RICK SMITH

Your hero shot over wa­ter goes skip, skip– sink

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents -

Over­com­ing your fear of hit­ting shots over wa­ter.

You’ve just hit a great drive on a par 5, and now you have a choice: Play a medium iron safely up the fair­way, short of a wa­ter hazard, or blast a fair­way wood over it.

Let’s say it’s a 200-me­tre carry. That might be a stretch, but the ball is sit­ting up so nice.You think, What to do? You grab your 3-wood and whale away. But you catch it a lit­tle thin, and the ball skips across the wa­ter a cou­ple times – then down it goes.

When you’re fac­ing a long wa­ter carry, you’ll tend to tighten up. A short, fast swing is the typ­i­cal re­sult. Be­ware of tak­ing a stran­gle­hold on the club, tight­en­ing the wrists, which sets up an in­com­plete back­swing. It’s hard to hit it solid from there.

In­stead, fo­cus on main­tain­ing a smooth se­quence back and through with the arms mov­ing in sync with the body. And don’t try to help the ball up. That only leads to a scoop­ing ac­tion by the hands or hang­ing back with the body. Do ei­ther of those, and you’re swim­ming with the shes.

Make one con­fi­dent prac­tice swing, brush­ing the grass and stay­ing bal­anced all the way. Pic­ture Rory McIl­roy or Ja­son Day hold­ing a per­fect nish. And keep those arms ex­tended go­ing through so you get a crisp strike.

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