California Golf

California Golf + Travel Sept 2017

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JOHN BURCKLE has 27 years of professional playing experience, including the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour, Asian Tour and local mini tour events. He has 17 years of teaching experience with students ranging from PGA Tour players to beginners, and runs his JB Golf lesson programs out of the Golf Lab in Santa Ana. Contact John at jburckle@cox.net. GET BEHIND THE BALL HITTING IT LONGER AND STRAIGHTER STARTS ON THE BACKSWING A ll of us want more distance. The first thing we have to learn is how to get behind the ball on the backswing. Take an alignment stick or golf club and hold it against your shoulders with both hands below your chin (Image 1). Take a golf stance as if you were setting up to hit a driver, making sure your feet are wider than your shoul- ders. Notice in my set up position how my left shoulder is slightly higher than my right one. This happens because if I was actually gripping a club, my right hand would be lower on the grip than my left, causing a natural tilt of my shoulders. Now the key is to turn the alignment stick and the shoul- ders behind the ball towards your back foot (Image 2). As you turn your shoulders, be sure your hips don't rock or sway (if you sway or move laterally back with your hips, you'll reverse pivot and your shoulders won't get behind the ball, as shown in Image 3). If you do it right, you'll feel your weight load into your inner back thigh and on the inside of your back foot. When you achieve this your body is loaded into a powerful backswing position and you'll be able to deliver the club with greater speed and power, producing longer and straighter shots! 1 3 2 I N S T R U C T I O N 34 SEPT/OCT 2017

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