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 CARLY CUMMINS
 Editor
 Ladies Golf Today

Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
June 13, 2011

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INSTRUCTION...

The Henderson Rookies 'Tips from the Tour'
Three lucky LET rookies have been sponsored by Henderson Global Investors this year. In the second week of our series of tips from the Ladies European Tour, talented Aussie Stacey Keating helps you choose whether to play a high or low shot around the greens…

High or low?
When I was a young amateur golfer I was guilty of using my pitching wedge for every chip shot around the green. Although I was incredibly confident and capable with this club in my hands it was very limiting. My coach back in Melbourne, Steve Giuliano, has worked very hard with me on my short game and versatility around the greens and one of the big keys to that shot-making variety is being able to use every club in the bag depending on the situation.

The high chip and run The low chip and run
Choosing between the high (left) or low (right) shot is key to successful chipping

So for the basic chip shot that means using everything from a sand wedge through to a wood. The golden rule he has taught me is to always play the least lofted club wherever possible as it means the ball starts rolling sooner and reacts more like a putt. So here are a couple of simple questions you should ask yourself before choosing the club…

1. Do you have much green to work with between your ball and the pin?
A: Yes – then use a low lofted club
A: No – choose a more lofted wedge

2. Is there a hazard you need to carry, like a bunker?
A: Yes – use the most lofted wedge you carry
A: No – use a low lofted club

3. How is your ball lying?
A: Bad lie, ball buried in grass – use the most lofted wedge
A: Good lie, ball sat up nicely on the fringe or fairway – use a low lofted wedge

How to play the low chip and run
This is my 'go-to' shot around the greens. I'm using a 7-iron here but I'll often go right down to my 5-iron if I have a lot of green to work with for the ball to run out the correct distance. The set-up is very simple. Keep your feet close together so that your stance is narrow and position the ball just back of the centre of your stance. Also let your weight favour the front (left) foot a touch. This will encourage you to hit down into the ball getting a crisp, clean strike. The swing is short and simple: I just rock my shoulders back and through as I do with a putter in my hands, using very little wrist hinge. Notice how the club shaft hands and arms are all in a straight line as I strike the ball. There is no interference from the hands; the club is simply collecting the ball as it travels through.

Stacey Keating - The Low Chip and Run: Address Stacey Keating - The Low Chip and Run: Backswing
Stacey Keating - The Low Chip and Run: Impact
Stacey Keating - The Low Chip and Run: Finish

How to play the high chip and run
This is the most sensible option when you have very little green to work with and you need to get the ball to stop quicker. It is also the shot to play when the ball is sat down in a tricky lie or you have to carry the shot over trouble. I start with a slightly wider stance, feet shoulder width apart. This time the ball is central or just a fraction forward of the centre of my stance. This will allow the club to strike the ball with maximum loft and get that all-important height and stop on your shots.

Stacey Keating - The High Chip and Run: Address Stacey Keating - The High Chip and Run: Backswing
Stacey Keating - The High Chip and Run: Impact
Stacey Keating - The High Chip and Run: Finish

I use a half swing, setting the club so that my wrists hinge to waist high and the club points to the sky in the backswing, and then it reaches a mirror image position in the throughswing. The one tip to remember with this shot is acceleration. Don't ever fear this shot, be positive and make this fuller swing. The loft on the club will ensure the ball only travels a short distance.


NEW GEAR...

The ultimate grips for wet weather
Ah... the great British summer returned to our fairways this weekend, with rain ruining the fun and fortunes of our scorecards. Luckily for me I just happened to be testing a new grip called the G-Rip Rain Grip that really made a difference.

The G-Rip Rain Grip

The G-Rip has a clever three layer construction that makes it feel tacky and soft on the surface yet firm to hold, helping you keep connected to the club without having to grip too tightly.

Best of all, the top layer has been specially formulated to repel water, and as I discovered yesterday, that means when you get caught out in a heavy downpour, your hands don't slip.

The G-Rip Rain Grip

The grip's inventors tell me that it is also a solution for golfers who suffer with arthritis, tendonitis or similar medical conditions. That's because the G-Rip Rain has excellent vibration dampening properties, which when combined with a larger size, will help make the game more comfortable for anyone struggling to close their hands around a standard size grip.

The G-Rip Rain Grips are priced at £8 and can be purchased from www.brandfusionltd.co.uk or by phone on 01372 373 237.

Swing freely and protect your assets!
Now I know it can sometimes be an embarrassing subject, but how many of you ladies wear a sports bra to play golf? I for one am guilty of wearing my normal every day bra, yet the Sports Bra makers at Anita Active have warned me that I could be damaging my breast tissue.

