HOW TO DEAL WITH THE PLAYING PARTNERS FROM HELL
TODAY’S GOLFER DECEMBER 2012 (NOV EMBER 1 - 28)
BRITAIN’S BIGGEST-SELLING GOLF MAGAZINE
SIR NICK ON HOW HE BUILT A
– AND HOW YOU CAN TOO ■ ■ ■
FALDO ON WHAT MAKES A CHAMPION RORY’S STAT MAN ON FINDING FAULTS MORE POWER ■ SWEETER STRIKING
WEATHER BEATERS WINTER WEAR – 8 PAGES OFTESTED BY READERS ‘I don't panic on a Monday any more’ Harrington bares his soul
COBRA AMP CELL DRIVERS
THIS MONTH'S SECTION
14 Seve-designed Shire now in 2-FORE!-1 16 Poulter’s putting keys plus new swing gadgets 23 Andrew Cotter and Bernard Gallacher
FIRST TEE GEAR
THE FIRST LOOK AT
A larger clubface combined with Cobra's E9 Face Technology makes the AMP Cell even more forgiving.
Cobra's new AMP Cell woods range will turn a few heads on the course thanks to its array of bright colour choices available.
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COBRA’S BRIGHT THINKING New AMP Cell driver offers six settings in the same head and four stand-out colour options ➔
COBRA STARTED ON the road to
adjustability perfection back in 2008 with the L5V and now the latest adjustable driver from their stable is about to hit the shelves. The AMP Cell driver has been designed to offer golfers the opportunity to tune the driver to one of six different settings, all in the same head, by using the innovative MyFly technology. The driver can be set up to an 8.5°, 9.5°, 9.5° Draw, 10.5°, 10.5° Draw or 11.5° by using the wrench provided. When golfers adjust the loft, they also adjust the face angle, but Cobra’s SmartPad technology ensures the driver still sits square at address regardless of your chosen setting. Cobra have also taken forward some
technologies from previous offerings, including the E9 Face Technology and Advanced Material Placement innovation. The E9 features an elliptical face shape that helps deliver good distance even on heel and toe mis-hits and is 12 per cent larger than the previous AMP model. Cobra are one of the brightest brands in the market at present and the decision to offer the drivers in red, orange, blue or silver will give golfers even more choice and definitely help to make a statement out on the course. The AMP Cell driver is joined by fairway woods and hybrids, which also come in the same four colours the big sticks are offered in. And like the drivers, the fairways and hybrids have a good
adjustable story too: the same MyFly technology has been integrated so two fairway woods can be adjusted into eight lofts while the three hybrids in the range cover a 10° loft spread. Check out how six TG readers got on with the drivers at a special fitting day within our ‘Buying’ section.
Buying information Driver: AMP Cell driver £249; Pro version, which features six settings from 7.5°-10.5° including Fade options in 8.5° and 9.5°, £319; Off-set version £219. Fairway woods: £189 (3-4W or 5-7W) Hybrids: £159 (2-3H, 3-4H or 5-7H) Visit cobragolf.co.uk for more information.
