It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again: best of the year list season is upon us. With 10 Tiger Tuesdays remaining before Christmas, we’re counting down Tiger Woods’ 10 best shots of the year and how you can implement his shot types into your own game with PGA Professional and SwingU instructor Aaron Ungvarsky’s help.
What a season Tiger Woods had; without a doubt, he is back! Woods played like he was en route to a handful of wins and even a major championship. Golf fans started to get glimpses of what was to come on the back end of the season with shots like this at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide in June.
Tiger employed a knockdown shot that many amateurs struggle to hit. Facing an in-between yardage, Woods was able to dial up the perfect distance despite not having a full shot in.
Woods used a controlled swing, perfectly flighted and landing past the flag to guard against spinning off the front of the green. While you may not be holing out these shots like Tiger, here are some pointers to help you flight your wedges and hit your numbers when you’re in-between clubs.
Dialing in your wedges, regardless of the degrees of loft, is as easy as picturing a watch dial. To do this start by visualizing your left arm (for right-handed golfers) and grip working like the hand on a clock.
The ball position is going to be 6 o’clock and from here, we measure how far back we take the club into the backswing in terms of time. For example, a half backswing with the left arm parallel to the ground would be a 3 o’clock backswing. Find out how far each club goes with your 9 o’clock backswing, your 10 o’clock backswing, etc.
Doing this allows players of all abilities to correlate the distance the ball travels with a specific backswing length and in turn, makes us more accurate. Amateurs have a difficult time determining when they make a ½ or ¾ backswing, resulting in shots going too far or coming up short. Even worse, they start to change the motion through impact instead of keeping it consistent.
As we watch Tiger make this swing, we know he can hit this wedge much farther if need be, but the impressive part is taking a club and hitting a number with a less than full shot.
One of the keys to lower scores is distance control, with irons, wedges and even the putter. If our shots are slightly offline but going the correct distance, we will have plenty of looks at birdie and definitely make more pars.