Golf Digest editors picks

T-40. Todd Sones

99 votes

Todd Sones Impact Golf School, Vernon Hills, Ill. (toddsones.com, 847-549-8678)
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FIND THE LINE
One of the hardest things to do on the green is to precisely line up the putter, especially on breaking putts. To make this easier, reduce your focus to the first 12 or 14 inches of your starting line, and square the face to that line. Once you set the face, you should be totally committed to direction and switch your attention to distance. Doubting the line usually leads to poor results.

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42. Don Hurter

98 votes

Castle Pines G.C., Castle Rock, Colo. (303-814-6243)
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SLICERS' SAND SHOT
If you slice the ball on full shots, you can't use the standard bunker-shot advice -- open the face, play the ball forward, swing to the left. You'll never get the ball out. Instead, square your stance and face, move the ball back and swing along your body, which will actually feel like a hook swing. The club has enough loft and bounce to push the ball out.

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43. Rick Martino

96 votes

Palm Beach Polo G. & C.C., Wellington, Fla. (772-834-9010)
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KEEP YOUR CENTER
The key to good fairway woods is establishing a steady swing center. Your spine must be set in a central position -- not tilted right as it would for a driver or leaning left as it would on a wedge -- to produce the desired angle of attack. When the angle is correct, the swing arc is level at the ball. Use the image of a giant crane attached to your spine at shoulder level. You'll maintain good posture and produce the ideal arc.

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44. Hank Johnson

95 votes

Greystone G. & C.C., Birmingham, Ala. (205-980-5200)
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GET BACK ON TRACK
All players have a good idea of the general route their ball needs to take to get to the green. In golf, just as with driving a car, there's a preferred way to get from Point A to Point B. If you deviate from the plan, it's important to get back on track as soon as possible. Don't be the guy who doesn't turn the car around, thinking he'll eventually meet back up with the original route. That mind-set usually makes things worse.

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45. Mike Shannon

93 votes

Sea Island G.C., St. Simons Island, Ga. (888-732-4752)
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DRILL: SPEED CHECK
To identify the putting speed that's best for you, start on the practice green at 15 feet with three balls. Try to drip each ball over the front edge of the cup, and record the results. Then put a tee two feet behind the cup and hit three putts at a speed that will send the ball to the tee. Record the results, and repeat. Before long, you'll see a pattern of makes and misses that come from either dying the ball at the hole or being more aggressive. Adapt to your natural speed; your mechanics will be more consistent, and your reads will get better.

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46. Dana Rader

91 votes

Dana Rader Golf Academy, Charlotte, (danarader.com, 704-542-7635)
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FAIRWAY-WOOD SETUP
Solid contact with fairway woods comes from playing the ball forward in your stance and tilting your spine away from the target at address. Your right shoulder should be lower than your left. If your shoulders are too level, it can make your angle of approach into the ball too steep, leading to either a fat or thin shot. Tilting your spine back and playing the ball forward helps you shallow your approach into the ball for solid strikes.

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47. Tom Ness

89 votes

Affiniti Golf Academy, Roswell, Ga. (770-596-2213)
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GROOVE YOUR DRIVER
Most players who drive the ball poorly have the left shoulder in front of the ball at impact. This can either happen from the start, because of a faulty address position, or the shoulder can shift there during the swing. Start with the easiest fix: When you set up to hit your driver, make sure the ball is positioned opposite the outside edge of your left shoulder. You will have an easier time keeping that shoulder in the right place relative to the ball during the swing.

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T-48. Eric Alpenfels

88 votes

Pinehurst (N.C.) Golf Academy (910-295-6811)
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HOW TO RECOVER
Every player should know the components of a great recovery shot. But the most important component often is not the golfer's knowledge of how to hit the shot but his or her preparation. Take a situation where you hit an errant tee shot and need to play a low draw to get back to the fairway. You've heard the ball-flight factors before: Play the ball back in the stance for a low trajectory, and close the clubface slightly to produce a draw. But the key to success is to practice this shot so you can hit it when you need it.

MORE TIPS FROM ERIC ALPENFELS
Deepdale G.C., Manhassett, N.Y. (516-627-7880)
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SWEEP YOUR WOODS
Full extension through the shot is the key to nailing your fairway woods and gaining an advantage on long courses. Focus on keeping the clubhead low to the ground after impact, extending your arms down the target line for as long as possible. This will help create the sweeping motion required for fairway woods, increasing your distance and minimizing the possibility of putting abnormal spin on the ball.

MORE TIPS FROM DARRELL KESTNER

T-48. Dean Reinmuth

88 votes

Dean Reinmuth School of Golf, San Diego (deanofgolf.com, 858-756-2240)
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PLAY FOR THE SHIFT
On a pitch shot, the average golfer's tendency is to play the ball back in the stance, which is a mistake. On every shot, you move forward, toward the target, during the downswing. It's less on a pitch shot than on, say, a drive, but it still happens. When you move forward and the ball position is back, you have to chop down on top of the ball to hit it. That's not a good way to play a pitch shot. Move the ball up in your stance so you can shift into it for solid contact.

MORE TIPS FROM DEAN REINMUTH
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