Golfing with Coach Cooper

Chips Ahoy! and no cookies

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 3/31/21

MAGNOLIA POINT - With a quality first day of golf lessons, Clay Today Sports Editor Randy Lefko continues his four-part series of instruction from The Golf Academy of North Florida Direcotr of …

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Golfing with Coach Cooper

Chips Ahoy! and no cookies

Posted

MAGNOLIA POINT - With a quality first day of golf lessons, Clay Today Sports Editor Randy Lefko continues his four-part series of instruction from The Golf Academy of North Florida Direcotr of Instruction Tim Cooper with a second session dedicated to the chipping.

“It’s a very patient and focus stroke to be able thit a two foot, four foot or six foot drop shot on to the green,” said Cooper. “Driving is the position stroke to get close enough to chip up with putting the birdie or par part of finishing the hole.”

That being said, my instruction on my driving, long a question mark due to hip ailments, switched from being a bashing hammer shot with my driver with a massive point of contact to a three wood.

“Much faster club speed, less torque on impact and a little better control on the swing,” said Cooper, who had noticed that my driver swing was hesitant.

The second part of adjusting the drive was a foot adjustment.

“The key to the drive is the sequencing of the body from the transition at the top of the backswing, the forward motion of the hip to drive the down swing and the twisting of the body to face the target, the flag down the fairway,” said Cooper, who proceeded to a, hit more than warned about no drive over 250 yards; b, smash about a 275 yarder (nice), while still being a buck 30 pounds skinny mini. “If one part of that sequence is off, the drive will be affected either by distance or direction.”

Cooper asked me to diagnose why my drives were going left.

“Not committing to the follow through and facing the target,” said Cooper. “When the hip stops abruptly, the head opens. You are more of a Nick Price kind of hitter versus Ernie Els (PGA namedropping). To relax is good.”

We switched from my massive PING G25 driver to the five hybrid a sweet lighter weight club; my trusted (and seasoned) AdamsGolf GT 500 (Sounds like a race car!), a five iron that says right on the club “High Launch.” Has to be good Kharma.

“One coaching idea for the hip movement on the drive is to stand with both feet together at the right foot,” said Cooper. “We do a Happy Gilmore type step in the direction of the drive strike which gets the hip moving first, followed by the down swing and impact.”

Sounds good to me.

First shot at it. Boom! Straight, far (about 200 yards) and without hesitation.

My question was why not do that when driving?

“Your friends may joke about the step,” said Cooper.

My response: “If I hit 225 and look silly, I don’t care what my friends say.”

After BASHING a few, and I emphasize bashing, we took a short drive to the chipping range at Magnolia Point for the next phase. “The good chip sets up the good putt,” said Cooper. “It’s pretty simple, turn back, brush the grass, enough finish through to reach the green.”

After two initial misses; hit two for two at four foot, finished three of five into the basket; about 2foot square.

Then, to six foot away...”That net gets really small as you move further away,” said Cooper, as I hit two of five from six feet. Employing the step technique, I landed the final chip from six feet.

This week, play a couple of holes...Oh My ... Stay tuned.

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