TOMMY FLEET­WOOD: DEADEYE AC­CU­RACY

Through-the-bag ad­vice to hit any tar­get.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - BY TOMMY FLEET­WOOD

Golf is al­ways a bal­anc­ing act. You know your strengths, so to get bet­ter you have to work on all the other things. The prob­lem with that is, if you start ig­nor­ing what you do best, then that stuff starts to suf­fer. You re­ally have to pay at­ten­tion to your whole game – that’s what helped me im­prove in 2017. I won twice on the Euro­pean Tour and took the Race to Dubai. I’ve al­ready won this year, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Cham­pi­onship.

What got things go­ing for me is bet­ter ac­cu­racy in all facets of the game. And it started with align­ment. Hard to be­lieve, but I was play­ing the game think­ing my tar­gets were fur­ther right than they re­ally were. If only I had looked up. No joke, a sim­ple ad­just­ment in align­ment led to bet­ter ball con­trol. From there, ev­ery­thing started to click – I was putting it in the fair­way off the tee (or close enough), I was hit­ting a lot of greens, my pitches were get­ting closer to the hole, even my putts started go­ing in.

That brings me to my first piece of ad­vice to be­com­ing more ac­cu­rate with all your clubs. Do ev­ery­thing you can at setup to make that hap­pen. Don’t take ball po­si­tion, body-and-club align­ment, putting line, any of that for granted. Get that right, and you’ll im­me­di­ately start con­trol­ling the ball bet­ter. That’s your mis­sion: ball con­trol. Let me take you through the bag on how I do it. —

WHO IS TOMMY FLEET­WOOD?

If you don’t know him by name, Tommy’s face – or speci cally, his hair – prob­a­bly look fa­mil­iar. His oft-un­shaven whiskers and long, scru y hair­style – “It’s not a mul­let,” he says – make him stand out against golf’s con­ser­va­tive ma­jor­ity. But don’t mis­take that for a lack of drive.

“My goal is to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing, make the Ry­der Cup, and the ul­ti­mate goal is to win ma­jors and be world No.1,” says the 27-year-old English­man.

Be­fore he be­came the top player on the Euro­pean Tour, Fleet­wood wasn’t as grandiose with his golf goals. But then his con­trol of the ball re­ally im­proved. He got longer and straighter o the tee (299-yard av­er­age, 70.4 fair­ways-hit per­cent­age in 2017), hit more greens in reg­u­la­tion (76.8 per­cent,

rst on tour), and his putting im­proved (69.72 scor­ing av­er­age, third on tour). He cred­its some of the leap to swing coach Alan Thomp­son. The two have worked on and o since Fleet­wood was a ju­nior golfer.

His suc­cesses have come de­spite big events o the course, too. Fleet­wood be­came a dad for the rst time last Septem­ber, to son Franklin, and got mar­ried in Novem­ber to Clare Craig.

Fleet­wood says he’ll now play more events on the PGA Tour.

“I’m trav­el­ling a lot with my wife and baby,” Fleet­wood says. “Franklin has more fre­quent- ier miles than any six-month-old in the world.”

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