101 Golf Secrets

Golf Secret 25: Instruction

Golf Digest

25 -- HOW TO LAY UP SMARTLY
BY DAVID TOMS
When I won the 2001 PGA Championship, I could have tried to hit a heroic shot over the water on the final hole, but now I'm glad I made a wise decision instead. I layed up to my perfect sand-wedge yardage, then hit it to 12 feet and made the par putt to win by one shot over Phil Mickelson. Here's the key when laying up: Always make a commitment to the yardage you want for your next shot. Don't just chip out of trouble or blindly hit the longest club you have down the fairway. Be aggressive enough to make your next shot easier. Also, I see a lot of amateurs take the lay-up shot for granted. You need to concentrate on this shot just as much as any tee shot or approach.


Golf Secrets 26-27: Playing the Game

Golf Digest

26 -- HOW TO GET READY IN FIVE MINUTES
BY Guy Yocom
You're late. You couldn't get out of that damn meeting. You're rushing to the course, and there's no time to even tie your golf shoes.

  • Stretch in the car as you drive. Insert a relaxing CD. With two hands on the wheel, flex your hands, roll your shoulders, stretch your neck, shift your spine, all while breathing deeply. Keep your eyes on the road.
  • Get to the tee and grasp your sand wedge (the heaviest club) and 9-iron together. Make 20 long, slow swings.
  • Hold your sand wedge in your left arm. Put your feet together, lean as far as possible to your right, and do 10 windmills, keeping your arm extended. Do 10 more in the opposite direction. Repeat with your right arm, leaning left. This loosens your rotator cuff, and the muscles running along your torso.
  • Request to hit last, and make easy practice swings with your driver.
  • Postscript: If you're riding, walk to your ball after your first tee shot. Your buddy will understand. You'll snag a few extra minutes to loosen your legs, free your lower back and—oh yes—finally tie your shoes.

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27 -- HOW TO RATTLE YOUR OPPONENT
BY Peter Morrice
Here's how to throw off the guy you're playing and still be a gentleman:

  • Take charge on the first tee. Show him the ball you're playing, offer to keep the card, ask him the order of play. Show him who's boss.
  • Make him putt out. Nothing irks a weekend golfer more than having to putt two-footers.
  • Control the pace. Fast players hate slow players; slow players hate fast players. If you're one or the other, don't change your pace to suit your opponent. Play at your usual speed.

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Images: Ismael Roldan; Jonathan Carlson