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WHAT MAKES A
CHAMPION BY SIR NICK FALDO People said I was mad when I totally rebuilt my swing. It was tough – and I’d do it differently again – but it ultimately earned me six Major titles. This is how I did it – hopefully you can learn from my experience
first met David Leadbetter at Sun City in 1984. By then, I’d won three European Tour titles but wasn’t happy about how my swing was holding up under the pressure of a Major, so I asked David to take a look. I was big on trajectory but had a willowy action where the ball used to start low and rise, getting buffered around by the wind. I desperately wanted to win the Open Championship and I knew I didn’t have a chance hitting the ball as high as I did. I wanted to lower my trajectory and get some more roll on landing with a swing that was more connected. My arms would get steep, away from my body and everything was a little out of sync. I wanted to develop a more rotary swing, much like the modern swings we have now I suppose, to create better ball trajectory and more consistency. The real thing for me was to discover the ‘go to’ shot. You’ve got to have a shot you trust you can hit under pressure. I felt like I didn’t have that before. You flail a few around and lose confidence very quickly. David agreed with my assessment and made a couple of suggestions at the time. It wasn’t until the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in 1985 that we discussed the idea of completely rebuilding my swing. I was happy to start from scratch and do
whatever it took. I think my exact words I said to David at the time were: “You can throw the book at me because I really want to get this right. I don’t care how long it takes. I’m sick of playing mediocre golf and not reaching my potential.” David felt I swung the club on too upright a plane; the clubface was closed initially, then very open at the top and I would slide my legs and get underneath with a very armsy, handsy-looking swing. David had a very modern approach – focusing on how the body worked within the swing, how it would rotate, rather than the old methods I was used to. Good rhythm was one of my strong points but looking back, this may have covered up some of my technical flaws in my swing. It was very much a stage-by-stage process that took time and plenty of range balls. I must have hit hundreds of balls a day in the hot Florida sun while at the same time trying not to neglect my short game. We started with the set-up – getting me taller in my posture as I tended to slouch – then the backswing. We spent a lot of time trying to get the backswing right. David would always try and give me swing keys in pairs. Things like ‘back and through’ became a sort of mantra for me. ‘Rotate and sit’, or ‘cock and hold’ were others. Everything was geared ➔ TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K ❘ IS SU E 3 02
ON THE EDGE OF GREATNESS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Fewer than 20 men have won four Majors or more in the modern era. In a fascinating interview, Padraig Harrington explains why changing his coach and his swing since winning his third will help him join that feted list
WO R D S C H R I S B ER T R A M P I C T U R E S H OWA R D B OY L A N / G E T T Y I M AG ES
ero from 35. Three from six. Zero from 16. They sound like the start of a question from a GCSE Maths exam, but they are in fact Padraig Harrington’s sequences of success – or otherwise – in Major championships. They are at once fascinating and incredible. Here is a man who played consistently in the Majors for over a decade without winning one – and then waltzed off with three within 13 months. Then, since completing the hat-trick, he has drawn a blank 16 times and counting. And yet if Harrington’s record was ordinary, one would be surprised; the Dubliner is not an ordinary golfer or indeed a run-of-the-mill sportsman. He is bright, erudite and impressively unaffected by fame. He is a complex character; a thoughtful man with an analytical brain. Some, indeed, suggest he thinks too much about his swing and his profession. Harrington even parted company with his long-time coach Bob Torrance in the
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past year, seeking a fresh pair of eyes on his technique. It led to a modified swing and suggestions that at 41, he was too long in the tooth to change. But one strongly suspects if he tried to be carefree and free wheeling, the wheels would have a good chance of coming off. Harrington needs to tinker, needs to change. It’s what makes him tick. Leaving Torrance would not have been done on a whim and he would have known the risk he was taking. His brave decision has paid encouraging if not decisive dividends this year. Since missing the cut at Sawgrass, Harrington has been impressively consistent – finishing outside the top 20 on the PGA Tour on only one occasion. There are no wins, but he was right in the mix at the US Open and impressive at the US PGA. Yet with six months to go until his 17th attempt at adding to his three Majors, Harrington is under no illusions as to the task which faces him. As we discovered in the course of a candid interview, golf is a numbers game for the trained accountant who remains as hungry as ever for success. ➔
A man on a mission Padraig Harrington, photographed for TG at Kingsbarns during the Dunhill Links.
PLAYING PARTNERS FROM HELL They come in different forms, but all are seriously annoying... and detrimental to your golf. We describe five nightmare partners (are any worringly familiar?) and advise how to negate their effect on you WO R D S K I T A L E X A N D ER P I C T U R E S H OWA R D B OY L A N
Shot on location at the London Golf Club. Visit www.londongolf.co.uk for more information.
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FAMOUSLY BAD PLAYING PARTNERS
Playing with Mr Angry: Identify the opportunity that's been presented to test your own concentration and demonstrate a different way of playing. It’s vital you create space to maintain your own routines and avoid being exposed to unnecessary negativity. Avoid responding to any urge to make them feel better. In matchplay, do not assume their outbursts will have a negative effect on performance. It can be easy to take the foot off the gas to reduce their anger but make your goal to finish the game as quickly as possible – and end their obvious disappointment. If playing with them, have a chat and discuss what you can do or say that would help.
