Island News

Getting the distance

GOLFING IN PARADISE By JOSE CALLEJA General Manager, Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course player review This week’s between shots is John Hart What clubs do you use? I use Callaway
05 Aug 2012 12:47


By JOSE CALLEJA General Manager, Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course

player review
This week’s between
shots is John Hart

What clubs do you use? I use Callaway clubs.
Where is your home club? I am a member of Royal Auckland Golf Club, New Zealand.

Who is your favourite player? Tiger Woods.

What course do you love to play? I love to play Augusta National.

What is your favourite hole? Holes 1-18 at Augusta National.

What shot will you always remember? My shot on the 12th hole at Augusta.

Who are your dream playing partners? Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer.
This was what Mr Hart had to say about Natadola Bay Golf Course: “Very good – Challenging but very well presented.”

This week’s tip covers how to get more distance.
This week’s topic is probably the most talked about and most wanted by golfers of all skill levels. Tiger Woods has revolutionized the modern day game with the introduction of fitness. Other tour players have caught on to this trend of peak physical conditioning and now Tiger’s previous domination to the game and length of the tee no longer exist.
Whether you are a tour player or keen golfer it’s fair to say that distance of the tee is critical in reaching a par 5 in two shots. Imagine you are on a fairly wide open par 5 just like the 17th at Natadola Bay and you want to get on the green in two shots. How do you think you are going to do this? Most of us are probably thinking of smashing the ball as hard as possible. However trying to smash the ball causes the following points listed below.
1. Arms to contract through and past impact. The harder you try to hit the golf ball using your arms, the more your forearm muscles contract through and past impact. This is also known as a “chicken wing.” If your arms contract through impact, you are making a narrower arc caused by the tension in your forearms thereby narrowing the arc of your swing which reduces club head speed. Less club head speed is less distance.
2. Excessive left body tilt. By attempting to hit the golf ball from the top of the backswing with your arms, it tilts your upper body spine to the left on the way down. This also gets your club moving to the left and striking the ball with a glancing blow. To gain more distance you need to strike the ball with more of a direct contact as opposed to a glancing blow. Poor contact also reduces distance.
3. Hands behind at Impact. The contraction of your arms and the chicken wing through impact cause the club head to lead and the hands to lag behind. If your hands are behind your club head through impact, you are effectively converting your 9.5 degree driver into a 12 or even a 15 degree driver. This additional loft will launch the ball too high and you will lose distance.
4. Loosen your wrists. I recall a photograph in a golf magazine where Fred Couple has his index right finger completely off the grip. This is clearly an indication of a golfer who has no tension in his wrists throughout the entire golf swing. The tighter your wrists are throughout the swing the slower the club will travel.
If we eliminate tension we will increase club head speed and this is the real secrete to obtaining more distance.
Drills to increase club head speed.
Drill 1 – Wrists
You need to learn how to loosen your wrists and allow the club head to whip through at impact. The best way to feel tension free wrist swings is to implement half or three quarter swings allowing your wrists to loosen up. So think of a whipping action and allow your hands to secure the club and loosen your wrist, repeat this action back and forth for several minutes.
Drill 2 – Arms
This drill will help you to get your arms stretched out fully when you swing. This drill needs to be practiced in a controlled swing environment but not in a slow mode action. Firstly you take the club to the top of your back swing then on your down swing take the club about a clubs length past impact, then return back again to the top of your back swing. This is rehearsed over and over again, maintain the arms in a stretched position. After 5 minutes of this rehearsal you begin extending the distance past impact gradually until you begin executing the entire swing and a controlled, arms extended relaxed feel swing. Free your arms and wrists and you will hit the ball further.


This week we provide a review on the new Callaway Tour i(s) golf ball.
Callaway has introduced the new Tour i(s) 2nd generation dual core inertia technology golf ball making it easier for golfers of all abilities to generate maximum short-game spin.
The following are the features of the new Tour i(s) golf ball:
n This golf ball gives maximum greenside spin and control – the Hyper-Urethane cover improves spin off wedges and shorter clubs.
n The 2nd generation dual core construction of this ball has lower compression, creating a ball that feels and plays softer than any other tour-caliber ball designed by Callaway.
n The tour i(s) golf ball increases distance by reducing drag and cutting through the wind with a more penetrating ball flight.
If you are looking for golf balls with the above features then please contact the Natadola Bay Golf shop on 6733500 and we will order some for you.

PGA Tour events update  
Last week’s RBC Canadian Open played on the par 70,6966 yards Hamilton Golf & Country Club was won by Scott Piercy who finished on a total score of 17 under par and claimed his second PGA Tour victory. Robert Garrigus and William McGirt finished runner up, one shot behind Piercy on a total score 16 under par. Fiji’s Vijay Singh finished the tournament at 12 under par.
This week’s event:
This week we have two events on the PGA Tour. The Reno-Tahoe Open is scheduled from August 2 to 5 and will be played on the par 72, 7472 yards Montreux Golf & Country Club.  The total prize purse for this tournament is $3 million with the winner’s share being $540,000. The defending champion is Scott Piercy.
The World Golf Championships- Bridgestone Invitational is also scheduled from August 2 to 5 and will be played at the Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio. The defending champion is Adam Scott.

Last week’s Evian Masters played on the par 72, 6344 yards Evian-Les-Bains Course was won by Inbee Park who finished the tournament on a total score of 17 under par, 271. Stacy Lewis and Karrie Webb finished runner-up on 15 under par.


Last Saturday’s Open Competition results are as follows:

Winner: Neil Stokes– Nett 65

Runner-up: Vikrant Chandra – Nett 68

NTP 13th: Vikrant Chandra


  •  Wednesday 8th August – Mixed Competition – Stableford Competition
  •  Friday 10th August – Bula Friday – Modified Stableford Competition
  •  Saturday 11th August – Open Competition – V/Par.

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