by Bob Korth
Q. I am having trouble with the continuation of my follow through. I seem to be cutting off my follow through to early. Do you have any ideas on how I can correct this flaw in my game?
A. Yes, I have a great exercise you can do to help the follow through and help other flaws as well.
This takes a little practice to get a feel for it and some faith. Close your eyes in the slide step. NowI know this sounds crazy but it works very well. Just do this in practice at least for now. You get set up on the approach as normal, take your approach as usual but as you go into your slide close your eyes. You will not get them back open till the ball is about 45 feet down the lane. This will freak you out at first but you will get used to it. Here is what happens to your game. First you will begin to concentrate better as your ball will go in the direction of the last thing you are looking at. So this teaches you to keep your eyes on your target all the way through your approach.
Second your follow through will be longer and smoother than it has ever been before because it takes away the urge to cut it short. Third you will post at the line better than you ever have, because you don't get your eyes open till the ball is down the lane and you can't see you tend to hold your finish position till your eyes open. This keeps you from pulling up and out of the shot.
You will also find that you will not pull the ball as often. Now as I said do it in practice to begin with, but as you gain confidence you may want to try it in competition and yes it is possible. I did it for a couple of years. I averaged 226 and had a 300 and 800 series while closing my eyes. I stopped it for a few years but have been struggling this season so I made the decision to close my eyes again. It is like having a coach with you because you gain a great feel of your swing and follow through. You can tell when you turn too early in the downswing among other things. It keeps you relaxed and it is fun. Give it a try you will be amazed.
One more thing to bring up about closing your eyes in the slide step. You might ask how will I know when and where to move. You will get your eyes open as I said when the ball is at about the the break point. Watch that part of the balls position and the amount of hook you get going into the pocket and move accordingly just as you always have. You will quickly catch on from that down lane information how much of a move you need to make and when you need to make it.
Q. I have been leaving more seven-ten splits on good shots than I can ever remember in past years. Can you tell me what is going on with all these pocket splits?
A. Just because the ball hits the pocket does not mean it is a good shot. I see the pocket seven-ten as a bad shot most of the time. It is caused by either missing your mark out side and finishing too late.
A shot like this will usually end up as a weak ten pin but if the ball has rolled out it can end up in a seven-ten split. You can also leave it by pulling the ball inside and it stays in the oil too long and and results in a weak hit. It can also happen if you have turned the ball too early which can cause a weak reaction at the pins. So as you can see many things can cause a seven-ten split and it is nearly always because of something we did wrong at release.
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