Archive for the ‘Tom Watson’ Category

Drive it lower in crosswinds   Leave a comment

What to do when wind is zipping across the fairway

There are only two scenarios where it makes good sense to hit your driver lower than normal. The first is when you know the ball is going to run a long way once it hits the fairway. The second is when the wind is really blowing across the fairway, and it’s going to greatly affect your normal shot shape. For example, strong gusts from the left could wreak havoc on someone who slices. That golfer needs to flight the ball lower just to keep it in play.

To hit your driver lower, make these adjustments: (1) Tee the ball a half inch lower than you usually do, and grip down on the handle about an inch. (2) Make a slightly shorter backswing. (3) Strike the ball with a level blow, meaning the clubhead should be moving low, just above the ground through impact.

A good swing thought is to quiet your wrists as you swing back and through. The ball will come out lower and be less susceptible to the breeze.

1.) Grip: Hold it lower on the handle.

Tom-Watson-windy-conditions-grip

2.) Backswing: Stay compact.

Tom-Watson-windy-conditions-backswing

3.) Impact: Strike the ball with a level blow.

Tom-Watson-windy-conditions-impact

Posted 12 August, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips, Tom Watson

Tom Watson’s winniing swing key   Leave a comment

unnamedMy chip-in on the 71st hole of the 1982 U.S. Open is the shot everyone remembers, but a full-swing fix before my third round was really why I won. At the range after Friday’s round, my shotmaking came around once I focused on keeping my left arm closer to my chest on the takeaway. That put my left arm and club in the proper position—in "the slot"—between my head and right shoulder at the top of the swing. Before that? I was all over the place. But I hit the ball the best I’d hit it all year over the final two rounds. All because of one simple swing change, and that fortunate chip-in.

Posted 28 May, 2014 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tom Watson

Beat the buried lie   Leave a comment

Tom WatsonLONG SHOTS: Strengthen your grip, toe in the club about 30 degrees, play the ball back of center in your stance and make a steep downswing. You might use a pitching wedge or 9-iron if you are sure you can clear the lip—they have less bounce than a sand wedge so they dig easier. The ball will come out hot.

SHORT SHOTS: Weaken your grip, open the face about 30 degrees, position the ball forward of center with your weight on the left foot and swing even more steeply. You swing harder to generate enough speed to produce a softer shot that stops fast.

It’s even OK to leave the club head in the sand.

Posted 26 December, 2013 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips, Tom Watson

How to play a trouble shot   Leave a comment

Tom WatsonSome shots require extra precision, or severe penalties become possibilities. The key to hitting over water or any severe hazard is knowing exactly how far you have to carry the ball.

Pick the club that will let you carry the hazard comfortably, and play a shot you hit consistently under normal conditions. Knowing the exact distance you must carry the ball can reduce the stress and uncertainty of a dangerous shot.

One caution: Most golfers underclub. If you’re at all unsure, play it safe and take more club. It’s always better to be long—you’ll avoid making a big number.

Posted 6 December, 2013 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips, Tom Watson

How to get more tap-ins   Leave a comment

Tom WatsonIf you focus on making solid contact, you’ll put yourself in position to two-putt most of the time. And when you’re practicing, use the tried-and-true drill of rolling putts into a three-foot circle. You can build it with tees or just imagine it.

You don’t care if the putt finishes long, short, left or right.

Get it inside three feet, and you’ll probably make the next one.

Posted 8 November, 2013 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips, Tom Watson

A crucial ball-striking tip   Leave a comment

Tom WatsonMany average golfers whose chances of making a sound swing are poor because they don’t set up to the ball properly.
Correct posture is paramount to keeping your balance.

Step 1: Stand tall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your weight should be balanced on the balls of your feet, your toes turned out slightly.

Step 2: Bend forward from the hips, keeping your back straight. No slumping!

Step 3: Flex your knees a bit, and stick out your rear end for stability.

You should almost feel as if you’re sitting down. You should be standing too tall than bend over too much because you still can go down and get to the ball.
When you’re bent over too much, you’re prone to lift up.

Posted 19 September, 2013 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tom Watson

Hit it solid from the rough   Leave a comment

Tom WatsonGetting out of rough has become a bigger challenge in recent years. To hit good recoveries, swing down on a steeper angle than usual—otherwise the club will have to fight through too much grass, and you’ll hit it weak. Remember, your goal is to minimize the amount of grass between the clubface and the ball. When the ball is sitting up, set up normally—ball just forward of center, weight 50-50—and make your regular swing. But if the ball is sitting down, address it slightly back of center, and put more weight on your front foot. This promotes a steeper angle into the ball.

Posted 21 July, 2013 by E. Marino in Golf Tips Mag, Tom Watson