by Butch Harmon

When most golfers climb into a greenside bunker, it’s like an out-of-body experience. They lose all sense of what they need to do, fear takes over, and a few hacks later . . . triple bogey.

The good news is, most of the mistakes I see come at address, and those are the easy ones to fix. A lot of golfers play the ball back and push their hands ahead. Typical miss: chunk. Others set up tilting away from the target. Typical miss: skull. So let’s check your setup.

First, open the clubface. That adds loft and helps the club slide through the sand. Rotate the face open, then grip with your top hand, setting your thumb on the top of the handle. Add your bottom hand. Opening the clubface before you grip helps keep it open during the swing.

Second, play the ball forward in your stance, in line with your front foot. That pre-sets hitting the sand a few inches behind the ball. The shaft should be straight up and down or leaning slightly away from the target—another key to maintaining loft and promoting that sliding action.

Third, dig in your feet a little and lean your body over your front foot. That’ll give you the descent you need on the downswing to drive the club through the sand and under the ball.

Focus on a spot a few inches behind the ball, that’s where you want the club to touch down.

Now you’re in a great position to hit the shot. All I want you to think about is spanking the sand and keeping up your speed to the finish. You’ll be amazed how your fear disappears after you see a few good ones.

Originally published on GolfDigest
golfdigest.com/story/use-butch-harmons-keys-to-simplify-bunker-shots

Enjoy an evening with the kids at Sherwood Forest!

Kids under 18 golf free on Wednesdays after 2pm. Must be accompanied by one paying adult.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK NOW!

Enjoy the range on Tuesdays at Sherwood Forest! Help yourself to a small bucket and a beer for only $8!

Enjoy 1/2 off beer with your round on Fridays after 4pm at Sherwood Forest Golf Club!

 

Give Dad the gift of golf! Sherwood Forest gift cards are 10% off from now until Father’s Day!

Get yours today!

sherwoodforestgolfclub.com/online-store/

Golf.com

Five of the most unusual golf course settings in the world

By Evan Rothman
Uummannaq
Greenland
It’s not pronounced “you maniac,” but maybe it should be. Nor is Uummannaq, a small island in Greenland, a traditional golf course; a “greens committee” would be oxymoronic, given there’s no grass, simply ice and snow, and you roll the rock on “whites” (yeah, that’s what they call the greens).
Royal Thimpu Golf Club
Thimpu, Bhutan
Talk about rare air. Overlooking the Tashichho Dzong Buddhist monastery and fortress, Royal Thimpu GC rests more than 7,700 feet above sea level and is believed to be the highest course in the world. Cows and dogs are not uncommon sights on the fairways and greens of this remarkably scenic nine-hole par-35.
Brickyard Crossing
Indianapolis, Ind.
Winning the Indy 500 at the “the Brickyard” (aka the Indianapolis Motor Speedway) is straightforward—go fast and make a lot of left turns. Navigating this Pete Dye layout, which features four holes inside the famous racing oval, offers somewhat more complex fare—and many thrills of its own.
Ile Aux Cerfs Golf Club
Mauritius
Island greens? Meh. An island course? That’s rare. Ile Aux Cerfs GC isn’t a course on an island—it essentially is the island. Reached by boat and composed of 18 holes of Bernhard Langer–designed golf, it sits in the largest lagoon off the island-nation of Mauritius.
Merapi Golf Course
Yogyakarta, Indonesia
If golf next to an active volcano brings to mind a pairing with Pat Perez after he three-putts, you haven’t seen Merapi GC throw a fit. The course is nestled in the shadow of Mt. Merapi, and when that last erupted, in 2013, dust and ash rocketed nearly a mile skyward. When these contents returned to terra firma, they blanketed the adjacent countryside, including the course. Lift, clean and place—or, better yet, just run for it.
Originally published by Golf.com
Golf Digest
The Drill You Need When Your Swing Falls Apart
By So Yeon Ryu
With two wins and two second-place finishes—and moving to No. 1 in the world in the Rolex ranking—I’m having the best year of my career. But that doesn’t mean my golf swing is always perfect. There are times when I’m not hitting it nearly as well as I want. That’s when I go back to the range. A drill I use to turn things around can help you get your swing back, too.
My instructor, Cameron McCormick, showed me this Stomping Drill. You might know Cameron because of his work with Jordan Spieth. I love this drill because it can improve your timing, balance, weight shift, footwork and more. I have a bad habit of letting my body rotate toward the target too soon when I hit irons, but this drill helps hold off that rotation. Delaying that rotation also can cure a slice, because it improves swing path. You won’t cut across the ball as much.
Here’s how it works: Grab an iron and get in your address posture with your feet close together. As you start your backswing, take a sidestep away from the target with your back foot. Then, as you reach the top of your backswing, lift your front foot up (above) and sidestep toward the target, planting that foot again before swinging down into the ball. Sidestepping with each foot trains you to shift your weight correctly. It also helps complete the backswing before starting the downswing, great for syncing things up. As a bonus, it helps you feel how to push off the ground to generate more power.
It’s going to takea little practice to do this drill correctly, so go slow at first. But it will help you get your swing back. 
With Keely Levins
So Yeon Ryu has five wins on the LPGA Tour and is the No. 1 player in the world.
Originally published by Golf Digest

