Breaking 90

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Breaking 90

April 14, 2009

Pitch

Instead of opening the clubface to hit it high, lean the shaft back at address by pointing the grip end of the club at your belly button. (For more loft, you could even angle it to your right hip.) Keep the grip pointed there as you swing back and through. You're not flipping your hands; you're keeping your left wrist at the same angle throughout the swing.

Chip

Many golfers make the same backswing for every chip shot, then try to manufacture the right amount of force on the downswing. Instead, think of the clubhead as a wrecking ball: The distance you take the club back determines how much force you have at impact. You set up the power going back, not swinging down. Take the club back as far as the shot demands, then let it go.

Sand

One mistake average golfers make in the sand is trying to help the ball out with the right hand. If you do this, your body stops turning. But everything must keep moving through the shot. A great drill is to hit bunker shots with your right hand wrapped over your left. This breaks the instinct to lift with the right hand and keeps everything moving toward the target.

Putt

Too much head movement on the downstroke is a common cause of missed short putts. When the head moves, the shoulders move, so the face angle and path are affected. Jack Nicklaus once told me that to stay steady over the short ones he used to hold his breath. I also heard that Jack recently said one player stays more still over his putts than any he has ever seen: Tiger Woods.

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