Breaking 100

April 2007

Every golfer wants to hit booming drives, but I'll take consistency over power any day. If you're hitting the ball consistently well, you're finding good positions and making your next shot easier. My advice to 100-shooters is to improve your fundamentals, especially posture and alignment, because that'll help you make solid contact. There's no excuse for not having a good setup.

Stay in your angles

Notice in the inset photo that my back is straight, my upper body is tilted forward from my hips, and my knees are slightly bent. I feel balanced and athletic. This posture allows me to make a full, free turn on the backswing and forward swing. To hit consistent shots, you must retain your posture throughout the swing (main photo). If you pull up or dip before impact, you won't make good contact.

Respond to the target

Alignment is the most important fundamental. There's nothing worse than hitting a solid shot 20 yards off line. Most golfers don't use their eyes to set their alignment; at most they check their feet. Here, Rafael is showing me what is square and encouraging me to look at the target, not the ball, as I set up. When I look out, my body responds to the target, and I know I'm lined up correctly.

Chill out between shots

When I'm hitting a shot, I focus 100 percent, but between shots, I let go. This is especially important if play is slow. Try to occupy yourself so you don't get frustrated and lose your rhythm. I talk, laugh and try to keep it loose.

Ready to play

The morning of a competitive round, I do a series of stretches and yoga poses in my room for about an hour. At the course, I swing a club over my head several times before I start hitting balls. This loosens my arm and shoulder muscles, and keeps me from getting hurt.

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