Thursday, July 25, 2002

Golf Tip from Arnold Palmer

Visualize for accurate, long drives

        Arnold Palmer is the winner of four Masters, two British Opens and a U.S.Open. He was the first player to earn more than $1million in career in a season (1968) and has 60 wins on the PGA Tour and 10 on the Senior Tour. He will play at the Kroger Senior Classic in September.

        I have three keys to long and accurate driving.

        The first is visualization, and it is the most important one to me. It is especially important to pick out a target.

        If I have water on the left and out of bounds on the right, I don't want to see any of that. I am going to focus and visualize the ball going down the middle of the fairway. That's all I want to see in my mind.

        So it is very important to pick out a target. I have picked out a small tree on the left side of the fairway. I will visualize my ball going toward that tree. I am not visualizing the water. I'm not visualizing the out of bounds.

        I'm visualizing the ball going toward that tree.

        I have picked out a target and visualized the shot, which brings me to a very important part of my swing. I want to keep flex in my right knee. This creates stability and is the true key to power and accuracy. I want to keep my weight on the inside of the right knee; this will keep me solid and stable and keep me from moving on the ball.

        My final key is simple - slow and low. I try to swing slowly to keep a nice, smooth tempo and hit a straight shot. I also try to have a low takeaway. This will give me extension in my backswing, which will give me distance.

        So it's simple - slow and low - and then hit it.

        So remember my three keys to driving:

        1) Visualize the shot.

        2) Keep flex in the right knee for a good, solid base.

        3) Swing slow and low.

        Try these three things and I am sure you'll hit the ball farther and straighter.

        More tips, local golf news and Tristate course guide

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