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    • 1107 posts
    October 8, 2018 11:03 PM PDT

    cre-emptive action and reduced the frequency of long haul trains between Helsinki and the cities of Tampere and Turku.


    Even though Finland is historically well experienced with massive snow falls and long winters, inclement weather may cause problems in contemporary society. On the railroad, the automation of switches seems to have made services more vulnerable.


    Some years ago VR got extremely bad publicity for delays caused by snow. The main problem was the automated Helsinki railroad yard where the switches have to be cleaned with shovels.


    Some decades ago there were dozens of men operating the switches manually and also cleaning them during the snowfalls. No such manpower was on the payrolls following the automation of the switches and in an emergency some years ago desk duty persons were sent to remove snow.


    Facing reports about an imminent snow fall on Tuesday, the national railroad operator VR announced advance cancellations. Commuter services were curtailed as well and the trains serving the Helsinki Airport were placed on 20-minute frequency.


    Ari Vanhanen, the operation director of VR, told local media that the bottleneck is the array of switches just north of the Helsinki station where trains change tracks and directions.


    Following the cancellations, the switching systems were able to cope with the remaining number of trains.


    The snow fall in Helsinki area on Tuesday was estimated at 20 cms and the current snow front is predicted to continue until Thursday. Road transit reported dozens of small collisions but no major accidents.


    The Finnish weather forecast service said that a full metre of snow fell over the sea some 50 kms out of Helsinki last week.


    The Finnish snow record was broken on the western coast in the municipality of Merikarvia last week with 73 cm in a day. The previous record was reported in the town of Rauma, also on the west coast, with 50 cm in 1971.

    " There is no doubt that the approach shot to the green is one of the most important shots in your golf game. Hit it high and tight to the pin and you're set up for an excellent birdie opportunity. Hit thin or fat and you're set up for a bogey opportunity or even worse. This is why you need to spend time on the practice range hitting approach shots.

    I see many higher handicap golfers struggle with their approach shots into the green. It's understandable as this shot can be a little tricky, but you it certainly doesn't have to get the best of you. Here is a golf teaching aid designed to help you improve your approach shots and begin hitting more greens in regulation. Let's get started.

    You have three basic approach shots during your round of golf. The chip shot, pitch shot and the flop shot. Of course there are variations to these, but we will stick to these three.

    The Pitch Shot

    This is the most common of the golf approach shots. Any time you're 50-110 yards away from the green you'll hit a pitch shot with your pitching wedge or sand wedge.

    You will want to open your stance a little more than with your other golf shots. Be sure to line up with the ball in line with your back foot. You want to take a full swing when hitting a pitch shot. Avoid trying to get fancy and hit a half, or three-quarters shot. Time and time again you will hit the fall thin or fat. To reduce the distance the golf ball travels, choke down on the club a little. Practice on the range with distances. Let the golf club do the work, don't try and steer the ball.

    The Chip Shot

    Next is the chip shot. With this shot you're not looking to hit it a great distance. The idea behind hitting a chip shot is to hit it a short distance, and let the golf ball roll on the green to the hole. The optimum way is to hit the ball 13 of the way to the hole, and let it roll the other 23 of the way to the pin. Obviously, the chip shot is used when you have a lot of green in front of you to work with.

    Use a less lofted club like a 7, 8 or 9 iron to hit this shot. Put the ball back in your stance and keep your weight on the left side. If you don't you can easily hit the ball too hard and fly it past the green. You only want a half swing for this shot, and finish with a half follow through. Again, let the club do the work and don't try and steer it toward the target.

    The Flop Shot

    I'll tell you up front; this is a difficult shot to perfect. You see Phil Mickelson hit this shot and make it look easy, but he practices for hours every week on it. When you have to fly the golf ball over a sand trap, or a small tree, etc., the flop shot can be ideal. You'll want to use the most lofted club you have, a 60 degree wedge if possible. This shot requires you to get the ball up as high as possible and have it drop down and stick where it lands. You must have a wide-open stance and hit under the ball. This shot will take a lot of practice, so don't be frustrated when it doesn't happen overnight. But, once you get it down it will come in handy on the golf course.

    By spending some time on the golf driving range with these three different shots, you will improve your short game dramatically. You will soon be hitting more greens in regulation and lowering your golf score.

    Author's Resource Box

    Terry Edwards writes golf instruction articles designed to help all golfers lower their scores and have more fun out on the course. You can learn more on how to Lower Your Golf Scores and play better golf by visiting his website.

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