I’ve enjoyed a lengthy and rewarding career (30 years!) on the PGA Tour. I’ve learned through the years that you don’t always make money on the good days. While those are enjoyable, most professionals make a career by enduring the challenging ones.
Every golfer needs the ability to salvage a score when things aren’t going their way, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t look “pretty” doing it. I promise you, grinding pays. I always do the following three things to stay in the game.
- Smoothly escape bunkers in one shot (not two)
Even Tour pros dislike lengthy bunker shots. In an effort to hit the shot forcefully, I used to make the error of being short on my backswing and rapid on the way down. I eventually mastered leveraging my natural rhythm to create a good, lengthy backswing. It significantly changed everything.
Plugged lies are yet another bunker pitfall. This is simple: At address, close your face, and when you hit, pound the sand! You don’t even need to follow through in this case.
Keep more of your weight on your left side when making any bunker shot. Set the face slightly open on the long ones.
- Be careful on those slopes in the short game
Your main objective is solid contact when you have a greenside lie. Cough all the way to the steel when the ball is over your feet. The clubface will now be closer to the ball as a result. Use your typical grip but add a little extra knee flexion when the ball is beneath your feet (top right). On either side, sway towards the direction of the hill by adjusting your shoulders at address to match the slope you are standing on. This entails lowering your left shoulder on downhillers and your right shoulder on uphill lies.
- Calm a nervous stroke
Although I haven’t always been good at putting, I’ve made some huge putts when it mattered. I prioritize quickness when making long putts. Locating and concentrating on the break’s high point will help you determine how much force you need to apply. Regarding the motion itself, as you practice, hit putts only with your front hand. Your nerves will start to fade as you proceed, and your confidence will grow.
I pay close attention to the line on short putts. I’ve been using a ball marker from On Point lately. Just make sure your ball’s line and the marker’s line match. You can be sure that you’re aiming in the right direction. You can’t fail if you make a fluid stroke!
Original article posted on Golf.com
Image cred: Dan Harris