Short-sided So­lu­tion

Zip through the grass with an open face

Golf Digest Middle East - - Play Your Best -

ar­lier this year I was strug­gling with my con­sis­tency on short shots around the green like you see me hit­ting here. My con­tact wasn’t great. Then one day at the Farm­ers In­sur­ance Open, my coach, Sean Fo­ley, was demo-ing the right way to hit them. He has some tat­toos on the in­side of his right fore­arm, and I no­ticed how they stayed sky­ward as he swung through the grass. One thing I was do­ing wrong was rolling my right fore­arm over too much and shut­ting the club­face. This was mak­ing my con­tact un­pre­dictable. So when it was time to hit th­ese shots dur­ing the tour­na­ment, I kept pic­tur­ing Sean’s tat­toos in my mind try­ing to feel like I was keep­ing an imag­i­nary tat­too on my right fore­arm fac­ing up.

One thing I re­ally liked about that im­agery was it helped me keep the club­face open and take ad­van­tage of the bounce of the sole on my wedge. Wedge shots are a lot eas­ier if you let the club slide along the grass on a shal­low an­gle, rather than chop­ping down on the ball. The tat­too trick made my swing a lit­tle shal­lower, and I could be a bit more ag­gres­sive be­cause I knew con­tact with the ball was go­ing to be clean.

Back to this short-sided shot I had at Tor­rey. When the pin is close to the edge of the green you’re play­ing from and you’ve got a lit­tle cush­ion of grass, try to put some zip on the ball to make it stop quickly once it lands. By hold­ing off the ro­ta­tion of my right arm, I can add some real speed to my swing. The added loft from the open club­face and the ex­tra spin it puts on the ball makes it eas­ier to get it close to the hole. You still need your hands in­volved with a feel shot like this, but you want them synced with the ro­ta­tion of your body as you turn to­ward the tar­get. If you keep those tat­toos sky­ward, you’ll make bet­ter con­tact and have a real chance at get­ting up and down. — with ash­ley mayo

Pho­to­graph by First Last­name sep­tem­ber 2017

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