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Golf tip of the week: The art of controlling distance

PHOTO PROVIDED The left arm should remain parallel to the ground and the intended target line.

One of the most difficult golf shots is controlling distance when hitting less than a full iron. First and foremost is understanding what creates distance. The lower back muscles work as a spring, being energized by the shoulder turn. Distance is increased by how much the shoulders coil the back muscles.

Imagine pulling a rubber band back as far as it will stretch. When released, the rubber band will fly its maximum distance. If you want to decrease the distance by half, you will pull the rubber band back halfway.

That is exactly how the shoulder works when controlling distance. For example, if a full shoulder turn with a nine iron produces 120 yards, if you turn your shoulder half the distance on the backswing, it should produce approximately 60 yards.

Here are some suggestions to improve that less than full swing golf shot.

1.) Before executing, think how much effort it would take the throw a ball if the distance is 30 yards or less.

2.) Never raise the hands higher than the shoulder turn.

3.) Keep the left arm parallel to the ground and the intended target line (right arm for the left-handed golfer).

4.) Make certain to utilize the shoulder, not the hands on the downswing.

Don’t forget to enjoy this great game called golf.

Rick Musselman, owns Musselman’s Golf in Williamsport.

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