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Today's word on journalism

September 18, 2008

Partisan politics:

"Say 'conservative' and they wag their tails. Say 'liberal' and they bare their fangs. More to the point, say either and all thinking ceases. . . . [P]eople hear this doublespeak and cheer. Why not? They have been taught that words mean what you need them to in a given moment. Turns out, all it requires is a limitless supply of gall and the inherent belief that people are dumber than a bag of hammers."

--Leonard Pitts Jr., Pulitzer-winning columnist. The Miami Herald, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Jerry Vonderbrink)

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Tips for Better Golf: Cure your slice

Editor's note: This is the last in a series of five columns on common golf problems.

By Josh Perry

July 23, 2008 | Getting rid of a slice in your golf swing is not easy. But there are some things that you can practice on to help minimize or get rid of your slice altogether. This won't usually happen in a day, so be prepared to practice these tips on the driving range as well as on the course.

One way to help if your swing is causing the problem is to have someone watch you hit a few balls. The tendency for people who hit a slice is to take the club head inside on their back swing and outside on their follow-through. This is called an in-and-out swing. Having someone watch for this will help you know if this is what is causing you to hit the ball the way you do. If this is your problem, try stepping away from your ball and take a few slow practice swings trying to keep your club head on the same path on your backswing as well as on your follow-through. This is easier with someone watching you, making sure you are keeping your swing on that path. Setting up a mirror behind you so you can see for yourself is another way of doing this. After practicing this for about 20 practice swings, try stepping up and hitting a ball doing that same swing. Remember that you don't have to swing at full speed. Slow your swing down and make sure you are replicating that same path swing when hitting a ball.

A lot of times when people are hitting a slice it is sometimes due to their grip on the club. First of all, if your knuckles are white when gripping onto the club then you are gripping it too tight. People who slice usually have grip that is too strong. What I mean by this is that, if right-handed, the person's fingers are on top of the club so that when they address the ball with the club, the right hand knuckles are facing up toward the face. With a good grip, the palms of your hands should run parallel with your club shaft to the ground. Your knuckles on both hands should be facing outward. Your right thumb should be the only thing fully visible to you when you're addressing the ball.

Foot placement is another way to send a ball flying out of control. For slicers, their feet do not usually run parallel with the ball to the intended target at address. Most times the front foot is open to the target at address. When stepping up to the ball like you're going to hit it, take a look at your stance to see if your front foot is pointing you to the left of your target for a right hander. If you swing lefty, your front foot would be a little right of the target. When trying this at the range pick a target and take a club and lay it down on the ground so that it is aimed right at whatever you want to aim for. Line your feet up to the club on the ground and hit a few balls. If you have an open stance this will feel really different at first but keep hitting balls. The tendency for people trying new things with their swing is to think that it feels too weird so they don't try it anymore. Most times people don't hit the ball that well their first couple times trying something new, but it will come.

One last thing to remember is to follow through with your hips. When swinging, most people either come through their swing too much with their hips causing a hook, or cause the ball to move to the right because of not following through enough, causing the hands to delay coming through the ball. Your legs should start your down swing and your hips and hands should move through the swing around the same time. Practice doing this without a ball and with a reduce swing. Take nice slow swings and make sure that your hands, shoulders, and hip all move through the swing at around the same time. Make sure that when you come through the ball that you are snapping your wrists.

Trying all of this at the driving range first will help makes things a little easier on the golf course. Don't be discouraged if there aren't immediate results. Golf is a muscle memory sport so it may take a few days at the driving range and on the course to feel comfortable with the new adjustments and to see the changes in the ball flight that every golfer wants to see.


Copyright 1997-2008 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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