101 Golf Secrets
Golf Secrets 16 - 18: Instruction
16 -- HOW TO HIT A SOFT PITCH TO A TIGHT PIN
BY PHIL MICKELSON
If you're in light rough, play this shot like a bunker shot. Open the face, cock your wrists early on the backswing and hit the grass behind the ball with some speed. The harder you swing, the higher the ball will go. From tight fairway grass, you've got to make perfect contact and nip the ball off the grass. To do that, keep your grip pressure relaxed and your head position constant—don't let it rise or dip through impact.
17 -- HOW TO PLAY WHEN YOU'RE PREGNANT
BY LAURA DIAZ
We'd just hit our drives and were walking off the first tee of the first hole at the Solheim Cup last year. The crowd was shouting, "Go, Mommas!" My opponent, Iben Tinning, four months pregnant to my five, smiled along with everyone at the coincidence of our singles-match pairing. But after that it was golf as usual. There's no harm continuing a physical activity during your pregnancy if you've done that activity your whole life. Of this my doctor assured me. I played competitive golf seven months into it and never felt inhibited until the very end, when my stance finally started to migrate farther from the ball on account of my belly. I even kept up my weight-training regimen for nearly the first two trimesters.
The most important thing is not to be skeptical. Pregnancy and golf are both wonderful experiences, and there's no reason they can't be enjoyed at the same time. In fact, several of my fellow touring pros confided they thought they putted better during their pregnancies. Others claimed increased distance.
Whether these phenomena can be attributed to the weight gain or the lowered center of gravity, or to the rubbing karma of the miracle of life inches from the grip—I can't say. I putted well during my pregnancy, but anyone who plays knows the game is prone to mysterious cycles.
You'll notice you'll get tired more quickly, especially walking hilly courses. Take a cart if need be. Other than that, just eat well and stay hydrated and keep your left arm relatively straight.
18 -- HOW TO HIT A REALLY TIGHT FAIRWAY
BY CHUCK COOK
You'll be straighter with the shorter clubs in your bag, so a 3- or 5-wood is a safer choice than a driver. But if you absolutely have to get driver distance, start by teeing the ball lower, as the No. 1 player in the world is doing. Hit it with your normal swing, too, not a steep punch swing. You'll get a lower trajectory and more roll—almost like topspin—instead of the sidespin and curve you might get on a higher shot.
Images: Jim Moriarty