Improve Your Game with Harford Golf Tip Corner! 

Target Awareness

Every spring as a Teaching Professional I see hundreds of golfers, new and experienced coming out to practice without actually choosing a target. One of things golfers have to realize is that golf is all about targets. From the moment you step on a tee to hit a drive all the way to the green you have to aim your clubface and align your body correctly to be able to score with any consistency. The easiest thing to do is start with short irons such as a wedge and focus on a target that is close and easy to monitor your clubface aim and your body alignment. It is easier to check the clubface aim by having a friend or professional stand behind the clubface and also to the side and check that it is square of perpendicular to the target line. This is the imaginary line that runs through the ball and extends all the way to the target you are trying to hit. As far as the body alignment goes you must have your feet, knees, hips, shoulders and eyes aligned parallel left of the actual target line. Obviously, it is the opposite for the left hand golfer, parallel right of the target line. Most golfers (right hand) tend to line up with their bodies way right of the target line. The reason is that golfers are unfortunately standing to the side of the golf ball which makes the eyes view the target from an angle and then they shift their bodies accordingly to match what their eyes see. The best way to check this parallel alignment is to get a couple of plastic snow rods from Home Depot or Lowes and leave them in your golf bag to lie on the ground to identify the target line. Lay one just outside the imaginary target line where the club wonít contact it when you swing and then get into your stance and put another rod behind your heels and then check the parallel model to see if your are aligning your feet properly with the intended target line. Once this is done then get into your stance and posture and take your club and bring it up to your shoulders and see if they are aligned with your feet. Once this is done you should be ready to make your swing with the assurance that you have your body aimed correctly and knowing that this greatly improves your chances of swinging the club in the direction of the target. Again, the game is all about targets and controlling your golf ball. Once aimed and aligned properly you have just improved your chances greatly of hitting your target and scoring better.

Jay Perkins, PGA Professional
Bel Air Golf Center
Kingsville, Md.

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Tips from the Pro - Improve your Game as you start the Season  

As we start a new golf season, most of us look for ways to either improve or maintain our current game level. My strongest suggestion if you are not already doing so, keep track of your statistics - how many fairways, greens you hit, and how many putts it takes to hole out. This information is extremely important, without this information, we tend to practice what we are either already good at or what we attach the most emotion too. It never ceases to amaze me how many people continue practicing with their driver more than all other clubs when driving is only 20% of the game.

If you find keeping statistics too time consuming or difficult, I suggest you practice the way the pros do: Devote the percentage of your practice time to the same proportion that element of the game occupies. For example letís say you are going to devote 100 minutes to practice a week. Putting is 40% of the game so you should practice putting 40 minutes; Driving is 20% devote 20 minutes; Irons are 20% devote 20 minutes; Short game and trouble shots 20% again 20 minutes.

We all have busy schedules these days, however, these simple tips will help you maximize your practice time and lower your scores.

Dave Correll, PGA
PGA Professional
The Courses at Aberdeen Proving Ground
APG MD 21005

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Choosing the Correct Hybrid 

I am often asked the question, "Which hybrid should I use to replace my three or four iron?" I prefer to answer this question by saying it often depends on what you're trying to achieve. For example, are you trying to gain more distance, hit the ball higher or have a more forgiving club? Or, is it that you simply cannot hit your three and four iron?

There is no question that hybrids are easier to hit than long irons. However, not all hybrids are created the same. Some hybrids play more like irons, whereas other hybrids play more like fairway woods. For instance, the Adams and Nickent hybrids play like irons, whereas Callaway hybrids (because of their face progression) tend to play more like woods.

If you're finding it difficult to hit the ball out of the rough, you may want to get a hybrid similiar to a Callaway that gets the ball up quickly. If you're having trouble on long par threes and like to have a club which has more forgiveness and control than your current three and four irons, then possibly a product like an Adams hybrid would be more suitable for you. Don't be surprised if you hit your shortest hybrid substantially longer than your longest iron. A solution to this I have found to be useful for many players is to add extra tape under the lower part of the golf grip, making it thicker and easier to choke down on. This will allow you to make one club into two by changing the length of the shaft.

Even though hybrid clubs are easier to hit than long irons, they are still going to require some time on the range to become familiar with the characteristics of each club. A golf lesson with your new hybrids is always invaluable.

Dave Correll
Golf Professional
Ruggles Golf Course
APG MD 21005
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Bulle Rock & The LPGA Championship 

Bulle Rock is again preparing for the LPGA Championship which will be held June 2nd through the 8th. After enjoying great course conditions through last year the course has come through the winter better than ever. Preparations continue as we wait to welcome the LPGA back. Suzann Pettersen last year's champion who defeated Karrie Webb by one stroke and Lorena Ochoa by six will return to defend her title.

Lorena appears capable of becoming the first player on the PGA or LPGA tours to win four pro majors in the same season. Her win at the Corona marked her fourth win in five events this year by a combined 34 shots. Included was a victory in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the year's first major. Ochoa earned her first major title in last year's Women's British Open

When asked if she could win all four majors this year, the former University of Arizona star simply replied, "Yes." Ochoa has become the longest hitter on the LPGA Tour, averaging 279.6 yards off the tee, 9 yards longer than last year. She leads the LPGA in nearly every major statistical category, including a career-best scoring average of 68.

Don't miss out on what is to be one of the most exciting championships since the LPGA Championship moved to Bulle Rock.

Ticket/Pro Am/Volunteer Info: Toll Free Information /Tournament Office: 1-888-321-1681 or on the tournament website

Tournament Hotline: 1-877-776-5742
Bulle Rock 410-939-8887 or

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