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Hit down to go up
Brad Faxon is recognised as one of the greatest short-game exponents in the world. In addition to being a beautiful putter, he's pretty deadly from 100 yards in and he clearly has a great technique with the lofted clubs.

One of the things he never does - unlike so many amateurs - is try and scoop the ball in the air, using his hands or wrists to flick it from off the turf. Instead, he always hits down on the ball, for several reasons.

First, he's looking for clean contact. Second, he knows that, because of the design of the club in his hands, if he hits the ball, the loft of the clubface will do the rest, and lift it into the air. Third, if you 'squeeze' the ball into the ground at contact, the energy you transmit must be dissipated somewhere, and in this instance, it's to get the ball airborne.

Firm, crisp contact is all you need, and then you simply have to practise a little to find out what length of backswing you need to propel the ball a particular distance. By firming up your stroke you may also start to get backspin., or check, on your ball, so that it stops closer to the hole.

©    25 - JULY 2002

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