Draws on Com­mand

Vary your tra­jec­tory for bet­ter ac­cu­racy

Golf Digest Middle East - - Play Your Best For Better Players By Tom Watson - Tom Wat­son is a Golf Di­gest Play­ing Edi­tor.

My nat­u­ral shot is a draw, and most good play­ers know how to curve it right to left when they need to. But some­times, bend­ing the ball isn’t enough. There are times when the height of the shot is just as im­por­tant as the draw it­self. This is cer­tainly true at a course such as Au­gusta Na­tional. Whether you need to take it up and around the trees on the fa­mous par-5 13th, or you need to chase it up to a green from un­der some branches off a fair­way, the tra­jec­tory is cru­cial to suc­cess.

I’m go­ing to make the “how to” ad­just­ments sim­ple: When you grip the club, do so in a stronger po­si­tion than nor­mal. That means turn­ing both hands to the right a bit, but make sure the face is still square with your tar­get. Now ad­just your setup.

For a low draw ( right), play the ball back an inch or two from your nor­mal ball po­si­tion, which will nat­u­rally set your left shoul­der lower than it would be for a stan­dard shot. For a high draw, play the ball for­ward in your stance an inch or two, which will set your left shoul­der slightly higher.

These al­ter­ations in your grip, ball and shoul­der po­si­tions will result in your shot draw­ing left at the de­sired height. Re­mem­ber, if you can change tra­jec­tory on com­mand, you’re play­ing at a higher level than most.

Set it, then grip it

Make sure the club is square to the tar­get after you strengthen your grip.

EL­E­MEN­TARY WAT­SON

Some­times you don’t need a draw; you need a hook. To re­ally get the shot curv­ing to the left, fo­cus on mak­ing sure the club­face is sig­nif­i­cantly closed in re­la­tion to its path as you strike the ball. This is a feel shot as much as any, so be sure to prac­tice it a lot to get a sense of how much the ball will curve.

ecog­nis­ing a com­mon theme among most of the top play­ers in golf to­day doesn’t take a Ph.D. Dustin John­son, Rory McIl­roy and Ja­son Day are all hy­per­ath­letic and launch the ball off the tee without any fear. Based on that, Brooks Koepka’s U.S. Open win at Erin Hills is no sur­prise.

The huge-hit­ting Florid­ian won his first PGA Tour ti­tle in 2015 and made his first Ry­der Cup team last year. Now he’s poised for more hard­ware. “The way the modern game is played and given his at­ti­tude—noth­ing fazes him—Brooks has what it takes to win a ma­jor,” Claude Har­mon III, who has worked with Koepka since 2012, said be­fore Erin Hills. “He’s be­come a re­ally good driver of the ball, and he’s added more shots. His putting has im­proved a lot, too. It’s a com­plete game.”

Koepka has geared his swing to pro­duce a “pull cut,” his coach says. It’s a shot that starts left but gen­tly curves back to­ward the tar­get. And with club­head speed reach­ing 128 miles per hour, Koepka rou­tinely car­ries it 300-plus yards. “He hits a very heavy ball, like a boxer who throws hard punches,” Har­mon says. “It’s a great swing to copy.” Though your mileage may vary. —

R

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