When golfers think our region, the obstacles that spring to mind are the wind, cold, rolling hills, tree-lined fairways, and sloping greens. A golfer must negotiate these factors–sometimes all in one round–in order to score.
Up, Down, and Around
Glenn Kelly, head professional at Woods Hole Golf Club, stresses the importance of learning to play uneven lies. “The only flat lie at Woods Hole is the dance floor,” he jokes. “We should call this place Woods Hills.”
Kelly regularly takes new members onto the rolling fairways of Woods Hole to teach them the ins and outs of hitting off uphill, downhill, and sidehill lies. Hitting from an uphill lie requires taking one extra club, moving the ball opposite the higher-elevated foot, and aiming slightly right (caviat: This is for a right-handed golfer). The opposite approach is taken on a downhill lie. When the ball is above your feet, choke down on the club, and when you make contact the ball will spin from right to left. When it is below, choke back, and the ball will curve from left to right.
Bob Miller, head pro at The Golf Club at Yarmouthport, has become a proponent of the “Stack and Tilt” golf swing, which has become popular in recent years. This method requires golfers to keep their head centered on the swing, to place more weight on their left side and to reduce their lateral weight shift to the right. “In other words, don’t sway to the right,” he says.
Miller suggests golfers place their head against a door casing and try to make a rotary golf swing. “You will feel your weight start turning to your left.”
He compares the swing to soccer-style field goal kickers who approach the football from the side. “They create more speed by swinging the foot in a circle,” he says. “It’s the same thing with the golf swing. It’s called angular momentum. If you can swing the club more around your body, instead of straight back and upright, you will pick up clubhead speed and distance.”
And maybe you’ll even begin breaking 80.