Q Why do all new club ads tout “higher launch?” Mid- and high-hand­i­caps like me flip our wrists and need all the help we can get to keep the launch down!

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life - ask@golfdi­gest.com or on Twit­ter @GolfDigestMag

AYou don’t need to launch it lower, you need to launch it bet­ter. The higher you can hit the ball with­out dra­mat­i­cally in­creas­ing spin, the more dis­tance you can pro­duce. The trou­ble with a wristy swing is that it in­creases the loft of the club at im­pact, which cre­ates ex­ces­sive, dis­tance-suck­ing spin. If you’re able to gen­er­ate a lot of speed with your wrist flip, a fit­ter might rec­om­mend less loft on your driver as a way to re­duce spin. That should work, es­pe­cially if you have no plans to take a les­son. How­ever, one key ben­e­fit of to­day’s ad­justable-loft driv­ers is that they al­low you to change the loft of your club as your swing im­proves.

I played in a two-per­son team event. My part­ner and I each had an op­po­nent in 18 holes of match play, and at the end we got a to­tal score based on both matches. On a dog­leg par 5 no one saw where my ball landed. So I hit a provisional. Walk­ing around the turn, my op­po­nent’s part­ner hollered: “Here’s your first ball – it’s okay.” He picked up my provisional. I hit my next shot on the green. When I marked it and picked it up, I no­ticed it wasn’t my ball. I for­feit the hole for hit­ting the wrong ball, but shouldn’t my op­po­nent be pe­nalised for pick­ing up my playable ball?

Be­cause you were play­ing an in­di­vid­ual match, the golfer who picked up your ball would be con­sid­ered an out­side agency (not an op­po­nent), and he’d suf­fer no penalty. Even if it had been a more tra­di­tional bet­ter­ball match, he wouldn’t be pe­nalised for lifting the ball. At the time he picked it up, your ball had not been de­clared lost, so the provisional wasn’t in play. It never be­came the ball in play be­cause you played a wrong ball and were dis­qual­i­fied from the hole.

I nor­mally ar­rive 20 min­utes be­fore my tee time. I put on my shoes, pay the fee, shoot the breeze with the guys, then head to the tee. Prob­lem: I of­ten don’t make solid con­tact for a few holes. Any sug­ges­tions? (No, I won’t change my rou­tine.)

Here is what you can do to en­sure solid con­tact early in the round. First, take one club more than nor­mal and swing at about 80 per­cent of your usual ef­fort. This slower swing will help you sync your body, arms, hands and club. Also, fo­cus on one dim­ple on the back of the ball – about in the mid­dle. Keep watch­ing that dim­ple as you swing, and con­cen­trate on hit­ting it only with the sweet spot of your club­face. This will help you make ball-first con­tact and re­ally com­press it.

Do PGA Tour play­ers have to pay en­try fees?

Card-car­ry­ing PGA Tour mem­bers don’t have to pay, but play­ers hop­ing to qual­ify have to chip in $450. The same is true for Web.com events. It’s $220 on the Cham­pi­ons Tour and $200 on the LPGA Tour. The US Open en­try fee is $150, and The Open is £140. There are no en­try fees to play the Masters or PGA Cham­pi­onship.

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