The stinger fade with a driver is a versatile shot to add to your game

Reliable Shotstinger1

The stinger fade with a driver is a versatile shot to add to your game.

By Scott Sackett

Having a reliable go-to shot off the tee is always a weapon worth equipping your game with. The stinger is a shot that not only can be extremely reliable but also versatile enough to be used in many scenarios you might run into during your round. Contrary to what popular belief might say, hitting the ball low doesn’t require you to move the ball back in your stance. With the help of TrackMan, I have some simple things you can do to sting it low off the tee.

  • Tee the ball lower. Drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids are all shaped like a half moon from top to bottom. Meaning, there is less loft below the center of the clubface and more loft above the center of the clubface. One inch above or below is equal to approximately 5.2 degrees. Contacting the ball in the center and not above center is imperative to the success of this shot. Notice the dynamic loft of this shot only being 11.5 degrees and overall height being 58 feet. Had the ball been contacted 1 inch above center that, by default, would take the dynamic loft and make it 16.7 degrees––taking any chance of hitting the ball low away.
  • Note the yellow circle being the target in the first player image. Ball position is off his left heel and feet are slightly open to the target. Align the clubface at address to the target.
  • Keep your right foot (for a right-handed player) on the ground a little longer than you might normally do.
  • In order to ensure the golf club is traveling down, you’ll want to swing on your foot line.
  • The hands and handle of the golf club should be moving up and left at impact. This will ensure the handle beats the golf club to impact and the club is de-lofted.

Try it out on the range next time you’re out practicing and see how low you can hit it.

 

Golf Plate

A new specialty license plate benefits the Southwest PGA.

By Cassandra Johnson

The state of Arizona has some great news for people who like both kinds of long drives: a new specialty license plate to benefit the Southwest PGA Foundation is now available.

For $25 per year, you can support the charitable initiatives of the foundation, including their contributions to youth golf programs as well as organizations such as the Special Olympics. Out of the yearly cost, $17 of the annual fee goes directly to the Foundation, and the plate itself is a beauty.

According to Executive Director of the Southwest PGA Michael Miller, the plate design has a color scheme inspired by the Arizona state flag and incorporates an image of golfers depicting the life-long and family aspects of the game of golf.

The process of applying to be considered for a specialty plate to the plate being made available to the public took about three years and, ironically, the specialty plate is not available for golf cart registrations.

This is the 45th specialty plate offered by our state, and you can learn more or order one for yourself at servicearizona.com. There are no handicap maximums or other special requirements to obtain this plate, so let’s see our golf course parking lots full of them.

 

Youth Golf

PGA Junior League Golf increases youth involvement in the North Valley.

By Cassandra Johnson

Photo courtesy of the PGA of America

If there’s one buzz phrase we golfers have heard over and over these past few years, it’s the need to “grow the game.” We know one way to do that is to increase youth involvement in the sport. And, over time, barriers to youth entering the game are lifting.

One organization focused on increasing interest of youth golfers is the PGA, and with the support of young stars such as ambassadors Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson, they are enjoying success from their efforts!

A record-setting 30,000 kids participated on 2,500 PGA Junior League Golf teams nationwide last year, a 233 percent increase since 2013. This program is a fun, social, and inclusive opportunity for kids ages 13 and under to learn and enjoy the game of golf under the direction of PGA and LPGA professionals who serve as team captains. Ten nearby facilities are hosting multiple teams this year, including Anthem Country Club, Grayhawk Country Club, Orange Tree, Kierland, and Blackstone Country Club in Peoria.

“Golf is a great sport for parents to consider for their kids, and PGA Junior League Golf brings a fun, team concept to a game that can be played for a lifetime,” says Scott Kmiec, senior director, PGA Reach. (PGA Reach is the charitable arm of the PGA of America.)

Each match consists of nine holes, and courses are set up not to exceed 2,800 yards. Kids wear numbered jerseys and play on teams with their friends, utilizing the two-person scramble format for competition, in order to reinforce the team concept and create a nurturing environment for learning the game. Coaches can also substitute players every three holes, so that all of the golfers on each team can participate in each match.

As with most athletic endeavors, some players in the league will stand out as having competitive potential. After the regular season winds up in July, each league nationwide form all-star teams for a chance to qualify for the national PGA Junior League Golf Championship.

Registration begins in January/February for the April–July season, so grab your kids and schedule a few extra rounds with them this fall. Both the 2016 and 2017 PGA Junior League Golf Championships will be held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale in November, so see pgajlg.com for more information and frequently asked questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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