ways to produce such a shot. Two of the best documented are by Hogan and Trevino. The Hogan method was to use a very weak grip. The Trevino method is to use a very open stance, a club face open to the stance line but square to the target line, and controlled release. The Hogan method produces a long straight pull with slight left to right movement. The Trevino method produces a long straight push with/without slight left to right movement. After experimenting with both methods, I personally find the Trevino method more repeatable and bullet-proof.

For those of you interested, I am quoting below an old article by Trevino published in Golf Magazine in December, 1979. Compared to some of the mish-mash you can read on this topic, it is a model of clarity.

Here is a simple method that will help you develop an accurate left-to-right shot

“There are probably as many different ways to draw and fade the ball, as there are tacos in Mexico I'm sure you've heard about many of them. Strong and weak grips. Opened and closed clubfaces. Inside and outside takeaways. Early and late releases. Light and tight grip pressures. But most of these methods are unreliable, particularly when you try to mix them up in your golf game.

My theory is that you should have one favorite shot, either a fade or a draw, and use it almost all the time. I favor the fade. But not an ordinary fade, with an open clubface or weak grip or outside to inside swing. Those types are too fickle. One mistake in timing, one miscalculation and the fade you expected can become a blue dart into the left trees. No, I have my own technique, unlike anything you've heard of before. It has worked for me, and it can work for you. Even if you are a slicer, my technique will help you control your slice, and as a bonus, help you hit a draw, as well.

I almost always "push" the ball. That's the easy way to think of my fade, as a push/fade to the target. Very little can go wrong: Your wrists can't roll over and surprise you with a snap hook. You don't have to worry about releasing early or late, because, in effect, you don't release at all. And you don't need to fret about a "double cross" aiming left and hitting farther left by mistake. With my method, the ball drifts to the right every time.

To begin, make sure your shoulders, hips and feet line up to the left of your intended target with the shoulders slightly less open than the hips and feet. Aim the clubface at the target, open to your body alignment.
Play the ball about one to two inches inside your left heel and start the club back along the target line. This will put the club on an inside path in relation to your body.

On the forward swing, shift your hips laterally toward the target and swing the club down on the target line, holding your release and keeping the clubhead on the target line well after impact. You should have the feeling of swinging very much inside-to-outside and in fact, you are.

"Inside out?" you might ask. "Doesn't that cause a draw?" Yes, it does, but only when your swing is inside out in relation to your target line. This swing is inside out in relation to the body alignment, but straight back to straight through in relation to the target line (see illustration). You won't draw the ball with this swing. If anything, you will contact the ball after the club has swung down and back to, the inside on the forward swing, thus putting a slight left to right spin on the ball .

So you have two big pluses here: First, you have an inside to outside attack in relation to your body. This is much more powerful than the outside-to inside swings that many amateurs use to fade the ball. Second, you have the club moving down the target line, producing either a straight ball or slight fade. You can't beat that combination.

Here's a trick that might help you understand this a little better. After you set up, imagine that there are three golf balls in front of the one you're about to hit (see illustration). For the fade, you want to hit through all four balls. This will force your right shoulder down rather than around on the downswing, with your arms extending toward the target on the follow through. Keep in mind that the right shoulder doesn't dip. That would cause fat shots. Instead, the shoulder simply swivels underneath the chin. As a result, you will hold your release, keep the club moving down the target line, and push the ball to the hole, with very little sidespin.

I have, however, encountered one "problem" among people who have tried this method. They say to me, "Lee, when I swing your way, I hit the ball way to the right. I just tell them, "Aim farther left.” Don't open your stance more; just shift your entire orientation to the left. In other words, rather than aim the clubface down the fairway or at the pin, aim it at an intermediate target more to the left and shift your body alignment farther to the left as well. There's no rule that says you have to aim down the middle. Line up for the trees on the left and push it down the fairway. It's easy, when you know for sure that you can hit the push/fade.

The beauty of the balls in a line image is that you can use it to draw the ball, too. For the right to left shot, line up your body parallel to the target line and aim your clubface at an intermediate target to the right, to allow for the draw. Then, simply think of picking off the first ball in line, the real ball, without touching the three imaginary ones. This brings the right shoulder and club up quickly in the follow through, and whenever the club and shoulder move up, they go counterclockwise as well, which closes the clubface. Result: a draw.

Try my method. You'll see how easy it is to fade and draw the ball. You'll always know where the ball is going. And in golf, there's no substitute for accuracy. I can vouch for that.

A key to hitting consistent, solid fades is to keep the right shoulder moving down under the chin through impact.”

It is a very straightforward method. It works as stated. I am trying to perfect it with all my clubs. Anybody else working on the power fade?

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1.  Putting, working on Utleys Art of putting techniques, after having tried SBST for some years without any success

2.  Solid contact, only 7-iron on the range atm, 100 meters with half swing 145 meters with full swing.  7 out of 10 balls within acceptable destination (5 meter radius)

3.  3-wood, have only been able to half hit my 3-wood after last years changes, want to be able to fully swing that club

4.  Find a replacement for my 2-iron

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Utley's method of "releasing the toe" has allowed me to make more putts in the last couple of months than I have made in the previous 12. There is no question that it swings on an "arc"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Over the winter I've fixed my grip (was too strong and hands too far apart) and worked on my takeaway. I'm in a much more powerful position coming down. My tempo is more consistent as well.

I've also worked on my wedges, 100 yards and in. My first round of the year last week proved positive in this respect. Had several short pitches to within 5-7 feet, thus lowering my putts to 30 for the round (was averaging 36 last year).

Going on a 36-hole trip to Vallejo in March and then playing Torrey Pines again in April so I'm working toward those days. Hopefully I can get a few more rounds in before then (depending on weather).

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Transitioning from my old hacker swing, to a more proper swing. Downswing initiated with the legs and hips, holding my wrist angle until my hands are at or near the bottom of the swing. So far my iron shots are taking off like rockets.

Eager to post video once my ex-fc100 arrives.

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I'm working on better ball striking and putting.

I have decided not to shave my beard until I break 100.  My last 3 rounds have been 101, 111, 108.  Hopefully I won't look like grizzly adams by the time I get there :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hiya all, this is my current situation with the clubs.

Started out seriously for the first time on 06/02 and been to the range on average 4 days out of 7 each week since then.

With the assistance of the guy that runs the range I've developed what I believe is the correct grip (still too tense though) but at the moment I am working on mainly 5 ~ 9 irons and trying to keep my left arm as straight as possible on back swing (I bent arm far too often at beginning of swing).

My through swing is far from reliable at the moment, one minute I am hitting 10 balls in a row really sweetly then it all goes pear shaped from there, it just feels as if I am trying too hard and it doesnt feel relaxed.

Thats where I am

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Modified grip-had gotten a little to strong. Working on set up, alignment, and hopefully leading to better ball striking.

Goal for the year is to get a bona fide USGA handicap and play enough to get to single digit (9.0) or at least a solid 10.

Play in at least one medal play tournament.

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