Sweetspot: Luke Donald

Get your irons in check by observing one of the best ballstrikers in golf

Since his early days playing_Ê for England on two Walker Cup teams and making noise as an NCAA star at Northwestern, Luke Donald has had PGA Tour success in his sights. Having already cracked the top-60 in career earnings with more than $12 million to his credit, you’d have to say he’s right on track.

Through The Gates

Putting really shouldn't be any more complicated than this

In my many years of teaching, I’ve read, heard, seen and been told a number of putting tips that, I feel, only serve to overcomplicate what should be a simple motion. I think putting is just rolling the ball, so I like to keep things simple. Here, I’m practicing a drill that helps me keep the ball on the right path. All I do is place two golf balls about six inches apart, and a foot in front of my ball, and then make a stroke.

Total Driving

Sean O'Hair's coach helps you hit it long (and down the middle) every time

In early March, one of my students, Sean O’Hair, put on a master class in Total Driving at the PODS Championship. (The Tour computes Total Driving by totaling a player’s rank in both driving distance and driving accuracy.) For the week, Sean finished T15 in driving accuracy and 8th in driving distance, averaging 282.6 yards. Sean won that week–his second Tour victory–and earned a trip to the Masters. I couldn’t have been more proud.

Find Your Sphere

Choosing the right golf ball for your game can make all the difference

Even golf magazine editors sometimes need to see things for ourselves. Throughout the year, we’re inundated with countless “golf ball test results,” indicating the performance benefits of one ball versus another. We admit there are real differences between golf ball categories—we don’t dispute that. But we’re also clever enough to understand that no two golf ball tests are exactly alike. In fact, they’re all done under different conditions, with different clubs, swing speeds, launch conditions, weather types and a bunch of other variables that are hard to quantify.

2008 Shaft Buyer’s Guide

The engine of every club is the shaft, and now is the time to get your engine running at top speed. Today?s shafts are, without question, better than ever.

One of the best ways to get your golf gear back into tip-top shape is to consider a new shaft upgrade. Sounds simple enough, right? If you’re among the many confused, heed the following. Choosing the right shaft is a matter of first determining what you need. Do you want more distance? More control? Both? The variations of shafts available are crafted to meet specific demands, and it looks like no demands are too great.

2008 Iron Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to buying a new set of irons, be sure to pick a set that?s made for your game and swing. The right set of irons will always perform better than a set that?s not properly fitted to your needs.

Better players know that the secret to scoring well comes from being a better iron player. Better iron shots mean shorter putts, and shorter putts lead to more pars and birdies. What irons you put in your bag are important to your golfing success, and although we say it every year, there’s more to choose from this year than there was last year!_Ê

2008 Driver Buyer’s Guide

The driver is unquestionably the most popular club in the bag.

Sometimes nothing beats hitting a drive on the screws, right down the middle. For you youngsters, “hitting it on the screws” is an old, but literal saying that harkens back a whopping 20 years to when golfers used persimmon heads with screws that held the clubface together. These days, things sure have changed. Drivers don’t have screws in the front, instead you’ll sometimes find them in the back and to the sides. In other models, you’ll find carbon, titanium, tungsten and steel, all designed to serve a particular purpose, which is to help you hit the ball farther and straighter than ever._Ê

2008 Ball Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the right golf ball is just as important as choosing the right set of clubs. With the right ball, you can quickly add yards, hit it higher and optimize your ballspin on and around the greens.

In golf’s modern era, the small, round dimpled orbs that fill the pockets of your golf bags are truly the sum of their parts. From the materials that make up its cover to how it’s filled inside, a golf ball’s composition greatly affects its behavior on the course. Among other things, it determines how high or low it launches off your clubface and spins around the green and how much it compresses when hit. In short, the modern golf ball is a technological masterpiece, with a number of different varieties built specifically for players of varying skill levels. They’ve truly come a long way since a bunch of feathers were sewn inside a ratty piece of leather.

2008 Putter Buyer’s Guide

Known as the most interesting and often the most colorful club in the bag, putters are more unique than ever. Want to try a new shape? A new material? There?s something new for everyone.

If you’re in the mood for a new flatstick, this is a good year to find one—’08 brings forth a slew of new shapes, sizes and materials that are visually appealing, feel great and are often adjustable for your specific needs. Speaking of which, whether it’s mallet, blade, movable weights or specific inserts that you’re looking for, there’s a putter for you. The question shouldn’t be what type of putter do you want, but what kind of putter are you?

2008 Wedge Buyer’s Guide

If the golf bag were to have a go to problem solver, hands down, the wedge would be the top pick. Designed to be playable from literally anywhere on the course, the right wedge can be a real lifesaver.

Often dubbed as a “scoring tool,” the right wedge can be a real lifesaver on the golf course. Whether it’s a pitching, sand, gap or lob wedge, each can be used from a perfect lie in the fairway or a buried lie in the bunker. In fact, there’s a reason why the distance from within 100 yards is called the scoring zone. It’s the “make or break” area, where a great wedge shot can redeem a bad drive or poor approach to the green. Any miscue from this zone is considered an unforced error that should have been avoided (especially from the fairway).