PABLO LARRAZABAL Fans love the Spaniard for the way he wears his heart on his sleeve and displays every emotion he experiences – but this can be very distracting to play with and can make it doubly hard for his partners to stay on an even keel.
You never want to be anywhere near him if things aren’t going this fiery character’s way
Golf is a relaxing game that helps us forget about life’s troubles and allows us to unwind in a calm, tranquil environment. We all know that a bad day on the golf course is better than a good day in the office. Unless you are Mr Angry, a man more volatile than an Icelandic volcano. It doesn’t take much to set him off and once he’s ranting and raving, there’s no going back.
That missed eight-footer for par on the 1st has got him simmering nicely and when a couple of average holes are followed by a wayward drive on the 4th he unleashes a volley of profanities that would make Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown blush. Angry golf is very rarely good golf and the downward spiral of poor shot followed by swearing and club abusing continues until his buffer
zone is a long-forgotten dream. At this point, you are wise to be ready to take cover at any moment as his clubs become projectiles – and sadly with more venom than most of his shots. The amateur dramatics are offputting at the best of times, but when you have to point out the bogey he made on 12 was in fact a double you run the risk of the Incredible Hulk redirecting his anger at you. Of course, none of this is his fault. That drive on seven took a funny bounce into the rough, the wind changed for his approach on 13 and that putt on 18 was tracking until it hit a spike mark. Mr Angry has had nothing but bad luck, and everyone in his group should know about it.
If you’re Mr Angry: It’s very difficult to suggest playing in a state of Zen-like calm. But it is vital to how your emotions affect your performance – as well as if it’s within the game's etiquette. Start managing these feelings so they’re contained and you’re free to take the next shot in the best frame of mind. You can go a long way to diluting these emotions by holding your finish until the ball hits the ground. If you vent your disappointment, have a point at which you stop – and are moving positively. Maybe a number of paces after the shot or your bag going on? KARL STEPTOE Karl runs his own sports psychology consultancy ‘A mind to perform’ (amtp.co.uk) at the Leaderboard Golf Performance Centre, Chart Hills.
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TG EXCLUSIVE TIPS
Hole more putts
My putting philosophy is pretty simple: set-up nicely and keep everything solid
CONSISTENCY IN THE SET-UP
SO MANY OF THE
problems people have when they putt can be traced back to posture. If you’ve just had a bad putting round, then check how you are standing to the ball. I like a ball position just ahead of centre so the club is at the bottom of the arc at impact. Note here how the shaft of the club is in a straight line with the zip on my jacket. Soft hands and soft arms help you to get a nice rhythm. Stay centred with your balance. If you’re on your toes too much then it’s easy to come from out to in and pull putts to the left. If anything, I have my weight a touch more in the heels. IS SU E 3 02 ❘ TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K
My quirky head position: I tilt my head when I putt. I’ve always done this since I was a kid so I don’t try and stop it, but I do limit it. Sometimes I’ll straighten it up, but it usually sneaks back in. Try it if you want – but it may well not suit you!
HIT FROM THE CENTRE
STRIKE THE BALL IN
the centre of the putter face. It sounds an obvious thing to say, but it is a mantra which is well worth repeating. A lot of people ground their club and then strike the ball too far up the face with the sole too close to the grass. If you do that, then you get an inconsistent roll and the ball is more likely to bobble, throwing it off line and costing you consistency on the greens. Also remember that the length of the putt will determine the length of your stroke, don’t try and hit hard, just lengthen the swing. Maintain your rhythm no matter what the length of putt.
Cash in with this quick drill: A great drill is to hit a few putts with a coin behind the ball. It will encourage you to strike the ball in the centre of the face. I like the instant feedback this gives and you should find your strike is better too.
