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By Jon Woodroffe – World of Golf Master Professional
Wow, that was some summer. Hot and dry pretty much throughout, so it’s not surpising the golf courses have suffered. However, now we are heading into the autumn and I would recommend you change the type of practice you do at the golf range to reflect this change of the seasons.
Particularly in the short game as for a long while now the emphasis has been on keeping the ball along the floor as much as possible. The hard, bouncy surfaces have lent themselves to the chip and run, but now the greens and the surrounds are going to be more receptive to the airborne shot, which, if executed correctly, is a more controllable shot. So, get to the range and start using your pitching, sand and lob wedge to the targets. It is no good waiting till you are on the course; these are tough shots to master and a few balls from each bucket at the range will bear fruit very quickly.
Another factor of the oncoming autumn/winter is the wind, so I would get some practice at the range on keeping the ball low. Play the ball back in your stance, lean slightly onto your front leg and at impact, aim to keep the hands slightly ahead of the clubhead. Again, this is a shot that it is not great to try if unpractised. Again, spare a few of the range balls and get to grips with the technique I’ve just described.
It is shame that the golfing season is coming to a close, and that the courses will now be playing much longer, but with some preparation, you can come to terms with the new conditions and keep your scores where you want them to be.
Next week, the Ryder Cup starts in Paris, promising to be one of the most keenly contested for many years. Of course, I’m rooting for Europe, but most of all, let’s hope for a sporting spectacular and a close and exciting finish. Followed by Captain Bjorn lifting the trophy on Sunday evening!