Golf Digest

A wounded veteran finds salvation on the golf course

By Alan P. Pittman
June 22, 2018
Learning to play golf with two good hands is hard enough. Imagine trying it for the first time with only one hand. This was former U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ramon Padilla’s introduction, and, amazingly, it took just a handful of swings before he flushed a 5-iron 150 yards and was awestruck. “I thought golf was a sissy sport,” says Padilla, a football and baseball standout in high school whose nickname was Ramon Chingon (Badass Ramon). “But when I hit that shot, the flight of the ball was one of the most gorgeous things I’d ever seen in my life. From that moment on, I was hooked. All I wanted to do was get better.”
Padilla’s journey from Mexico to Los Angeles to Afghanistan to Washington, D.C., where he now works at the Pentagon helping wounded veterans, is a classic American success story. Padilla came to the United States in 1976 as an undocumented immigrant. He was just 2 years old when his parents carried him and his 1-year-old brother across the border in search of a better life. The family settled in El Monte, a residential area of Los Angeles, and eventually became naturalized citizens. Even as a kid, Padilla felt enormous gratitude toward his adopted country. He avoided the gang life so prevalent in his neighborhood by immersing himself in organized sports. Padilla also volunteered at the El Monte police department, where he got to know the chief of police, Ken Weldon. “He took care of me while I was growing up. He mentored me,” Padilla says.
In his early 20s, Padilla began looking for a way to repay his good fortune. “I wanted to do something for this great country that I live in,” he says. “I grew up here; I’m taking, I’m taking, I’m taking. I’m not giving back.” Padilla decided the military was the best way he could serve, so about a year before 9-11, he joined the U.S. Army. It was here that Padilla felt a sense of purpose and belonging. He developed a bond with the other soldiers who came from every corner of the United States and included many first-generation immigrants like himself.
Padilla signed up for the U.S. Army out of a feeling of obligation to the country where he made his home.
It was during Padilla’s second tour of duty, in 2007, that he found himself in a harrowing firefight in Kandahar, Afghanistan. An RPG exploded, severing his left arm and fracturing his skull. It took a dramatic rescue by the soldiers in his unit to save his life. While recovering at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center near Washington, D.C., Padilla was filled with self-doubt. What kind of future did he have? Would he even be able to play catch with his son? His therapist introduced him to Jim Estes, the director of instruction at Olney Golf Park in Maryland. Estes wanted Padilla to try golf. He laughed at the idea at first but eventually agreed. “Besides my kids being born, it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Padilla says. In addition to using golf to overcome his physical limitations, Ramon found that the game helped him manage post-traumatic symptoms from his brain injury. It was another important step toward a normal life.
“Besides my kids being born, it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Padilla says of golf.
Early on, Padilla hit way more grounders than solid shots, so he set out to design a prosthesis that attaches to his clubs. This offered relief to his good hand and became a turning point in his development. Soon he was competing in tournaments with other wounded veterans and even winning a few. “I’m traveling, meeting people, hanging out with other veterans, getting my family involved in the game. After losing my arm in battle, dealing with my post-traumatic brain injury, I can honestly say golf saved my life.”
Today Padilla lives in Maryland with his wife and his three youngest children. He’s about a 14-handicap, with a smooth and powerful swing that can launch drives 250 yards. His veteran status, connections and love of golf has presented some unique opportunities, like hitting balls on the range with Tiger Woods and playing rounds with former president George W. Bush, who painted a portrait of Padilla for his 2017 book Portraits of Courage. In the accompanying short documentary, Padilla relives the fateful moment in Afghanistan that changed his life, and how golf helped him heal from the trauma of war.
Originally published on Golf Digest
Golf Digest
Butch Harmom’s two-step slice fix
By Butch Harmon
When I meet golfers who’ve been struggling with a slice since day one, I know I’m going to have some fun. Why? Because I can straighten their ball flight, even teach them to hit a draw, in a matter of minutes. Getting in the correct positions is easy. Beating a slice is ultimately about commitment and good habits.
If you’re like most slicers, the first fix you need is in the setup. Close your feet, hips and shoulders so they’re pointing to the right of your target. This takes some faith because you’re shifting in the direction you want to avoid. But a closed setup does two things: First, it makes it easier to turn back and complete the backswing. Second, it slows down your hip turn on the way through (above), which allows your hands and arms to drop to the inside and swing out to the ball—the first step to hitting a draw.
Easy so far, right? Well, the next step flows from the first. From the top, focus on making a smooth body turn through impact; don’t let your body spin open, as a lot of slicers do. (This is where the closed setup will help.) The key is, you want your arms to swing past your body, because your trail arm will roll over your lead arm, closing the clubface (above). That’s the second step to hitting a draw.
So set your body closed, and let your arms go past you. You’ll love what you see.
WHEN IN DOUBT, BENCH THE DRIVER
There’s nothing impressive about grab-bing your driver on a tight hole if you end up flaring it into the junk. Taking a more lofted club makes good sense because more loft means less curve. So the same impact with a driver versus, say, a 5-wood can be the difference between having a shot to the green and being out of play. Hybrids are good choices, too, because they fly higher and land softer than fairway woods and long irons. Point is, don’t let your ego win.
BUTCH HARMON is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional.
Originally published by Golf Digest

