Golf Digest March 2019

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
the year to buy a driver

“When’s the last time you moved something 130, 140, 150 miles per hour?” This month’s Editor’s Letter is my annual Q&A with Golf Digest equipment editors Mike Stachura and Mike Johnson, who just turned in their 16th edition of the Hot List: YOU’VE SAID AROUND THE HALLWAYS, “THIS IS THE YEAR TO BUY A DRIVER.” WHAT MAKES 2019 DIFFERENT? Stachura: More levels of adjustability fit more golfers’ preferences than ever, and there’s no compromise on looks. Every driver today looks like a race car and feels like it goes that fast, because it does—when’s the last time you moved something 130, 140, 150 miles per hour? Also, manufacturing of drivers is getting right to the edge of being too hot for the rules. EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT THE FOUR-YARD DISTANCE GAIN ON THE PGA TOUR…

3 min
undercover tour pro

I’M ONE OF VERY FEW guys over age 45 who plays a full PGA Tour schedule. Other than Phil Mickelson, who’s an absolute marvel at 48, most golf fans would have a difficult time naming the rest of us. When I first got a tour card, any given week the field had at least a dozen real veterans, guys who’d played with golfers I’d only seen in photographs. Nowadays, 36 or 37 feels old out here. Instead of three or four generations of players, it’s like we have two. It’s no secret that players are better younger. The way our sport has developed at the junior and collegiate levels means rookies are arriving to the pros more seasoned from elite tournament experience. And obviously, physical fitness and technology have put greater…

2 min
hole high

YOU PROBABLY FEEL PRETTY GOOD when you’re at the perfect yardage for the club in your hands. But what about those annoying yardages, like when a full 7-iron is going to be too much, and a full 8-iron might not get there? Or when you’re 45 yards from the green and your full lob wedge flies 60? I’ve seen many golfers struggle in these situations because they swing too hard or decelerate the club to try to control distance, and neither really works. If you want to hit more shots pin-high, give the methods I’ve used on the PGA Tour a try. ▶ Let’s start with in-between yardages. Here I’m swinging a 7-iron. I normally hit it 185 yards, so if I have 175 to the pin, I stand slightly…

3 min
tiger 2019

With the question of Tiger Woods’ future in golf pivoting from can he win again to can he win another major, we asked Golf Digest Teaching Professional David Leadbetter to analyze and comment on the latest version of Woods’ swing. “Tiger is close to swinging at his very best,” Leadbetter says. “Overall, I like what he’s doing. But my feeling is, if he’s able to sync his swing a little better, it would be the icing on the cake.” Leadbetter would like to see Woods’ arms and body finishing more in unison at the top of the backswing, so he doesn’t need to rely so much on timing in the downswing. And considering Woods proved last year that power is not an issue—he was swinging his driver at a healthy 121 miles per…

2 min
e for effort

"Hold off your finish like this on these half-wedge shots." Driving and approach shots are the strengths of my game, which is why I spend a lot of practice time on shorter shots—especially in that 40-to-60-yard range. Although it’s the middle of winter, you can really get good at these shots this time of year without worrying about frostbite. Let me explain. One thing I see a lot from amateurs when hitting these shorter shots is too much effort. Not only is it unnecessary to create a lot of swing speed to get the ball to the hole from these distances, it also makes it tougher to hit a good shot. Remember, these are shorter-than-normal swings. If you throw extra speed into them, there’s virtually no time to recover from a bad…

2 min
pace yourself

“If you use an aiming point, make sure it’s beyond the hole.” You’re looking over a long, breaking putt, and in your mind you start drawing a picture of the ball snaking its way to the hole. What’s wrong with that image? Nothing, as long as you don’t forget about speed. Speed is the biggest factor in putting. Good speed with a bad line almost always puts you closer to the hole than bad speed with a good line. Think about that. What you need is a way of combining those two elements. You probably already pick an aiming spot on long putts. For a lot of golfers, that spot is the high point of the break, which might be halfway down your line. If that’s what you do, don’t be surprised…