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Johnny Miller gave this tip to 'Tin Cup'. It fixed his slice in 2 swings

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Caddyshack is a great golf movie. But Tin Cup is probably my favorite golf movie. The plot is nice and clean. It’s fairly believable on the Hollywood Believability scale, and the plot twist at the end is surprising, original, true to the character, yet still gives a nice feel-good factor.

It’s why my eyes perked up when I stumbled across this review of the movie in our Golf Digest archive. The story is from August 1996—the month the movie was released—and it contains a fun anecdote about the advice Johnny Miller gave to Kevin Costner on the set of the movie.

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Johnny Miller’s cameo came about halfway through the film. Roy ‘Tin Cup’ McAvoy qualifies for the U.S. Open but because he’s still lovesick for Rene Russo, he shows up to the range before his practice round with a bad case of the shanks.

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The secret quickly gets out that Tin Cup is the shanker-in-question, so Miller—the man hitting balls next to him—comes over to have a polite word.

Initially, the 1973 U.S. Open champ tries to help, telling Tin Cup to aim more left.

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But the interaction quickly turns snippy.

Tin Cup rudely tells Miller to back off, and Miller tells Tin Cup’s caddie Romeo, who uses the awkward exchange to ask Miller for an autograph, to book their return flights ASAP.

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Tin Cup rudely tells Miller to back off, and Miller tells Tin Cup’s caddie Romeo, who uses the awkward exchange to ask Miller for an autograph, to book their return flights ASAP.

It’s a delightfully funny scene with a lesson there for the rest of us, but Miller’s true tip came after the scene cut.

Miller’s tip to Tin Cup

According to the 1996 Golf Digest article, Costner was struggling with a wicked slice at the time, so between takes, Miller shared his anti-slice tip with Coster:

"At the moment of impact. do this with your right hand," Miller says, demonstrating a minute turning action, as if he were twisting the grip to the left. "Good players have their hands like that at the moment of impact. Bad players have it like this." He turns his right palm up to show the bad move.

Costner absorbs the one-minute lesson. then steps up and hits a short. horrible hook. He follows that with merely a bad hook. His third shot is an achingly beautiful draw. Miller appears unmoved.

Costner looks up, smiling huge.


This tip is actually very similar to the one Padraig Harrington gave to our writer Chris Powers right here, and it’s a feeling Miller continues to espouse:

Miller wants golfers to feel like the back of their left hand, and the palm of their right are facing towards the target at the moment of impact.

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Doing that will ensure a square clubface with proper compression at the moment of impact, Miller explains, adding that he used to practice this for hours by finding a floor tile, and using it to reherse his downswing. His goal was to his clubface so it matched the floor tile, which meant the clubface was square.

A tip good enough for one of the best ball-strikers of all time. And if nothing else, it worked for Tin Cup.