‘I FEEL LIKE MY STROKE IS COMING FROM MY CORE, GOVERNED BY A ROCKING OF THE SHOULDERS’
WATCH THOSE LEGS
KEEP YOUR LEGS STILL
when you putt. Like Tip Two this might sound obvious, but it’s amazing how hard this is to do. It is so important if you want to be consistent with the stroke. In the picture above, you can see clearly here how my right leg has remained in position all the way through the stroke. If you have a fixed base – your bottom half, in other words – there is a much better chance of your top half remaining solid and in sync. Remember, we want as few moving parts as possible on putts; a repeating, simple putting stroke is the one which holes most putts, especially under pressure.
The wrong trousers: This is a classic error in poor putters. The right knee has kicked in as the lower body has become too active in the swing. It’s very hard to keep a putt on line if there is such instability.
STROKE FROM THE CORE
ELBOWS ARE AN
important part of the putting stroke because they can help to keep everything connected. I like to keep my elbows gently tucked into my sides and my hands very still. I feel like my stroke is coming from my core and is governed by a rocking of the shoulders. See also how the forearms match the plane of the club shaft keeping everything very solid. It all goes back to Tip Three; keeping everything but the shoulders solid and in place. Then, it’s all about assessing the correct line and hitting it with the correct pace. Do that, and you will start to hole out with confidence.
I prefer the inside track: A key is to keep the transition smooth when you putt. You must not get too fast if you want to keep a consistent pace. As you can see here, my ideal stroke is to be slightly inside as I take the putter back.
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MY GOLFING LIFE
Peter Schmeichel The Manchester United legend now has a single-figure handicap and has enjoyed success at St Andrews. But it definitely wasn’t love at first sight... WO R D S K E V I N B R OW N P I C T U R E S H OWA R D B OY L A N , G E T T Y I M AG ES
hen Peter Schmeichel returned to England to join Aston Villa he was a joke on the golf course. He first hit a ball as Manchester United's raw, young goalkeeper in the early 1990s... and it was not pretty. His years at Old Trafford did little to improve matters and neither did a stint in the golfing hotspot of Portugal. But when he came back to the Premier League, all this changed significantly. Villa train at Bodymoor Heath, and it just happens to be close to The Belfry; the famous complex doesn’t just have the Brabazon course, it also boasts world-class practice facilities and coaches. And Schmeichel can vividly remember the day when his golfing destiny changed, in a chance game there with one of the professionals. After watching him swing for a few holes, the pro stunned playing partner: “Sorry, but I can’t watch this anymore... it’s too painful,” he announced. A proud man, the angular Dane could not bear to be so awful, so he had virtually IS SU E 3 02 ❘ TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K
daily lessons, on and off the course from that point on. That was in 2001, and he is now a very worthy golfer, playing off nine. But was he really that bad? “Oh yes, my golf was hideous... I hadn’t a clue what was going to happen or where the ball was going to end up,” he tells TG from the Radisson hotel in Manchester. “I never took any lessons for a while and you could say I paid the penalty. If I had 100 yards to the flag I could hit it 40 yards or 140 yards. I had no idea, no control. “But while I was at Villa I learnt all about the golf swing and its workings. So thankfully now I can play to a decent standard and would be disappointed if I finished beyond a few yards away from that range.” Even though the Manchester United legend – one of the greatest keepers in the history – is now a far cry from the hacker of the 1990s and possesses a solid singlefigure handicap, he is brutally honest about his limitations. “Playing off nine is all right but I still have my ups and downs,” he admits. “I’m generally a bit erratic so I often ➔
ROCKY ROAD TO THE TOP EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Former knife seller Gary Christian has just finished his rookie year on the PGA Tour... aged 41. This is the Englishman’s tale of remarkable persistence WORDS KIT ALEXANDER PICTURES SCOTT HALLERAN/GETT Y IMAGES
Viva Las Vegas Gary Christian, photographed for TG at the JT Shriners Hospitals Open, Nevada.
