October 27, 2008

Tiger Woods: Slope Play

Change your setup

HITTING UPHILL: A classic shot to an elevated green: In effect, the ball comes in lower.

HITTING UPHILL: A classic shot to an elevated green: In effect, the ball comes in lower.

One of the most difficult shots in golf is a downhill lie to an elevated green. That's because the lie works against getting the ball up in the air. First, align your shoulders with the slope, and let your weight fall naturally on your forward foot. The tendency is to stay back on the downswing to lift the ball. You'll most likely fat it that way.

Accept the lower trajectory the slope will give you. Because the slope will accelerate your body turn and hold the clubface open, a fade is much easier to hit. It also helps in getting the ball in the air. Select a club with enough loft to compensate for the slope, even if you come up short of the hole.



ASK TIGER

On the way: boy or girl?

Q: How is Elin's second pregnancy going compared to the first one? Do you know if it's a boy or girl?

--Lisa Antonetti, Waltham, Mass.

A: Everything is going smoothly; Elin feels great. One difference is that we're getting less sleep compared to last time because we've got Sam now. As for boy or girl, we wanted to be surprised the first time, and we're not going to find out now, either.

Staying Patient

Q: What has been the most difficult part of your recovery from the knee surgery?

--Ginnie Ford, Montgomery, Ala.

A: The rehab work and training is grueling, but that's not the hardest part. It's harder being patient and taking things at the pace my doctors are setting for me. But I know I have to do it that way so the knee can recover completely. We're being conservative in the rehab—I can walk without a limp, but I haven't been given the green light to hit balls. What surprises me is that I don't miss the game as much as I thought I would. I do miss the competition, but the rest? Nope. I'm spending time with my family. Besides, I'd embarrass myself right now. You'd see some of the worst shots in the history of the game.

Comeback

Q: If everything goes according to plan with your rehab, when do you think you'll be back on tour?

--Ardis Levette, Cincinnati

A: It really depends on how things are after I start hitting balls. I need to follow the doctors' advice. It's really not up to me.

Tiger Woods writes instruction articles only for Golf Digest. Ask Tiger a question.

Mark Soltau is a contributing editor to Golf Digest and the editor of TigerWoods.com.