Golf.com

The Etiquetteist: When (and where) should you let a group play through?

JOSH SENS
Thursday, January 10, 2019
The progression of golfers around a course is similar to traffic on city streets, replete with slowpokes, speedsters, bottlenecks and breakdowns.
The difference is that traffic on a course is mostly self-policed.
In the absence of strict laws and rigid enforcement, we’re left to follow the unwritten rules of etiquette, which brings us to this week’s comportment dilemma: When should you let another group play through?
The first commandment is as simple as a tap-in: If you’re holding up traffic, let the folks behind you pass, just as you should if you’re puttering along the freeway at 40 miles per hour.
Faster travelers always deserve the right of way. Unless, of course, they’ve got nowhere to go. On jam-packed tracks, there’s no point playing leap frog. Doing so helps no one. It can even make things worse.
Three golfers walk up the fairway at a course. Either keep up your pace or know the rules to let others play through.
But let’s assume congestion isn’t an issue (and if there’s a hole open ahead of you, it’s not), and your group is on the green, with golfers standing, arms-crossed, in the fairway behind you — the golf equivalent of flashing the high beams. If this happens once, it might be an aberration. If it happens a second time, guess what? You’re the problem. Proper etiquette requires you to step aside.
There’s a good chance this will happen on a par-3, where slowdowns are most common. The process here is easy, says Lou Riccio, author of Golf’s Pace of Play Bible: “Wave them up while you are near the green, let them putt while you are planning your putts, then let them go to the next tee first.”
If they catch you on the tee box of a par-4 or par-5, Riccio says, “Let them tee off right after you have hit, then let them move down the hole with you but at some point let them go ahead.”
Riccio’s emphasis is pace of play. But pace and etiquette are interrelated. Most golfers understand this. Sadly, a myopic few do not. They refuse to let folks through, or they piss and moan about it. Why is sometimes hard to say, though it often boils down to ego or entitlement, or, most likely, a little bit of both. It’s never too early in a round to do the right thing (if your foursome’s on the 1st tee, and a single ambles up, let the single go). But is it ever too late? The 16th tee is a reasonable cutoff, unless the group behind you is shattering a land-speed record. Though the rules of etiquette do not require it, you’re wise to let them through whenever they catch you, even as late as the 18th tee.
That’s a rare occurrence. But golf’s a funny game; odd things happen. Good thing is, when it comes to waving through, two fundamental rules should cover all scenarios: apply common courtesy and common sense.
Originally published on Golf.com