t’s Saturday afternoon at ‘The Barclays’, the first event in the lucrative FedEx Cup Play-offs. Tiger Woods has just been announced on the 1st tee to typically raucous cheers from the galleries and now it’s the turn of his playing partner for the day to be introduced. This moment has been 20 years in the making for Gary Christian. The 41 year old from Carshalton moved to America in 1992 to chase his dream of making it on the world’s leading circuit. Nineteen years later he had still not played a PGA Tour event. Instead, he’d been competing against thousands of other aspiring pros on mini tours and the Web.com Tour (formerly Nationwide Tour), struggling to pay the bills and hoping for that big break. But now, as he teed it up with the game’s most famous golfer at iconic Bethpage Black, Christian could afford himself a contented smile in the knowledge that all the hard work, all the faith and all the doubts had been worthwhile. Finally, he’d made it. “It really is the perfect life,” Christian tells TG. “That’s why it’s so competitive; everyone wants a piece of it and there are only 150 spots a week to play on the PGA Tour.” Occupying one of these coveted 150 spots was a distant dream for the 20-year-old Christian. He was a scratch golfer playing at Addington Palace GC in Croydon. Without a plus handicap he was unable to showcase his potential in the top amateur events and chase the career he’s yearned for since childhood. “There aren’t too many people who can say they’re pursuing what they dreamed about doing when they were a six-year-old boy. My cousin used to have Golf Digest sent over from America and I remember flicking through the pages. I couldn’t believe how green the courses were, how big the cars were and every pro looked like they were 6ft 4in and dressed unbelievably. It’s one of those things I was maybe destined to do and it really fired my imagination as a youngster.” Christian and his family didn’t have the money to support a full-time amateur career, but he knew he was as good or better than the full timers he was playing against, so he made a life-changing decision. “The American college system was the best option for me and it wasn’t overly expensive because I got a scholarship. You don’t have to be a superstar to get a spot on a team and I went to a junior college which is a lower quality, but the most important thing was I played golf for two years straight.” In those two years, he impressed enough to earn a scholarship to a more prestigious college, Auburn University in Alabama. Another encouraging season followed, but poor performances in his final year meant he TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K ❘ IS SU E 3 02
BUYING ADIDAS I Tester: Mike Ridyard, HCP 5 Apparel tested: ClimaProof Storm Superfast Jacket £139.99 I ClimaProof Storm Superfast Pant £109.99 I Contrast Textured Zip Mock Sweatshirt £54.99 I ClimaLite Thermal Compression 3-Stripes Mock £34.99 I ClimaProof Wind Half Zip Jacket £49.99 I was a massive fan of the adidas gear on the whole; it was superbly styled and performed well. The waterproof suit is extremely light and made of a really soft and stretchy material making it virtually noise free and gave plenty of freedom to swing in, despite being slim cut. During a half hour drenching it was 100 per cent waterproof and breathable with no perspiration. Once the downfall had stopped the water quickly dispersed off the material and it was fully dry within two holes. The trousers are more of a tailored fit and can be used over trousers or as a trouser in their own right as the material is so soft, they have a zipped fly and zipped legs and have an added bonus of a hidden Velcro adjustment on the waistband for a perfect fit. The only issue I had with the
trouser was their length; I am slightly short, so the legs were too long. The wind shirt was perfect for early morning/late evening golf when the temperature was lower, and it also folded very neatly into the golf bag when I’d warmed up. The sweatshirt was more of a heavyweight bit of kit, but was incredibly good at keeping me warm, even if the styling wasn’t all that impressive. Finally, the base layer looked good under a polo shirt, and the fit was spot on with just the right amount of compression to ensure I could swing without feeling restricted.
Overall, a brilliant collection that will keep golfers dry and warm this winter.
Warm and dry Tester Mike loved the quality but felt the jumper could have been more stylish and the trousers needed a longer option.
BENROSS I Tester: Jake O’Reilly, HCP 12 Apparel tested: XTEX Waterproof Full Zip Jacket £79.99 I XTEX Waterproof Trousers £59.99 I XTEX Base layer £29.99 I XTEX Micro-Fleece £49.99 Benross is a manufacturer associated with golf on a budget, but like a host of their recent clubs, the XTEX waterproofs perform above and beyond their price tag. The jacket has a host of well thought-out features, such as the three fur-lined pockets that are ideal for keeping gloves and valuables dry during unexpected showers, and the adjustable Velcro waist, which proved handy for someone who is tall and slim like myself. The trousers are also ideal, offering deep pockets to stop tees and ball markers escaping and an elastic waist allowing them to be pulled over your trousers quickly when the heavens open. Performance-wise, the adjustable cuffs, waists and hems give the suit a premium feel, while the breathable material is, as you would expect, completely waterproof.
