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Need more air off the tee? Here's how to max your hang time for more distance

Need more air off the tee? Here's how to max your hang time for more distance

Written by: Dave Leadbetter

Those stingers you see the pros hit on television look cool, and they’re valuable shots on a windy day, but the last thing most amateurs need is a low-trajectory tee shot. You need more hang time. Studies have proved that the slower you swing, the more you’ll benefit from a trajectory that keeps the ball in the air longer. And thanks to radar systems like TrackMan, we also know that the optimum way to increase air time is to hit up on the ball with your driver. But this notion of hitting up on it requires clarification.

To catch the ball on the upswing with the driver, many golfers find themselves swinging while keeping their weight on their back foot (right foot for right-handers). Unfortunately, that’s usually going to lead to poor contact with the ball—typically a topped or thin shot. It’s also a weak hit because there’s no weight shift toward the target.

Your first move to start the downswing should always be to get your weight moving into your front foot. But if you’re worried that shifting forward won’t let you swing up on the ball, here’s the adjustment you need to make: As your club approaches the ball, feel like you’re standing up with your hips thrusting forward. This stand-up/hip-thrust move will shallow your club’s path and allow it to sweep the ball off the tee. That’s how you hit up on it.

The benefit is that it lets you use the ground under your feet to create thrust. From there, just swing through until the club finishes behind your body—and watch the ball fly.

Source: golfdigest.com

Tuesday's Tip

7 shots anybody can rely on in the heat of competition

Written by: Ron Kaspriske

For some, golf is stress relief—a pastoral stroll interspersed by 70 or 80 golf swings and maybe a stop for a hot dog at the turn. For others, it’s a fist-clenching, nerve-racking, nearly out-of-body experience where success is often defined by getting through 18 holes without feeling like you need to see a therapist afterward. We've been there, too. For the latter, the adventure is only exacerbated when playing for money, or in a tournament, or with strangers, or in front of a crowd—or all of the above.

If you're faced with needing to execute in one of these competitive moments, but your central nervous system is failing like the Manhattan power grid on a 95-degree day, you need a go-to shot you can rely on. What’s a go-to shot? It’s one that might not make the highlight reel on a newscast or go viral on YouTube, but it’s so reliable and easy to execute that you can use it even when flop sweat is blurring your vision. Here are seven shots that will become second-nature once you've worked on them:


Let’s start with a little honesty. Most golfers lean on their driver when they need a great tee shot. You know it, we know it. We’ve got a clutch drive when getting it in play is paramount. This shot will come out low, probably move a little left to right (for right-handers), and chase down the fairway when it lands.

1 . Tee the ball down about half as high as normal.
2 . Grip down an inch on your driver.
3 . Play the ball halfway between center in your stance and your lead heel.
4 . Make a slow, steady backswing.
5 . When you swing down into the ball, feel like your chest is on top of it.
6 . Swing through impact, finishing when your right shoulder is pointing at the target.


Unless the ball is sitting up in the grass, flying it all the way to the hole might be too much to ask for in pressure situations. You need a shot that advances the ball, so it lands back in the fairway or possibly chases up near the green leaving you with an easy chip or putt. If there’s a window, you might roll it on.This is the play.

1 . Take a high-lofted club.
2 . Grip down an inch.
3 . Take a stance that gives you the best chance at minimizing contact with the rough, bush, fescue, etc.
4 . Make a steep backswing, feeling like you’re lifting the club nearly straight up.
5 . Swing down directly at the ball, but with less-than-full effort, so you maintain your address posture.
6 . Follow through as best you can, an expect the ball to come out hot and roll once it lands.


Hitting a green when you’re nervous is a lot simpler if your go-to shot is a shortened one that you've practiced. If you go with a full swing, you’ll have too much time for your brain to short-circuit and produce a wonky move. A cut-off iron shot will give you your best chance at solid contact. It also flies lower and is more accurate. The three-quarter iron shot might soon be your best friend.

1 . Use a club one longer than normal.
2 . Play the ball roughly center in your stance.
3 . Make an unhurried swing back and through, focusing on solid contact.
4 . Think: shoulder height to shoulder height. Your swing ends going back when your hands are shoulder high and ends going through when they reach the opposite shoulder.


There are a number of pressure situations when just getting the ball on the green is enough to make you breathe easier. You need a pitch that delivers every time. So forget about the low-percentage lob shot. And we’re certainly not talking about taking it in low and hoping there’s enough spin on the ball for it to check up. You need a technique that’s simple to repeat and is forgiving enough to still work even if you hit it a little fat.

1 . Grab your highest-lofted wedge.
2 . Take a slightly wider-than-normal stance, and open your body in relation to the target.
3 . Play the ball roughly in line with your front foot’s heel.
4 . Take the club back until the butt end of the shaft is pointing downward at the ball.
5 . While rotating your entire body toward the target, pull the butt end of the club toward the ball, keeping your left hand palm down and your trail hand palm up.
6 . Don’t stop the swing or your body rotation until your hands are at least shoulder height in the follow-through.


Sand shots should be easy because you can strike an area anywhere from right behind the ball to four inches behind it and still get the ball on the green. But when something is on the line, the fear of catching too much ball can creep into your mind and you end up making a short, choppy swing that leaves it in the sand. Don’t let that happen again by using this reliable bunker shot.

1 . Grab your highest-lofted wedge.
2 . Address the ball off your front foot.
3 . Take a wider stance, put all your weight on your front foot, and open your body in a little in relation to the target.
4 . Pick a spot two inches behind the ball and stare at that spot intently, erasing the ball from your mind.
5 . Hinge the club up quickly in the backswing.
6 . Splash the back of the club down on the spot you were staring at.
7 . Finish with the club over your lead shoulder. (Don’t stop short of that.)


