Round Three: PGA Professional Krista Dunton answers your questions during the 2007 Senior PGA Championship
PGA Professional Krista Dunton, the Head of Instruction at Belfair and Carolinas Section 2006 PGA Teacher of the Year, is taking your questions about instruction, the course, and everything else you view during the 2007 Senior PGA Championship at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort.
I have a horrible slice and recently found that if I slow down my entire swing from beginning to end, I hit the ball very straight. How do I increase my swing speed but maintain a good golf shot.
Dunton: Keep in mind, you need to increase swing speed at bottom of your swing, not at the top. My initial inclination is that your are starting down too fast and your club face opens up as you come down and this is causing the slice. You need to focus on starting the club down with a smooth tempo and increasing clubhead speed as you come down, not at the top.
When putting from off the green is it a penalty if you make the putt without removing the flagstick first
Dunton: No, there is no penalty if you are off the green, for hitting the flagstick, no matter what type of shot you hit. If you are on the green, there is a two-stroke penalty.
Does every PGA TOUR pro get to play on the Champions Tour as soon as he turns 50yrs. old. Do u have to just show up and your in? Why do some players have to qualify and some don't?
Dunton: My understanding is that this is a fairly complex formula with a number of different ways to be eligible, but here it is in the most simplest form that I can come up with. Eligibility is based on either your prize-money from the year before or from your career PGA TOUR earnings. Then there are special invitees to each tournament, some exceptions made for people who won an event on the PGA TOUR that do not fall into either money list, so on and so on. There are also seven at -large spots awarded each year in Qualifying School.
Is pulling a blade of grass or breaking off a blade of grass in the teeing area an infraction? I didn't see it during this week's tournament but a movement by one of the players getting ready to tee off reminded me of an incident. I know you can't bend, break, or pull off anything living anywhere else on the course but a friend of mine says that within the teeing area, that rule does not apply.'
You can't remove anything that might improve the line of your shot. Thus, grass off to the side of your ball is not in your line and is thus, fair game. On the tee box, it's a bit different because your ball is technically not in play until you swing at it. So you can actually pull grass anywhere as long as it is not in the line of your next shot.
One player is 5 feet from the green and another is 15ft. behind him. Player behind wants the player in front to spot the ball and move it out of the way. Is this allowed?
Dunton: Yes. You can mark your ball anywhere if a fellow player asks you - if it might interfere with the line of his next shot.
What happens if your ball is taken by an alligator?
Angela Harper, Texas
Dunton: If your ball is taken by any wildlife, it's considered an interference by an outside agency and you get a free drop closest to where you think it was.
Can you tell me why my golf game has deteriorated since my golf instructor moved to Hilton Head? Should I consider finding a new instructor or just suffer through the shanks? I really seem to be shanking the ball a lot lately.
Dunton: Sounds to me like you need to use more frequent flier miles and fly down to Hilton Head to see your old instructor. Ha. Good to hear from you Donna!