Hold the Face Open

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life -

Here’s a tough one: a tight lie over sand to a tucked pin, 40 or 50 yards away. It’s too far for a flop, and a ba­sic pitch will scoot to the far side of the green. You need a shot that’s a hy­brid. I call it a flop-pitch.

Given the prospects of a poor shot here, it’s nat­u­ral to be tense. But be­ing ten­sion­free is crit­i­cal. Start by let­ting your right arm hang. With the grip rest­ing in the fin­gers of that hand, let the face fall open so the back of the club lays flush to the ground (leŒ, top). The lead­ing edge will flare open. Now open your stance a bit. Fi­nally, set both hands on the club. If you take your grip with the face open, you’re ef­fec­tively cre­at­ing a weak grip, which is when both hands are ro­tated coun­ter­clock­wise. That’ll help max­imise loŒ at im­pact. On a scale of 1-10, your grip pres­sure should be a 1.

I don’t think about the backswing; it’s just a slight turn with a lit­tle wrist hinge. My fo­cus is the fol­low-through. Swing across the ball and along your stance line, and don’t let the hands re­lease (leŒ). Your divot should be shal­low, and the face point­ing to the sky at the fin­ish.


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