January 14, 2015

Pinsanity

How to get to a pin on the left or the right

TO THE LEFT PIN

Being able to hit a shot that curves to the left is useful in a lot of situations. When the pin is tucked on the left, it lets you aim for a bigger, safer target—the center of the green—and work the ball toward the flag. To play that draw, you want to make a swing that goes out to the right through impact. A position like this one at the top—with the club pointing basically at the target and the left wrist slightly cupped, or bent back—promotes that swing-to-the-right move. If you fight the classic good-player mistake, a hook, make sure you’re not being too aggressive when you aim. If the flag is tight to the left edge, you don’t want to overcook one and end up missing on the short side of the green. Aim so that a nice draw will still end up a few steps right of the hole.

Hank Haney

TO THE RIGHT PIN

More players naturally hit a fade than a draw, so you’d think a right flag would be a juicy target, especially in a left-to-right wind or with the ball below your feet. But a lot of golfers make the combined mistake of not using enough club and taking dead aim at the flag. Those shots end up short and right of the green. Unless the flag is right up front, pick the club that plays to the yardage for the back edge. To hit a shot with authority and a little fade, you want to get into a position at the top like the one here: the club pointed to the left of the target and the left wrist flatter. That will produce the opposite of the draw swing. It promotes a path to the left through impact, and that’s how you fade it. Remember this rule: The more you fade (or slice) the ball, the less overall distance you’ll cover.