The Best Lessons Of 2015

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The Best Lessons Of 2015

December 23, 2015

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Photo By: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Photo By: Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Photo By: Walter Iooss Jr.

Photo By: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jordan Spieth maximizes his par-4 scoring to win the Masters and U.S. Open

Spieth hits it some 20 yards behind the longest drivers on the PGA Tour, but in 2015, he was first in scoring average and third in strokes gained from tee to green. That means he hit his middle and long irons great. The key isn’t clubhead speed as much as it is solid contact. His trick? Keep your arms extended through the impact zone to reduce the amount you need to adjust your body to hit the ball solidly.

Photo By: Dom Furore

Jason Day bombs it sky high on the way to five wins

Distance is great, but distance plus height really makes a scoring difference. Day proved that on Sunday at the PGA, when he put on a long, high driving clinic to outlast Jordan Spieth. Two ways to get more height? Keep your body turning all the way through impact, and get your hands around and up to a high finish.

Photo By: Dom Furore

Zach Johnson rides his wedge game to win the British Open

Zach Johnson has more career majors than Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day combined. Why? Precision with his short clubs and a closer mentality. It starts with a neutral setup—shoulders, hips and feet all aligned parallel to each other and the target line—and the butt of the club pointing at your belt.

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Lydia Ko laps the LPGA before turning 20

Like Jordan Spieth, Lydia Ko only dominates the statistical categories that matter—scoring, wins and money. Despite being 60th in driving distance, she was second on the tour in greens in regulation. Usually hitting lots of greens means you’re rolling a lot of putts from far away. Ko was third in birdies. She does it with a putting stroke that matches her full swing—compact and tension-free.

Photo By: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Inbee Park masters substance over style

No matter what sport you play, winning the same event three years in a row is a big deal. Park did it in a major, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She doesn’t have the elegant action of Na-Yeon Choi, but she stays in complete balance and control. Swinging out of your shoes in an effort to get more power will cost you both distance and accuracy.

Photo By: Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Rickie Fowler builds a complete game

Fowler has always been one of the most exciting and powerful players pound-for-pound on the PGA Tour, but he needed to refine the edges of his game to step up and contend for majors. With Butch Harmon, he has added some clever short game shots to his arsenal. From the bunker, try a square stance, open face and weaker grip, which will make the club skim the sand and produce a high, true flight.

Photo By: Walter Iooss Jr.

Davis Love III shows off his timeless swing

How do you win PGA Tour events into your 50s? Start with a technically sound swing built by your club pro father, and maintain it over the years. Davis Love’s swing is slightly shorter than it was when he was in his 20s, but he still makes one key move with the driver many amateurs miss. Instead of swinging his hands hard at the ball, he moves them out from the top of his backswing, away from the target. That move builds the huge energy and accuracy that translates into 300-yard drives.

Photo By: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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