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By JOSE CALLEJA
General Manager, Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course
This week’s tip covers playing a shot with the Ball above your feet.
There are many varieties of golf courses and each is designed to test your shot making ability. Most golfers would agree that when playing a hilly course with many different lies and elevations you are challenged with every club in your bag. Natadola Bay Golf Course is such a course. You are continuously challenged with uphill or downhill shots, shots with the ball above or below your feet, knock down shots, shots where you need to draw or fade the ball because of the wind, just to keep it in play. Few golfers know how to play a shot when the ball is above their feet. The following pointers will assist you in executing this shot properly.
Choke down on your club: When you are confronted with a shot where the ball is above your feet, your club will be resting on the ground higher than normal. It’s necessary to choke down on the club to ensure the club sits squarely on the grass. If you fail to choke down, the toe of the club will be in the air and this tends to produce a hook from this uneven lie.
Always aim right (for right handed
players): A general rule of thumb in golf is “a ball will follow the slope”. So if your ball is above your feet the ball has a tendency to fly left. The reverse applies when the ball is below your feet for a right handed golfer, the ball will want to fly towards the right.
Stand tall: There is no need to address the ball with your normal posture. You are required to stand tall due to the uneven lie on this shot. If the ball is more than a foot above your feet, I generally stand almost completely up right. The upright posture will assist you with my next pointer.
Swing path: Your swing path must be flat if you want to execute this shot correctly. Imagine the ball was sitting so far above your feet that it was at the same height as you shoulders, what swing path would you require? The answer is, a swing path similar to a baseball swing. You require a flatter swing path simply because it will help you come into impact solidly and the sole of club will compliment the slope. Think of a baseball swing if the ball is way above your feet.
Lower body: From this position you cannot place much power into your lower body drive because it’s very easy to lose control and lose your balance. You will not be able to generate the same power through your swing and thereby not hitting the ball as far as you normally would with that particular club. So I recommend taking an extra club when playing this shot. If you normally hit 145 meters with your 7 iron take a 6 iron and swing smooth.
Best tip: Next time you go out practicing take some Blue Tac, a 4 iron, a 9 iron and two tees with you. Find a slope to simulate the ball above your feet shot. Place some Blue Tac on both faces of irons and then the tee. You will notice the tee on the 4 iron points left far less than the tee on the 9 iron when you are addressing the ball. So next time you are faced with a shot with the ball above your feet remember that the shorter the iron the more left it actually points. This means you need to ensure your aim is further right of the target if you want hit the green.
EQUIPMENT REVIEW AND TOUR UPDATES BY RAJNESH GOUNDON
DIRECTOR OF GOLF AT NATADOLA BAY GOLF CLUB
This week we provide a review on the Ping Latitude carry bag.
Ping has designed the 2012 Latitude carry bag that features two full length dividers and a molded putter well. The following are the features of the 2012 Ping Latitude carry bag:
If you are looking for a new golf bag with the above features then please contact the Natadola Bay Golf shop on 6733500 and we will order one for you.
PGA Tour news update
Last week’s Travelers Championship played on the Par 70, 6841 yard TPC River Highlands Course was won by Marc Leishman. Leishman started the final round six shots behind and fired a final round 8 under par to finish on a total score of 14 under par. This is Leishman’s first PGA tour win. Bubba Watson and Charley Hoffman finished one shot behind on 13 under par.
This week’s event: This week the PGA Tour heads to Maryland for the AT&T National. It is scheduled from June 28 to July 1 and will be played on the Par 70, 7250 yard Congressional Country Club, Bethesda. The total prize purse for the tournament is $6.5 million with the winner’s share being $1,170,000. The defending champion is Nick Watney who won on a total score of 13 under par.
Last week’s Inaugural Manulife Financial Classic played on the par 71 Grey Silo Golf Course, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada was won by Brittany Lang. Lang, Inbee Park and Hee Kyung Seo were all tied on 16 under par after the final round and Lang defeated Park and Seo in a three hole sudden death playoff to win the Inaugural event. She has become a Rolex first time winner and this win has earned her $195,000.
This week’s event: This week the LPGA Tour heads off to Rogers Ark for the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. It is scheduled from June 29 to July 1. The tournament will be played on the par 71, 6274 yards Pinnacle Country Club. The prize purse is $2m and will be played over 54 holes. The defending champion is Yani Tseng who won on a total score of 12 under par.
NATADOLA BAY COMPETITION RESULTS:
Last Saturday’s Open Competition results are as follows:
Winner: George Stock – 36 Points
Runner-up: Natwar Patel – 34 points
NTP 7th: Natwar Patel
NEXT WEEKS COMPETITIONS AT NATADOLA BAY GOLF COURSE
This week’s between shots is Bronwyn Mullens.
What clubs do you use? Callaway Driver, Taylor Made – 3 & 5 wood and Nike irons.
Where is your home club? I am a member of Burleigh Golf Club, Gold Coast.
Who is your favourite player? Sergio Garcia.
What course do you love to play? I love to play is Natadola Bay – Awesome.
What is your favourite hole? The 6th hole at Natadola Bay.
What shot will you always remember? The tee shot on the 6th hole at Natadola Bay.
Who are your dream playing partners? Sergio Garcia, Christie Kerr and Tiger Woods.
This was what Mrs Mullens had to say about Natadola Bay Golf Course: “We played here three times and Jose has made our day awesome. We contacted him before arriving in Fiji, nothing has been a problem. Thank you for a wonderful day. The course is awesome!”