GOLF DIGEST SCHOOLS

Around the Greens with Luke Donald

1  of  5

Lesson 1: Chipping

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

Simple chips around the green are the heart of a good short game. In this video, Luke Donald shares his keys for becoming an expert chipper. He discusses the importance of a downward strike driven by the arms and the ability to adjust to different shots, plus common faults and how to fix them. With better chipping, your scores will drop dramatically.

SWING THOUGHTS

When chipping, grip with your top hand turned more toward the target
On chips, play the ball forward, stand tall and lean to your front side
In chipping, keep the clubhead outside your hands going back
Hit down on chip shots, but keep the club sliding through on its sole
Swing through to the left, not toward the target, when you chip
On greenside shots, rotate your body through with the club
Lesson 2: Pitching
2 Lesson 2: Pitching
  • When you should play this shot
  • Keys to the pitching setup and swing
  • Understanding bounce and how to use it
  • How to change trajectory and spin

Around the Greens with Luke Donald

2  of  5

Lesson 2: Pitching

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

Sometimes you need a lofted shot that stops fast on the green—that’s pitching. Here, Luke describes how to set up and swing to create a soft shot with backspin. He covers the importance of posture and the simple arm and body motions required to produce a lofted pitch. He also covers the faults and instincts that plague the average golfer on this basic short-game shot.

SWING THOUGHTS

In pitching, play the ball forward and set the shaft vertical
On pitch shots, swing back and through on a slightly out-to-in path
Turn your body through to face the target on pitch shots
On pitches, return the shaft to vertical at impact; don’t shove the handle forward
Finish your pitch shots with the shaft in front of your chest
For higher pitches, move the ball forward and make the same swing
Lesson 3: Bunker Play
3 Lesson 3: Bunker Play
  • Learning the all-important bunker setup
  • Making the club glide through the sand
  • How to play from various lies and distances
  • Three great drills to get more sand saves

Around the Greens with Luke Donald

3  of  5

Lesson 3: Bunker Play

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

Tour players would rather be in a bunker than greenside rough because they know that with the right technique a sand shot is much easier. In this video, Luke goes through the proper splashing action in the bunker, how to use the club’s bounce, and the keys to taking a sand divot. With a little practice, you’ll realize that bunker shots are simple and easy to control.

SWING THOUGHTS

In greenside bunkers, take a wide stance, and play the ball forward
For bunker shots, open the clubface, and lean the shaft back
Set up square in the sand; don’t stand open and cut across the ball
Strike the sand with the back edge of the club’s sole, not the leading edge
On bunker shots, rehinge the club in the follow-through; don’t quit on it
For long bunker shots, use a longer club and longer swing
For short bunker shots, take a little more sand to add softness
Lesson 4: Half-Wedges
4 Lesson 4: Half-Wedges
  • Setup and technique demonstrations
  • Learning the secrets to distance control
  • Overcoming common half-swing faults
  • How to make the ball check up like a pro

Around the Greens with Luke Donald

4  of  5

Lesson 4: Half-Wedges

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

As much as you try to avoid those awkward 50- or 60-yard shots, you get them from time to time. Tour players hit these shots on a lower trajectory, and the ball bounces twice and grabs on the green. Here, Luke walks you through the secrets to the hop-hop-stop wedge shot. He discusses how to achieve a crisp strike, vary the trajectory and control distance.

SWING THOUGHTS

On half-wedge shots, grip down, and center the ball in your stance
Lean the shaft forward for half-wedges, and return to that position at impact
For partial wedge shots, swing shorter but still turn your body
Swing back and through equal lengths on less-than-full wedge shots
For half-wedges, hinge the club back, then shift forward and turn through
Keep turning after impact on half-wedges; resist the urge to hit and stop
Control wedge trajectory with ball position: back for a low shot; up for a high shot
Lesson 5: Putting
5 Lesson 5: Putting
  • Developing a simple green-reading routine
  • Why alignment and posture are critical
  • Controlling putting speed and direction
  • How to give every putt a chance to drop

Around the Greens with Luke Donald

5  of  5

Lesson 5: Putting

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW

Putting is the great equalizer in golf: The stroke is so simple, average golfers can learn to putt as well as the pros. The keys, as Luke Donald explains in this video, are more about developing a consistent approach and good fundamentals than having some magical touch. Feel on the greens comes from getting a few things right every time—and being able to adapt.

SWING THOUGHTS

Unlike the full-swing grip, the putting grip is more in the palms
In putting, set your eyes just inside or behind the ball at address
Make sure your eye line on the green is parallel to the line of the putt
In the putting setup, set the shaft in line with your lead forearm
On putts, tilt forward from the hips, and let your arms hang naturally
Keep the same loft on the putterface throughout the stroke
Don’t make the stroke equal back and through; the through-stroke is shorter
When putting, keep your lower body still, and rock your shoulders
Swivel your head to view the putting line, keeping your eye line consistent

Around the Greens with Luke Donald

Lesson
1 / 5
Lesson 1: Chipping
2 / 5
Lesson 2: Pitching
3 / 5
Lesson 3: Bunker Play
4 / 5
Lesson 4: Half-Wedges
5 / 5
Lesson 5: Putting
Around the Greens with Luke Donald INDEX
Lesson 1: Chipping
1/5
Lesson 1: Chipping
  • When you should play this shot
  • Choosing the right club for the situation
  • Learning the proper stance and stroke
  • Controlling distance and direction
  • When you should play this shot
  • Choosing the right club for the situation
  • Learning the proper stance and stroke
  • Controlling distance and direction
Lesson 2: Pitching
2/5
Lesson 2: Pitching
  • When you should play this shot
  • Keys to the pitching setup and swing
  • Understanding bounce and how to use it
  • How to change trajectory and spin
  • When you should play this shot
  • Keys to the pitching setup and swing
  • Understanding bounce and how to use it
  • How to change trajectory and spin
Lesson 3: Bunker Play
3/5
Lesson 3: Bunker Play
  • Learning the all-important bunker setup
  • Making the club glide through the sand
  • How to play from various lies and distances
  • Three great drills to get more sand saves
  • Learning the all-important bunker setup
  • Making the club glide through the sand
  • How to play from various lies and distances
  • Three great drills to get more sand saves
Lesson 4: Half-Wedges
4/5
Lesson 4: Half-Wedges
  • Setup and technique demonstrations
  • Learning the secrets to distance control
  • Overcoming common half-swing faults
  • How to make the ball check up like a pro
  • Setup and technique demonstrations
  • Learning the secrets to distance control
  • Overcoming common half-swing faults
  • How to make the ball check up like a pro
Lesson 5: Putting
5/5
Lesson 5: Putting
  • Developing a simple green-reading routine
  • Why alignment and posture are critical
  • Controlling putting speed and direction
  • How to give every putt a chance to drop
  • Developing a simple green-reading routine
  • Why alignment and posture are critical
  • Controlling putting speed and direction
  • How to give every putt a chance to drop