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I was also impressed by the way the suit 'uncreased' itself, having been thrown in my golf bag for weeks. The only place the XTEX range really fell down was the styling, which struggles to match market leaders such as Galvin Green and adidas. The black and grey trim jacket is rather dull and isn’t helped by the uncomplimentary bright red zips. The jacket also features a strangely placed pocket at the back, which is presumably designed to keep bulky items out of the way during your downswing. It’s a clever idea, but not very practical if you are trying to access things quickly in the rain.
Aesthetic downfalls aside, Benross have produced a quality suit at a great price.
Value for money TG tester Jake was full of praise for the quality of Benross’ XTEX range but would have liked a more premium look to the styling.
FOOTJOY I Tester: Alex Norford, HCP 6 Apparel tested: FJ Performance Base layer Mock £35 I DJ LT Performance Rainshirt £105 I DJ LT Rain Trousers £82.50 I FJ Performance Short Sleeve windshirt £45 I FJ Chillout Pullover £60 Invariably wet weather also means cold conditions and the need for plenty of layers, so as well as apparel that keeps me dry, I wanted something that was light and nonrestrictive. Thankfully the FootJoy suit ticks the boxes. The trousers have enough room so they can easily slip on while on the course and the pockets are deep, which is important for tee pegs and gloves – as well as mittens during those chilly winter rounds. The jacket is lightweight, easily tightened and also benefits from roomy pockets. Both the trousers and jacket have everything you’d expect from a leading manufacturer - adjustable cuffs, zippers on the ankles for ease of use, and a decent amount of warmth. The one downside for me, however, was the jacket’s half zip – not ideal if you need to get it on in a hurry when
the heavens open and I'd always prefer a full zip. Another important factor, especially for those of us who still carry our own clubs and fill our bag pockets with waterproofs, is size and weight. Thankfully the FJ items all rolled up neatly and didn’t add too much to the load. During testing, I also liked the windshirt, especially as it had lessrestrictive short sleeves, and the base layer, which maintained warmth without hindering my swing. Overall I really liked the design and aesthetics of the apparel, which will definitely appeal to younger golfers.
Premium gear from a premium firm. Lightweight, stylish and did a good job.
Light and stylish The half-zip option failed to win Alex over, but he was impressed by the quality and youthful styling of the FootJoy apparel.
GALVIN GREEN I Tester: James Ridyard, HCP Pro Apparel tested: Astor GORE-TEX stretch jacket £299 I Aquila GORE-TEX Paclite stretch trousers £299 I Burns WINDSTOPPER jacket £199 I Donovan INSULA pullover £109 I Merwin VENTIL8 golf shirt £89 I Edge SKINTIGHT Compression 10° long sleeve £69 I Elmo SKINTIGHT Compression 10° leggings £69 I’ve got a few bits of Galvin Green gear in my golfing wardrobe already, so I suspected the outerwear would be pretty good – I was wrong, it was magnificent. I normally have issues with waterproof jackets, primarily because the sleeves always seem to be too long for the size of the body – not with the Astor, it was spot on. It was pretty quiet too and I loved the styling. Wearing it one day we were actually called off the course because of the rain on the greens, and while my playing partners were drenched, I emerged bone dry. The water just beads off the material effortlessly. The windstopper also performed well. I was a bit sceptical at first, because I wasn’t really sure if it would be any better than a regular jumper,
but I was so wrong. The pullover has obviously been worn on the golf course and to the range, but I’ve also worn it out to the pub and the supermarket because although it’s obviously golf gear, it is so stylish you can wear it pretty much anywhere. The final tick in the box comes for the compression gear – I’ve been convinced of the benefits of the top for a while, but was never sure if the leggings would have a similar effect. But they did, and although it felt a bit odd putting them on, I was glad I had them on a bitterly cold morning round.