Golf, after all, is a sport, and like any form of exercise can cause damage to the fatty tissue that makes up the breast. Because of this, once it is damaged or stretched, exercise cannot help the breast to regain its original firmness and condition.

Sports scientist Dr Joanna Scurr from the University of Portsmouth discovered that a supporting sports bra prevent 'bouncing' and therefore stretching of the sensitive breast tissue by 74 per cent, compared to just 38 per cent from a normal bra.

The Anita Active Light and Firm Sports Bra is ideal for golf. It's made from high-performance, breathable microfibre that transports moisture away from the body, keeping you dry and comfortable. The flat, seamless cups provide firm support for the bust – even in larger sizes – and have a positive effect on the connective tissue.

The Anita Bra in black The Anita bra in white

In addition, the soft microfibre underbust band gives firm support and moulds to the body's contours so that it doesn't interfere with your swing, while the adjustable, low-elasticity comfort straps provide additional reinforcement at the shoulder.

The Anita Active Light & Firm Sports Bra is priced at £34 and available in black, white, hot chilli and skin colours, Cups A-G, sizes 32-44. For stockists please call Anita UK on 0208 446 7478.

The trolley to tackle tough terrain
If you're fed up of struggling up hills or across uneven fairways with your trolley then there's a robust solution.

The new HillBilly TerrainThe brand new HillBilly Terrain is a golf mountaineer's dream! As the name suggests it's designed specifically to handle even the toughest of golf course layouts. The frame is made from super strength materials that make it sturdy, while a powerful 200 watt motor makes light work of even the most demanding course.

Added features such as the three pre-set distance function allows you to send the trolley ahead – handy when you're looking for a ball, plus the frame folds neatly down into a compact space to pop into the boot of your car.

The Hillbilly Terrain is available in green or black and comes with a lightweight 18 hole battery, or an upgradeable 36 hole battery, plus a two year guarantee and costs £289. For more information visit www.hillbilly.co.uk or call 01795 473555.

New fashion line inspired by our favourite dogs!
Fresh from the catwalks in Amsterdam comes an ultra-trendy new ladies golf clothing collection from a creative company called Poodle.

This fashionable and funky line of clothing is aptly named Poodle and takes its inspiration from these agile, playful and highly trainable dogs. Since Hollywood's original glam days the Poodle is also symbolic of chic.

Poodle fashion Poodle fashion Poodle fashion

The style inspiration behind Poodle designs are less Jack Nicklaus, more Jackie O – less Pebble Beach, more Bondi Beach! Poodle designs combine high performance stretch fabrics and comfortable fits with custom prints and stylish details that will turn heads on ladies day.

There's no argyle, no pastels and no traditional polos in sight. This is a brand for women who love their golf clothes as much as they love the game and I for one can't wait to be seen strutting across the fairways in one or two of these striking items.

For more information visit www.poodle.eu

The glove that soothes sore hands
If you play golf regularly then the chances are your suffer from sore hands. The designers at FootJoy have listened to our complaints and introduced a new StaCooler glove with Aloe Vera to their line.

The FootJoy StaCooler Glove is ideal for summer as it is lightweight and breathable, with a clever Cool PowerNet mesh on the back of the glove providing a cool fit.

The FootJoy StaCooler glove with Aloe Vera The FootJoy StaCooler glove's Cool PowerNet mesh

The secret ingredient for soft hands is in the leather - Aloe Vera is well-known for its soft, healing qualities – and built into the cabretta leather it ensures your hands maintain their softness after your round.

The FootJoy StaCooler glove is priced at £11. For more information visit www.footjoy.co.uk or call 01480 301114.


TRAINING AIDS...

Tried & tested: PutterCups
I find practice putting terribly boring, so I'm always on the look-out for new ways to keep my interest on the green. Handy then I should bump into training aid inventor Nick Metcalf a few weeks ago on the practice green at Wentworth before the BMW Championship and picked up his latest clever design called PutterCups.

The PutterCup
The PutterCup
'Big as a bucket' or 'This for The Open'? The PutterCup hole will test you at four widths, from 8cm down to just 5cm - that's less than half the normal width!

The PutterCup is a very simple training aid that slots neatly into the golf hole and provides four different targets, all increasingly narrower than the hole.

The idea is if you get used to holing putts to a smaller target, the hole will seem even bigger out on the course.

The verdict? The PutterCup improved my concentration, sharpened my practice and best of all led to less boredom on the greens. They're so simple – it's genius! Everyone who is serious about improving their putting statistics should practice to one of these. And all for a modest investment of £9.95 RRP.

For more information visit www.puttercups.com

 








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