Golf Digest August 2018

Golf Digest empowers the modern golfer, delivering monthly content on how, what and where to play. Golf Digest provides "how-to" articles by an unparalleled team of the game's top professionals, the most in-depth equipment rankings, the Hot List and is the No. 1 authority for golf course rankings.

United States
Conde Nast US

in this issue

4 min
editor’s letter

Chairman and Editor-in-Chief The idea of Jim Nantz writing a column for Golf Digest came naturally during a round at Pebble Beach last year. We were partners in a three-day tournament, which is about as much fun as you can have making bogeys. No surprise, Jim tells great stories. And there’s nothing like hitting a crisp wedge and having his euphonious voice give it some encouragement. Close your eyes and you think you’re playing in the Masters. Jim showed up on the first tee driving a mint-condition classic Club Car designed to look like a Bentley. It’s a four-seater with crocodile-leather upholstery and a four-speaker stereo system playing Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits. “Strangers in the Night.” “It Was a Very Good Year.” “When Somebody Loves You.” The license plate reads: 64OPEN. That…

3 min
undercover tour pro

In the past I’ve used this column to criticize PGA Tour policy, but sometimes you have to give credit where it’s due. Quite simply, the tour has made Wednesdays great again. The new pro-am format hasn’t been conducted at every tournament this season, but where it has, the vibe in the locker room has been better. The guys are happier because they love having to play only nine holes. Amateurs still go 18 and get to team with two pros instead of one. “It’s absurd, but I legitimately start to feel nerves and pressure.” It’s a smart change for several reasons. From the veterans’ perspective, most of us don’t want to play a full round on the eve of a 72-hole tournament. If I draw the afternoon wave on Wednesday and an…

4 min
flying out of the blocks

“Without speed you can’t send it.” WHEN GOLF INSTRUCTOR Trillium Rose was asked to take a look at Troy Mullins’ driver swing for an analysis (see pages 18-19), her reaction was “she has the torque of a teenage boy.” That’s not something every woman would probably want to hear, but if you’re a long-drive champion like Mullins, you take that as a compliment. ► With an average swing speed of 117 miles per hour, which would rank her in the top 50 on the PGA Tour, Mullins routinely hits drives in the 320- to 350-yard range. She won a competition in Denver last year with a ball that went 4-0-2. ► “She has a humongous range of motion and generates a tremendous amount of swing speed by using the great strength…

3 min
troy mullins

Troy Mullins has worked with several golf instructors, but when the long-drive champion thinks about how she developed her swing, she says intuition deserves most of the credit. “Learning the driver was difficult for me at first, because I only swung irons for the first few years when I began playing,” Mullins says. “But I pick up things quickly, and coming from a track background [she competed in the heptathlon at Cornell University], I started doing what felt right for my body to do when I was throwing the shot put. It was similar.” Specifically, she discovered that generating power with a driver comes from a blend of lateral, rotational and vertical forces—just like it does when throwing an eight-pound shot. "You can tell that she understands how the body should move,” says…

2 min
don’t baby your wedge shots

“Here’s a great downswing trigger: Kick in your back knee.” The best thing you can do for your swing is to let it be an athletic motion. What I mean is, let your body and the club flow back and through so the swing is smooth and natural. One area I see a lot of golfers losing this flow is on short wedge shots, say, 40 to 60 yards. Because it’s not a full swing, the instinct is to overcontrol the motion. Trust me, that doesn’t work. The key on those short wedges is to get into a good setup and make a backswing that allows you to accelerate through the ball. Play the ball in the middle of your stance, and set extra weight on your front foot. From there, swing…

2 min
irons high and soft

“Wider swings produce higher shots.” Although they might serve you well on a golf trip to Ireland or Scotland, where a lot of times you can chase the ball onto the green, those low, and often thin, iron shots are probably costing you strokes in the United States. There are just too many holes on American courses where you’re asked to carry the ball all the way onto the green and then get it to stop on a firm putting surface. To get the ball to fly higher and land softer, you need to hit your iron shots more in the center of the face, not a groove or two—or five!—lower. One reason amateurs tend to hit irons too low is that they narrow their swing radius, taking the club back by…