101 Golf Secrets

Golf Secrets 1 - 3: Instruction

Golf Digest

HOW TO GAIN 10 YARDS OVERNIGHT01 HOW TO GAIN 10 YARDS OVERNIGHT

BY DAVID LEADBETTER

Make a fuller turn, and maintain a relaxed grip pressure throughout the swing. You must be sure to complete your backswing to maximize your coil. And the relaxed grip pressure ensures good clubhead release for increased clubhead speed.

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02 HOW TO MAKE A WEDGE BACK UP

BY PHIL MICKELSON

It's harder than before to make a shot back up a ton. The old wound balata balls used to spin more. However, manufacturers have done a tremendous job with ball technology, making something that has great trajectory off the driver and spins enough to stop pretty dead with the irons.

Still, if you're determined to really spin one, use a wedge with extra loft, and hit the ball with a descending blow. When average players try this, they usually hit the ground before the ball. That makes a big divot, but doesn't make the ball spin. You've got to hit the ball first, then make the divot, so play the ball well back in your stance. You need some clubhead speed to make it spin, so swing hard while staying under control.

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03 HOW TO GET OUT OF JAIL

BY TIGER WOODS

There are no get-out-of-jail-free cards in golf. When faced with a shot from trees so thick you need a flashlight or a lie in rough so deep you can't see your shoes, you need two things: an active imagination and a total absence of fear. I've always been taught that bad lies are part of the game and certainly nothing to fear if you're prepared physically and mentally to deal with them. That's the rub: You must have the strength to hit from the hay and the concentration to execute the shot under the most extreme pressure. Several years ago, I decided to bulk up and add muscle mass to handle difficult lies without injuring myself. When I dig the ball out of the deep stuff, I really fire my right side through the shot toward the target. That takes pressure off my left side through impact and allows me to get a lot of force behind the ball.

In the trees, you have to be creative, which is the fun part of practice and competition. It helps to have a mental picture of the ball flight, trajectory and how the ball will react when it lands, and the best way to achieve that is through practice. I rehearse this by practicing huge cuts, low hooks, flop shots and hitting from buried lies. Make a game of it on the range. You'll be surprised how much your confidence will grow when you're prepared for almost any situation.

But if you don't have the courage to play the shot, you'll fail every time. That's the difference between those who execute difficult shots successfully with amazing regularity and those who don't. After weighing the odds, have the guts to go for it.

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 Images from top: Dom Furore; Jonathan Carlson