Tips From The Tour

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Want to play like a PGA Tour player? You have to practice. Every photo in this story was taken while these players were working hard on the practice tee.

Dustin Johnson: Keep Your Spine Angle


He's already come close to winning a major. He's a winner on Tour four times, and he's only in his mid-20s. Give him a few more years, and we don't doubt Dustin Johnson will have a few major titles under his belt. Why? First, he can absolutely crush the golf ball. So far in 2011, he's third in total driving distance (307 yards), but we know that's a conservative number. He can regularly hit drives 10-30 yards beyond that.

And as impressive as Johnson's prodigious length may be, you may be surprised to learn that he's also first on the PGA Tour in birdies (as of April 2011), averaging 4.68 per round. That's impressive and couldn't be possible if Dustin didn't have a few things working in his swing to make him more consistent.

In this case, Johnson is one of the most consistent spine-angle-holders in all of golf. From the top of his swing to the finish, his spine stays leaning forward toward the ball. By maintaining this angle, Johnson can more easily return to the ball without having to lift, dip or slouch at impact. It also allows him to make a bigger rotation. Here he's hitting a middle iron, and just look at how open his hips are at impact! Try to do the same with your spine angle, and keep it tilted as he does here at impact. After impact, it's okay to ease up and finish more upright, even though Johnson keeps his angle well into his finish.


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