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!
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.