It’s expensive but unbeatable. Well worth the outlay if you’re a serious player.
Worth the price The Astor jacket did a top job in testing conditions, while the compression gear ensured a pleasurable round on a cold morning.
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TECHNIQUE RELAXED SET-UP
Golfers who push the club into the ground at set-up will often have excessive tension at address, leading to a snatchy takeaway that gets out of line quickly and restricts a full turn of the shoulders.
This position is a sign that there’s still some torque in the swing and the shoulders are still trying to catch up with the turning of the hips, thus passing the power along the links in a much more dynamic chain.
THE SIMPLE ROUTE TO MORE POWER ADRIAN FRYER ADVOCATES THREE WAYS TO GET YOUR CLUBHEAD MOVING WITH MORE FREEDOM THROUGH IMPACT – AND GAIN EXTRA YARDS
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A balanced finish is a result of the clubhead being released at the correct time and then freewheeling into an on plane follow-through.
Too often, golfers can become too focused on the technical aspect of creating power and forget about the simple movement of the clubhead, which needs to be moving at its fastest at impact in order to reach your distance potential. Never underestimate the importance of setting up and swinging in a way where the arms are relaxed and the clubhead able to move freely. This, with a bit of practice, will go a long way to increasing clubhead speed. Here are three ways to get your clubhead moving with freedom.
1. RELIEVE TENSION AT ADDRESS Stand tall in your set-up position and hover the club with the arms nice and relaxed. This posture encourages a fuller, flatter shoulder turn but also allows the bigger muscles to take the club away and ‘freewheel’ the club behind you into a flatter backswing position. 2. HIPS LEVEL AND OPEN AT IMPACT At impact, two signs of a power hitter are the hips being fairly level while the shoulders are
steeper and turning under. The hips supply the rotary speed while the shoulders moving down the plane have this appearance because their orientation gets the club swinging on the correct path rather than coming over the top of the ball. 3. FREEWHEELING FINISH In the follow-through, allow the club to freewheel and the left arm to fold. This ‘re-hinge’ is another control of power because it encourages the radial acceleration of the club through impact. TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K ❘ IS SU E 3 02
PLAYING Faldo’s favourite Sir Nick’s new Elea course has added to Cyprus' terrific portfolio.
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A European destination which can offer yearround golf in the sunshine ➔
CYPRUS' GREAT ADVANTAGE
is the weather. Holidaymakers – including lots of golfers – take full advantage of 320 days of sunshine a year... with an average temperature of around 24C. Indeed, it is the country in Europe which can lay claim with most authority to describing itself as a yearround destination. In addition to the weather, Cyprus boasts gorgeous beaches, stunning scenery and sumptuous accommodation – such as Aphrodite Hills and Amathus Beach Hotel. And all just over four hours’ flight time away. One of the Mediterranean island’s chief golfing attractions is Aphrodite Hills. With a five-star hotel and a thrilling course, there’s plenty of love for this classy resort. There are some sensational holes, with the par-3 7th – the tee is on a narrow ledge on one side of a gaping ravine with the green perched on the other – the signature. The relatively new Nick Faldodesigned Elea is another top-drawer venue, majestically weaving through groves of mature Carob trees. Both venues are within short drives of Paphos airport and so is Secret Valley as well as the tight but tricky Minthis Hills (formerly Tsada) which opened nearly 20 years ago. Secret Valley sits in the next valley to Aphrodite Hills and has gone up a notch following a thorough upgrade. CYPRUS FACTFILE Travel info: Fly to Paphos from Gatwick, Luton and Manchester (easyJet) or Stansted (Ryanair). From £145. Green fees: Range from £37 at Secret Valley to just over £70 at Aphrodite Hills. Give it a try: Seven nights’ half-board at Amathus Beach Hotel (double room) and four green fees at Elea GC, car hire and use of sauna. Valid December 1 to 31. Costs £587per person. To book, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K ❘ IS SU E 3 02