Tips From The Tour

What you need from the game’s best players

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NICK WATNEY


Stable Left Side
Nick Watney: Hone Your Impact Position
Nick Watney has become one of the game's most consistent players. As of press time, he's 17th in Greens in Regulation and has made 15 cuts in a row. Pretty impressive stuff.

One reason why Watney's so good is on display in this photograph. Here he's captured at impact with a very stable left side. His left foot is planted, and his left hip stays over his ankle. Also his left arm is extended. As regular readers of Golf Tips know, the left hand (and for that matter, one's left side) controls the club's face, and with a picture-perfect moment like this, it's clear that Watney has made very solid contact.

To hone your impact position, I suggest using a training aid like the Impact Bag, which you hit your club into. When the club stops at impact, take a look at your impact position. Does your left side look like Watney's? If so, solid shots are in your future.

BEN CRANE

Measure Twice, Cut Once
1. Here are a few shots of Ben Crane and his caddie Joel Stock standing on the 11th tee box at TPC Summerlin during last year's Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open. Crane and Stock are doing what all pros do, thoroughly analyzing the given circumstances that impact their tee shots and approach shots.

The two men were likely measuring the carry distances of all potential hazards (in this case, a few bunkers positioned on the bend in this dogleg left). Crane was also framing his target. That is, he was putting a "picture frame" around the area he wants the ball to land. With those two bits of information, Crane will then make a decision about his shot. And he'll stick to that decision for his entire swing.

What amateurs mostly do in a situation like this is look at the distance to the hole. They don't even consider how far they are to hazards. And that often leads to bad decisions that don't account for hazards that can swallow your ball.


2. In this photo, Crane's pointing his club at his target. It's hard to say what it is, but there's no question it's a very precise part of the landscape. A tree limb, a chimney in the distance or an edge of a bunker. Pros always identify a precise target. They know exactly what they want and which shot to hit.



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