BEEF UP YOUR SWING

381 WORDS ON BIG, DRAW­ING DRIVES, LOW-FLY­ING PITCH SHOTS THAT BITE, AND WHY GOOD RHYTHM ISN’T JUST FOR DANC­ING

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

The driver is the key to my game, and it re­volves around rhythm, bal­ance, solid con­tact and tim­ing. I keep my swing sim­ple, the whole thing done to a beat of “one-two,” the one swing­ing back and the two swing­ing through. Some­times I lis­ten to mu­sic be­fore I play that puts the right rhythm in my head. When I need to be en­er­gised, I go with the Wu-Tang Clan. When I’m feel­ing jumpy and need to slow down, I’ll go with a lit­tle Action Bron­son. ▶ But it’s my me­chan­ics that have made that big drive a keeper. To add 10 yards off the tee, I go with a hard draw. I widen my stance a few inches for sta­bil­ity and po­si­tion my feet closed so my right foot is drawn away from the tar­get line. I’m aligned to the right, but I make sure my club­face is aimed dead at the tar­get. I po­si­tion the ball one inch fur­ther back in my stance, to help make con­tact while the club is trav­el­ling down from the in­side. ▶ With those pre-swing as­pects in place, I load up and turn it loose. I make a big shoul­der turn, my left shoul­der go­ing un­der my beard. I usu­ally swing no more than 90 per­cent of ca­pac­ity, but when I want to boom it out there, I swing at the ball as hard as I can. Hit­ting it hard pays off on other shots, too. On pitches, I’ve learned a low-fly­ing shot that grabs like crazy on the third bounce. I take my 58-de­gree wedge and open the face, which pro­motes a high shot. But I move the ball back in my stance, then hit down sharply on it, keep­ing my hands ahead through im­pact. This shot came in handy on the third hole at Troon at the Open Cham­pi­onship last year. The pin was back-right be­yond a ledge. It asked for a high, soft shot, to be hon­est, but I screamed one of those low-fly­ing grab­bers back there that bounced once, skid­ded a lit­tle, then stopped near the hole. The fans went crazy. It ac­tu­ally looked harder than it was to pro­duce. That’s the thing about beef­ing up your game – you all have it in you. Find­ing new shots isn’t just pro­duc­tive, it’s fun. —with guy yo­com

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