Steve Newman Golf

“BEND IT LIKE BUBBA” and Cure Your Slice 
By Steve Newman 
Dallas, TX
PGA Instructor

We all saw Bubba Watson “bend” his shot around the trees onto the green with a massive amount of hook spin to win The Masters.  Bubba has a great amount of imagination and a lot can be learned from him on how to curve the golf ball.

In order to produce hook spin, the clubface must be closed to the club path (SEE IMAGE ABOVE).  This will impart hook spin and make the shot hook rather than slice.

This is a great lesson for all of you who can’t seem to get rid of your slice.  If you watch Bubba, then watch how he rotates his Left Forearm over his Right Forearm so that the toe rotates over the heel of the club.  This also makes the club head travel faster for more distance.

This is similar to a baseball hitter rotating their top hand over the bottom hand.  If you played baseball or softball growing up, then think about how you would hit the ball down the 3rd base line (for a right handed batter) and make the ball curve with “hook spin”.  This is far different than hitting it with “slice spin” down the 1st base line.  Baseball swings are a great way for you to practice your forearm rotation to train your hands and forearms.

To cure your Slice, do the following:

1. Grip - make sure you can see at least 2-3 knuckles on your top hand of your Grip at Address

2. Tee up a 7-iron and rotate your Right Forearm over the Left Forearm (right-handed golfer) through Impact and try to make them touch.  This will impart hook spin.

3. Visualize and feel the Toe of the Club rotating over the Heel

4. Hit big Hooks until your hands and forearms can feel what makes the ball curve with hook spin.

5. Once you get a feel of this, you won’t need to rotate as hard.  Dial it back some and develop your shot pattern into a “Draw”

If you want to cure your Slice forever, then you must learn how to “Bend It Like Bubba”!
Lorena Ochoa retires at the young age of 28.  She will have a press conference on Friday to give us more details.  She has stated before that she would play for 10 years and retire to start a family.

This will be a major blow to the LPGA tour with Ochoa being one of the hottest stars.  Hopefully she will be back on tour in the near future.
Congratulations to Phil Mickelson winning his 3rd green jacket.  This win puts him in select company among Masters Champions.  He played a bogey-free round with solid back nine.

The next major will be held at Pebble Beech in June.  It will be interesting to see where Tiger's game will be when the U.S. Open rolls around.

The Players Championship will also be coming up in May.
This Masters Sunday may be one of the best Masters ever.  The winner has come out of the final group except one year going all the way back to 1990.  The final pairing is Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson.  The second to last group is Tiger and KJ Choi.  The third to last group features Fred Couples and Hunter Mahan.

Judging by the action on Saturday, there could be some major fireworks on the backside.  The conditions will be similar to today and will allow the players to be aggressive. 

In a twist of cruel fate, Kenny Perry is paired with Angel Cabrera.  Kenny will have to relive the nightmare of the final 2 holes along side Cabrera.

I will be glued to my television for this Masters Sunday!
Round 1 Pairings will be announced on Tuesday.  It will be interesting to see who is paired with Tiger.

Click here for Round 1 Masters Pairings
Ernie Els just won his last 2 tournaments, but may take a different caddie to Augusta.  Why would he want to do this?

Read more....
Ernie Els now places himself as the favorite leading into the Masters.  He notched his 2nd win in three weeks with a 2 shot victory at Bay Hill.  Ernie has cut down on some of his world travel and he seems fresh.  He has come close at Augusta, but hasn't won the green jacket.  It could finally be his turn.
Ernie holds a 2 shot lead with 4 holes to play.  The final round was delayed because of bad weather.  The rest of the final round will be broadcast on the Golf Channel.  

He won 2 weeks ago at Doral and I look for him to hold on making him the solid favorite heading into the Masters.

Jim Furyk posted a one shot victory on Sunday at the Transitions Championship.  He did something unique with his putter grip on the recommendation of his father, his long-time teacher.  He drilled a hole in the top of the putter grip and installed it upside down.  This put the fattest part of the grip on the bottom.  This gave his bottom hand a thicker grip to hold on to. 

He putted lights out for the week and obviously gave him a great feel on the greens.  Maybe this could be a new trend?  As we know with putting, anything that gets the ball in the hole is the right thing to do.
The USGA made a decision to make square grooves illegal.  This decision was made in response to the golf ball going too far.  This will take effect in 2011 for all players and equipment companies.  According to their tests, this will effect shots from the light rough and shots made at less than full speed (shots around the green).

They will say this is about the spin on shots and controlling the golf ball.  This is true to some degree, but this decision was also made to combat the distance problems.  The grooves will also effect the distance on full shots.  There are reports that some LPGA tour players have lost as much as two clubs in their distance.

The other problem is there will no standard testing procedures.  There will be no way to enforce this.  Some will play with conforming grooves and others will not.  It will create an unfair advantage even for average golfers.

We want to grow the game of golf and get more people playing a very difficult game.  Do we really want to make the game harder for your average player by taking away spin and distance?

The USGA adopted this rule without really thinking about the consequences and testing procedures down the road.  This will hurt many average golfers and the growth of this great game!

What do you think?