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Golf Tips in Newsday

Here's the ongoing archive of tips we have run in the Thursday and Sunday golf pages this season: 

March 24--“As you get older, you don't want to fiddle around with a swing that has been useful to you for decades. But you may want to consider fiddling around with the makeup of your set of clubs. Take that 3-, 4- and 5-iron out of your bag and replace them with 3-, 4- and 5-hybrids. As we age, we are more likely to get loft from our clubs, not our swing. And remember, anyone who tells you he plays better at 55 then he did at 25, wasn't very good at 25.”
--Michael Acerra, PGA Head Professional, Plandome Country Club
March 27--“Do you want to lower your scores? You can begin with a pre-shot routine. It starts like this: From several steps behind the ball, visualize the shot you want to hit. See the ball flying toward the flagstick. Pick an 'intermediate target' two feet in front of your ball along this line.  It could be a divot, a leaf, or a blade of grass. Address the ball, pointing the clubface toward the 'intermediate target'. Take your stance, aligning your feet, shoulders and hips, all parallel to the target line. Relax with a waggle. Take one final look at the target, and let it fly.”
--Jane Sirmons, PGA Teaching Professional, Cold Spring Country Club
March 31--“Good practice makes good golf. Most golfers go to the driving range and hit balls without a purpose. Next time you practice, set aside 10 minutes to establish your routine. I like to stand behind the ball and visualize the shot, then walk in with a clear mind, free of fear, worry or doubt. 
“If you can take your driving range routine--one free of negative thoughts--to the golf course, you will play your best golf under any circumstance.”
--Peter Procops, PGA Head Professional, Lawrence Yacht & Country Club
April 3--“In most golf lessons, the instructors will eliminate something from a student’s swing rather than adding something. They will try to stop a bad sway or a student’s over-swing. Before any of those problems develop, try this: go to the driving range and for the first 25 balls, hit shots with a short iron (below a 7-iron) and keep your feet together. You will find that the body is not moving much and you will feel the arms and shoulders doing most of the work. Your ball contact will improve immediately. Now gradually spread your feet and see if you can keep the body from getting too active. Let your hips and knees move as a result of the swinging arms. Develop consistency, good balance and tempo and your scores will come down.”
--John Schob, PGA Head Professional, Huntington Crescent Club



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