June 05, 2008
Pop it out of deep rough
No short-game shot better emulates the action of striking a match than hitting out of greenside rough, especially when the pin is close. For this shot, make a longer backswing but very little follow-through. You have to generate a lot of clubhead speed, and most of that comes from fast hand action through the ball -- just like striking a match. It might feel as if you're scooping the ball a little, but the wrist action is minimal. You might even think of it like cracking a whip. The faster the hand action, the higher the ball will pop out of the rough. You'll be surprised how much spin you can generate with this technique.
Hit your putts like you're hammering a nail
Everybody has an opinion on putting. There are putters who swing, stroking through the putt with a pendulum motion, and putters who hit as if they're hammering a nail.I believe in the hit. It takes a lot less effort to make the ball roll a good distance, and it reduces the probability of the face being open or closed at impact, which sends the ball right or left of your intended path. To get a sense of this hitting action, address a putt with your left foot in front of the ball but raised at the toe so the ball can pass under it (top). Now try hitting putts to a hole 15 to 20 feet away. You must hit the ball with a lot of wrist action because the foot blocks you from stroking through. You'll be amazed how far you can hit the ball with this short stroke.