Tiger Tips: Up Close

I'll show you how to hit pitch shots that grab and what makes a perfect backswing

July 2007

Adding Touch

1. On most pitch shots, I open the face and play the ball forward in my stance. That gives me more options. I can leave the face open coming into the ball and hit it high, or turn it down through impact and hit it lower. This is my 60-degree wedge.

2. An open face also lets the flange on the bottom of the club slide more easily along the ground instead of dig, which is critical for controlling backspin.

3. My weight is distributed equally between my feet unless I'm hitting a specialty shot. For example, when I want to play a low-trajectory spinner, I put a little more weight on my left side.

Getting to the Top

1. Using an interlocking grip really helps me feel like my hands are working together. It also helps me set the club properly at the top of the swing.

2. A flat left wrist at the top is the result of having a neutral grip. The angle of the clubface should match the angle of my wrist when the club gets to the top. That means the face is square.

3. A full shoulder turn is essential for power and consistency. The proper position for me means my eyes are level, not tilted left or right, and I'm looking directly at the ball over my left shoulder.

Tiger Woods writes instruction articles only for Golf Digest

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