Chipping it close when a match or round is on the line is a skill that doesn’t have to be reserved for better players only. There’s a technique you can employ that makes it fairly easy to get the ball on the green quickly and rolling like a putt. Try this.

1 . Use a gap wedge or a 9-iron.
2 . Play the ball center in your stance.
3 . Pick a spot that’s a third of the way to the hole on the line you think it would roll along to the hole if it were a putt.
4 . Take your putting grip and set the clubshaft nearly vertical.
5 . Mimic a putting stroke at the same fluid pace (and length) as if you were putting from that distance.
6 . Keep the clubface low and moving toward your target after impact.


When it comes to putting, the bad news is that you can do everything right and still miss. Imperfections in the green, cleat marks, a gust of wind—it doesn’t take much for a putt to rim out. That being said, you can give your makable putts a real chance of going in if you focus on one thing—face control.

1 . Once you’re confident in your read, set up to the ball so you’re eye closest to the target is directly over the ball or just inside of it.
2 . Hold the putter in whatever way minimizes control of the handle with your dominant hand. You just want that hand to lightly hold on. (The claw-style grip can help.)
3 . When you make the stroke, keep your lower body as still as possible.
4 . Trace the putterhead down the line of putt after it strikes the ball.
5 . Hold your finish position, including posture, until the ball falls in the cup.

Source: golfdigest.com

New Owners Outline Plans for Storm King Golf Course

goddardsby James Walsh, Times Herald-Record
April 5, 2016

CORNWALL, NY – Adrian & Donna Goddard, new owners of the Storm King Golf Club, stand on a terrace overlooking the ninth green on Monday. Adrian Goddard admits he’s more of a squash player than a golfer, but that might change now that he and his wife, Donna, own the Storm King Golf Course.

The Mountainville couple closed last week on the financially troubled club for an undisclosed price, buying it from a lender with an eye toward polishing one of the country’s 100 oldest golf courses into a profitable social venue. A fleet of 30 new golf carts are due by May 1, as is a fully stocked pro shop. New maintenance machines are being deployed on the nine-hole course, tee boxes are getting spruced up, and the dredging of a pond has put right an out-of-whack irrigation system.

The Goddards chatted Monday about their plans at a barroom window table overlooking a vista of the Hudson Valley.

“I can’t think of anything nicer than just sitting here and peering out across the valley,” said Adrian Goddard, a real estate developer. It’s a sentiment the Goddards expect others will share, giving the restaurant potential for year-round patronage. But views are merely a garnish, so the Goddards retained Robert and Blaine Caravaggi to run the restaurant. The couple, who live within walking distance of the course, closed Swifty’s, their intimate Upper East Side eatery, in January after 16 years. The chef is Neal Myers, formerly of The Palm, the revered New York City steakhouse. Between the barroom, dining room, and al fresco dining on the terrace, more than 150 people could be served.

The posh wood-paneled barroom and dining room are part of a clubhouse built just as the Great Recession gained steam. The combination of heavy debt and declining membership spun the club into bankruptcy. Pat Harding, a past president of the club, sadly recalls that slippery slope. The old clubhouse should have been renovated instead, he said in the pro shop after chatting with club professional Brendan Murcko.

“This is my 52nd year here,” said Harding, a retired IBMer. “I think everything is going in the right direction now. It may be too soon to form an opinion, but I like what I see.” The Goddards consulted with about 80 members at a mid-March meeting. “We got their input about the course, the services," Adrian Goddard said. He said the course will operate semi-privately. Early weekend tee times will be reserved for members.

“The bank did the best it could, but you saw some deterioration of the course," Murcko said. "You’re going to see a lot of improvements now.” Both Goddards said they are likely to take to the course, although Donna, a New Windsor native, said her forte is bocce. “A lot of local people have a fondness for this place,” Donna Goddard said. “They’re happy to see it come back.”

Local Family Completes Purchase of Storm King Golf Club

signMarch 31, 2016

CORNWALL, NY – A historic landmark in Cornwall will have new life thanks to a local couple – Adrian and Donna Goddard. Storm King Golf Club, built in 1894, is one of the 100 oldest golf courses in the nation and until recent financial challenges prompted foreclosure by the property lender had operated as an exclusively private club

The Goddard Family closed on the property on Tuesday, March 29th and have immediately begun to implement their plans to revitalize the club as a focal point in the community so that residents of the Cornwall area can once again gather socially and enjoy a good meal with their families and a quick round of golf on a beautiful course.

“We see this as a tremendous opportunity to provide a convenient and enjoyable recreational attraction to the residents of Cornwall as well as a high quality culinary experience in a relaxed atmosphere” said Adrian Goddard. “The golf club is rich in history, and offers spectacular scenic views from its clubhouse patio. We felt almost obligated to preserve this special place for future generations of Cornwall residents.” added Goddard.

Commonwealth Golf Group, based in Yardley, Pennsylvania who managed the golf course while it was operated by the lender will remain to continue its work in restoring this historic golf landmark. The Goddard’s have already ordered new golf carts, begun work on a professional golf shop to carry an array of golf attire and slated many other improvements in the coming months for the course.

However, Storm King will become much more than an improved golf experience under Goddard’s vision. The family has veteran restaurateurs Blaine and Robert Caravaggi and Chef Neal Myers for a much anticipated restaurant on the second floor of the clubhouse. A stylish year round watering hole, in the tradition of a gastropub, the tavern will offer a bar and grill menu, plus dining room and catering menus, all of which will utilize the resources of the Hudson Valley and beyond.

“We are excited about the opening of the restaurant at Storm King. We look forward to partnering with local civic groups and charities as well as forging new relationships within the community.” added Donna Goddard