Editors Note: Each week, we receive hundreds of questions for our PGA Experts. Though we can't answer every one of them, we will take some of the most illuminating and beneficial questions and have one of the top authorities from the PGA of America to answer them for you. We are in the process of finding ways for more experts to answer more of your questions! Thank you for your support and keep the questions coming!Instruction: Gary Wiren, 1987 PGA Teacher of the Year and member of the PGA Hall of FameQuestion: Hi, I used to play golf all the time as a junior. my handicap was about a 2 or 3. Now, I've gone to college and have been away form it all for awhile. I've lost my touch and my swing. I'm not quite sure how to get back into the game. It seems that I know too much for my own good. I try fixing so many things at once that I don't make any progress. I just want to get my game back to revive the love for the game. Thanks Justin Nicol
Answer: Justin, I have a son who was a junior phenom who shot a 35 from the men's tees on a good course when he was 10. He stopped playing when he started high school to take up other activities. But as a senior he was talked into playing on the team. While he still had talent and knowledge, he had lost his ability to control the ball as well as his touch around the greens where he had been unbeatable. His story resembles yours. That the golf swing can leave us and that touch requires practice.If you love the game and wish to return to a playing level that you previously experienced I would do the following. 1. Quit trying to fix yourself. Find a good teacher to put you on the right track. 2. Practice: you can't get better without it but it must be correct practice and that is why you go for some help. 3. Spend 2/3 of your time on the short game in your practice sessions. 4. Watch you scores come down and your enthusiasm go up.Question: I am a Senior player, I am having trouble with my fairway shots. Irons and hybrid, it seems that if I am not hitting down on the ball driving it into the ground, I'm hitting way behind the ball. Either way is bad, I've tried many things and not much has worked so far. Can you give me some advice. Please don't say "sell my clubs" I have already received that advice.Thank You Jerry ArnoldAnswer: Jerry, you are suffering from a common ailment that plagues all golfers at sometime, many golfers all the time. That ailment I am calling "musclestootightess" .Rules: Ron Hickman, Vice Chairman PGA Rules CommitteeQuestion: In match play, how can a player offer "good-good" concession? This is a concession of a shot that seems to be contingent on the opponent's concession of my shot. I thought that all concessions had to be unconditional and could not be withdrawn. Please explain. Jim BoikeAnswer: Jim,Regarding a concession in match play when the player and his opponent both face similar length putts and the players apply the "wink" "Wink" rule. translated into the implied statement that "Your putt is good, if mine is also good". In Match Play events like the Ryder Cup, even well-intentioned gestures have to be goverened by rules. (Photo: Getty Images) While this might be the norm in the nine hole corporate Thursday league this is not acceptable within the rules of golf. A concession is an important component only found in match play (Read Rule 2-4) In a match a player may concede his opponents next stroke when the ball is at rest anywhere on the course with very few restrictions The most obvious limitation is when another rule would supersede; such was if your opponents ball was at rest overhanging a lip of a hole. It that case the provisions of Rule 16-2 would apply.There is nothing in the rules of golf from preventing back to back concessions but such an agreement in place would result in the players disregarding the basic concepts of the game. Player's who play with such agreement would be disqualified (see Rule 1-3). A committee who is conducting an event is not permitted to establish a local rule promoting such actions.The Concession of a match, hole or next stroke may take place at any time prior to the start or completion of that match (see rule 3-4) Remember a concession of a next stroke may not be declined or withdrawn. There are several exceptions because of special consideration detailed in the USGA Decisions of Golf Visit usga.org for more details on Decision 2-4/4 through 2-4/16. These decision support the rules and when an exception applies you will draw the same logical conclusions as the governing body.Question: What is the penalty for teeing and hitting a ball outside the tee boxes in stroke play? Steve TuckerAnswer: Steve,In stroke play, when the players score must count the rules require that a player always begin the hole with a stroke that is made from within the teeing ground. The teeing ground is the starting place for the hole (Read definition Teeing Ground)and if the player has failed to start a hole from within this defined area, then he has not begun the hole. The stroke or strokes made at a ball which