How To Win The Masters
There Is More Than One Way To Come Out On Top
4. “Strike a match” to create the right rhythm
The theme thus far has been to create a swing that’s crisp and under control. To seal the deal, adopt a rhythm that embodies the same mind-set. Your wedge rhythm should be aggressive and upbeat, like the attitude you have when striking a match. Make a rehearsal swing that has enough zip to start a fire at the bottom, and your ball will stop on a dime!
Conclusion: If you want to win The Masters, you need to be deadly accurate with your distance control into the green. Although each putting surface at Augusta may seem like a large target, a player must hit his shot to an area no larger than a typical bed sheet. During Zach Johnson’s impressive victory, he demonstrated how a player who doesn’t have home-run power can steal the green jacket with some precision wedge play.
Score: 276, 12 under par
Margin Of Victory: Cabrera finished tied with Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry after 72 holes. Campbell bogeyed the first play-off hole to drop out. Cabrera then parred the second hole to win his first green jacket.
How He Won: Controlled his speed perfectly on Augusta’s slick greens
His Shot: Using the belly putter to drain putts
The belly putter is great simply because it’s so simple to use. All you have to do is anchor the grip end of the putter to your midsection and you’re good to go.
I find that a spot just to the left of my navel works best. Once your anchor is set, the stroke operates just like a perfect pendulum, in rhythm, with the back- and through-swings about equal length.
2. Fold your elbows so they’re high on your hips
The next step is to put your hands on the putter so that your arm swing can stay relaxed and fluid. Instead of having your arms long and rigid, place your hands high on the shaft, forcing your elbows to fold up and into your body. As you make your stroke, this folded-arm position will allow your joints to naturally flex in response to the swinging putterhead.
To control how far you hit your putts, you must feel a proper-sized stroke. From your anchored position, make some strokes with your right arm only. With this one-handed action, you’ll be able to feel the putterhead swing naturally, and judging distance will be as simple as tossing a ball to the cup. Make a smooth start and keep your rhythm even and you’ll think these belly putters should be illegal!
The final quality you need to make a great belly putter stroke is to “stay at home.” By that I mean the proximity of your arms to your body throughout the motion.
At address, feel your arms touching the sides of your midsection, with your elbows settling just above your hips. As you make your stroke, maintain your arm/body connection by “staying at home.” This means not allowing your arms to stray away from your torso. Even at the end of the stroke, your arms and body will have a gentle connection.
Conclusion: It’s no secret that to win at Augusta, you have to be able to roll the rock. Over the course of four rounds, you’re sure to be faced with your share of slippery knee knockers, so making a stable, reliable stroke is a must. For guaranteed success with the flat stick, I recommend trying the foolproof belly putter method employed by 2009 champ, Angel Cabrera.
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