Breaking 80

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Breaking 80

October 13, 2008

When it's late in the game and a team needs a big play, they've got no choice but to try something that's both risky and difficult to pull off. In golf, that Hail Mary play is the long, high draw. It's perhaps the toughest full-swing shot to hit. To do it, grab a long iron and set the face a touch open at address to gain more loft, playing the ball forward in your stance and tilting your right shoulder down. Make a long, slow backswing, and then swing down and shut the clubface through impact so you can make the ball draw. The face has to go from open to closed as it contacts the ball, so make sure you roll your forearms over as quickly as you can.

Quarterbacks throw footballs through a tire to improve their accuracy. It's also a great visual image to lower the trajectory of golf shots and improve accuracy. Lower shots are easier to keep on line because they spin less and aren't as influenced by wind. To bring your ball flight down, imagine a tire hanging only a few feet off the ground. Focus on that spot, which will help level your shoulders and place more body weight on your front foot—a key to lowering ball flight. Now take a little pace off the swing. I recommend using one club more than normal and gripping down one inch.

Keeping your composure when the game is on the line is not only important in football, but also on the green. When tension and nervousness set in, the first place they usually manifest themselves is in your grip. If you squeeze too tightly, it's hard to keep the face square to your putting line and also make a good stroke. When you face a crucial putt, take your grip low on the shaft then slide it up to the desired height. You should be able to do this easily. That's good grip pressure.

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