Breaking 80

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Breaking 80

September 21, 2008

One of the weapons tour players use to hit long par 5s in two is the towering fairway-wood "launcher" that lands like a middle iron.To hit it, keep your setup square to the target, but open the clubface slightly to get more loft. The real key to this shot is to come through impact with your chest down, "covering" the ball, not lifting into a reverse-C position. This chest-down move helps you strike the ball flush.Practice this feel by gripping way down, almost to the shaft, and making practice swings that brush the grass. If your chest comes up, you won't be able to reach the ground.

The toughest holes on any course are the 200-plus-yard par 3s. You have to be pretty precise with a long club. To do that, start by improving your targeting process.(1) Pick your spot on the horizon (here I'm using the top of the ridge), and aim the clubface there first, before taking your stance.(2) When setting the clubface, avoid the common tendency to offset the ball toward the toe. Centering it on the face makes it easier to hit it flush.(3) As for the swing, don't do anything differently because the ball is on a tee. Hitting a teed ball will automatically give you more height on the shot.

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