was played from outside this teeing ground will need to be disregarded in the players final score. The player must then correctly begin play of the hole from within the teeing ground. The previous strokes and most penalties will be disregarded bu not entirely void of penalty. The penalty for making a stroke from outside or a wrong teeing ground is a general penalty of two strokes (read Rule 11-1 and 11-4b).When a player has begin the hole from outside the correct teeing ground (including a wrong teeing ground) the breach of Rule 11-1 applies with a very strict timeline for correction. To avoid becoming a "trunk slammer" the player must correct the error before he plays a stroke form any net teeing ground. If the breach has occured at the last hole to be played during the round, the the player make an announcement of his intention to correct the breach before he leaves the last putting green.Note: term "Truck Slammer" is slang for disqualified. This slang is attributable to one of the great teachers of the rules and retired LPGA rules official Robert O Smith.Equipment: Eric Hogge, PGA - Director of Clubfitting for PGA of AmericaQuestion: As a person who has been playing for ony 2 years what clubs should I be carring in my bag including woods and hybrids I am 64 years old and am confused in what to buy and bring Im about a 22 handicap. thanks bobAnswer: Bob,The clubs you should carry depend on your individual needs and desires with no "one size" fitting all. In general, I would carry a larger variety of wedges than most people have in their bag.I have found that a certain percentage of players tend to hit the 6 iron, 5 iron, hybrids and short woods in closer distance gaps than the shorter end of the set. In others words, a player might have a nice 10 yard gap between the pitching wedge and nine iron, the nine iron and 8 iron... but by the time they get as they get into the longer register, club distances are getting closer together. Doing a gap fitting on myself, I found that I hit the 2 iron, the 4 wood and the 3 wood (clubs I used to carry) all within twelve yards of each other. Throwing out a club (or two) at this end of the set and picking up a gap and / or lob wedge makes a lot of sense to me.The best thing to do is schedule a fitting with a PGA Professional who has launch monitor capabilities. We user Trackman at the PGA Center for Golf Learning & Performance to perform gap fittings and to help us pinpoint what clubs are needed. Look to the scoring clubs for better "gapping" in your set and adding short game alternatives and your arsenal of shots.Question: I recently purchased a used set of Ben Hogan Apex Edge irons. Included in the set were a 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and an E iron. I was wondering what the E stood for? It appears to have about the same loft angle as a pitching wedge. Thanks, jamesAnswer: You are correct James, the "E" is for Equalizer and it is a wedge. I personally like the term as I see very few players pitch with the, in my opinion, misnamed pitching wedge but a sand wedge instead.Thank youFitness: David Donnatucci, PGA Director of FitnessQuestion: What is the best way exercise your back and core to stay in shape for golf? Should I focus on abs and core muscles to hit the ball farther?thanks, ArchieAnswer: ArchieHitting the ball farther is a transfer of energy from your lower body to the club head. The center of the body "core" is the stabilizing group that makes this transition possible. Your body needs to be able initiate movement with the lower body at the top of the back swing while the upper body is still somewhat turning, then the shoulders should follow. The main muscles involved in this movement are the gluteus and abdominal and lower back muscles. You need to train all the muscle group in multiple direction, linear, rotational, stabilization and standing. You also need to perform mobility exercises for the rotation of the golf swing. There are hundreds of ways to train these areas, side pillars, rotational crunches, back extensions w/ twist, standing plate front raises, supine hip bridges, supine hip rotations are just a few for you to perform.Question: I lose my balance when swinging. There is a tip for this on the web page today, however I don't undrestand it. What can I do to improve my balance? Sal BilotiiAnswer: SalThe muscles of your glutes are primarily responsible for balance, as we age we lose stability or activation in the gluteus muscles which leads to a lose of balance in single leg standing or performing a golf swing. Performing exercises such as standing on one leg, (you can do this while brushing your teeth, combing your hair, cooking dinner or any other daily activity) laying on your back and raising your hips in the air to activate the gluteus muscles, laying on your side with your hips and knees bent at 90 degrees, keep your feet together and raise your top leg knee in the air. These are a few ideas to help you improve balance. When you get good at the single leg stance, try it with your eyes closed.