Tips From The Tour, 2009

The best players in the world aren’t just fun to watch. There’s a lot to learn about their swings that you can incorporate into your game.

Labels: Full Swing

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Rory Sabbatini
A winner already in ’09, Sabbatini’s short game has helped him win more than $20 million on Tour. His breakthrough win at a major is imminent.


One of the best ways to get your chips going in the right direction with a consistent spin and trajectory is to practice like Rory Sabbatini. Here, he’s working on holding the clubface square through impact. Sabbatini does this by concentrating on rotating his body to slow down the release of his hands. This not only holds the face square longer, but it ensures the ball pops off the clubface in the direction of the target. It also adds more loft and spin, two things you want.

The next time you practice your chipping, try a few shots using only your left hand on the club. Hit a few chips and concentrate on rotating the body and holding the clubface square at impact. As you can see, the hands should also stay ahead of the clubhead well through the shot.

Notice how Sabbatini does it. His form is a little unusual, but his shoulders really rotate through the shot. Most golfers would use their whole body to rotate since it’s easier, but the effect is the same: To keep the clubface square, you have to rotate the body to make it happen.
—Jeff Yurkiewicz, PGA

Many amateur players tend to make hitting hybrids more difficult than it actually needs to be. The reality is that hitting a hybrid effectively requires you first to acknowledge that a hybrid isn’t a wood—meaning you don’t need to feel like you ought to sweep or scoop the ball to get it up in the air. If anything, a hybrid should be played more like a middle iron, with a downward thrust into the ball.

Parker McLaughlin isn’t the only player on the PGA Tour using hybrids. Several players are adopting hybrids as both long iron and fairway wood alternatives.
Hitting down on your hybrids is key. Practice this simple drill, and work on getting your right shoulder below your left at impact. This will help you hit down into the ball.

Check out Parker McLaughlin. He’s hitting a hybrid club effectively by hitting down on the ball (as evident by the divot in the air) and also by making a full rotation. These are two swing thoughts every golfer should have when hitting a hybrid. Don’t hit up or sweep. Hit down and make a divot after you make contact with the ball.
—Karen Nannen, PGA


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