Play Like A Player!

Quick tips and advice to make you look, feel and perform like a star

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INSIDE THE ROPES: LUKE DONALD

Hitting powerful drives isn't necessarily what Luke Donald is known for (he's averaging 276 yards per drive), but that doesn't mean he can't crush one over 300 yards if he wants to. Here, he's taking big swings on the practice tee using a club on the ground and another shaft stuck in the ground a couple yards in front of the ball. What's he doing? From what I saw, he was practicing hitting draws that started to the right of the shaft and fades that started to the left. Point being, don't be afraid to try shaping your shots with the driver. Players do it a lot.


DON'T BE SHY

Hit down on it! Hybrids are remarkable clubs. They've made shots that were once reserved for hard-to-hit long irons much easier, and in my opinion, a lot more fun. Same goes for some of today's fairway woods. They're crazy long!

That said, why do so many amateurs struggle with hybrids and woods? Too often, amateurs feel as though they need to sweep or hit up on the ball. In reality, that's not the case. Hybrids are actually designed to be played more like middle irons! If anything, you want to hit down on the ball and make a divot after you collide with the golf ball.

In the sequence here, notice how I have a hairy lie from the rough. This is actually great practice for me, since it forces me to hit down and through the grass to get the ball up and going. Now, here's the secret. From the fairway, I have the same angle of attack. The wider sole of the hybrid means it's less likely I'll hit it fat anyway, so I hit down on all my hybrids shots—from everywhere.

INSIDE THE ROPES: DUSTIN JOHNSON

Does It Look Like Dustin Johnson is trying to lift the ball up into the air with a fairway wood? Nope. Johnson not only retains his spine angle and side bend, but he has the uncanny ability to keep the clubhead low through impact as good as anyone I've seen. And, by the way, it's a fairway wood he's hitting (about 280 yards), and he even has made a small divot, further proof, he has hit down on the golf ball, not up on it.



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