Golf Digest May 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
this american original

Chairman and Editor-in-Chief We were all lucky to know Dan Jenkins. I GREW UP READING Dan Jenkins, and it shaped my life. His way with words led me and many others to a career in sports journalism. He taught us how to talk golf, write golf, drink golf, smoke golf. Mostly he taught us how to be funny, and if you can’t be funny, be fast, but preferably be both. One of the luckiest days of my career was walking into a Manhattan restaurant called Juanita’s in the fall of 1984 and walking out with Jenkins as a contributing editor. He owned the place, just like he owned golf writing. With Dan on our staff, Golf Digest attracted the best and smartest talent to our pages. David Marr and Alistair Cooke and…

3 min
economics 101 for hiring club caddies

EVERY WEEK on the PGA Tour there’s a discrepancy over money. Somebody hasn’t been paid what they think they’re owed. Multiple times I’ve had caddies who worked for me previously call to say their new boss hasn’t paid them in a while, and might I nudge that player? Caddies are a desperate lot. Too often they’re so happy to get a bag that they start without a clear agreement. Given the stakes, it’s the obligation of the player to spell it out. It’s an eight-second conversation to say, “$1,500 for the week, 5 percent of a made cut, 7 percent of a top 10, 10 percent for a win, you’ll get a check at the end of the week”—which, by the way, is the most common deal out here. And…

4 min

THE VIEW FROM EVERY tee box is different, so when you’ve got a driver in your hands, it’s useful to know how to play more than one type of shot. Good news: You don’t have to be a pro to hit a variety of them. I’ll teach you three, starting with the one you’re probably most interested in: the power shot. To pick up some extra yardage with your driver, you don’t have to swing harder than usual. Instead, address the ball with more weight on your back foot, about 70 percent (above). It creates a more solid base, so you can maintain balance and increase the chance of hitting the ball in the sweet spot. This stance also will help you catch the ball on the upswing provided you…

3 min
keith mitchell

THE PALM BEACH POST called him a “no-name champion” after he won the Honda Classic in early March, but Keith Mitchell and his driver have quickly become known quantities on the PGA Tour. The second-year player from Chattanooga can roast a golf ball and led the tour in swing speed in 2018 (125 miles per hour). Cameron Champ is now the fastest man in pro golf at 129 mph, but Mitchell is still significantly above the tour average of 113 mph. “He has a huge advantage hitting the golf ball as far as he does,” says his longtime coach, Chan Reeves, director of instruction at the Atlanta Athletic Club. “Now that other parts of his game are coming into form, that length advantage is really going to help him.” Although Mitchell has…

3 min
hands-on training it’s the key to great putting

IF YOU WANT to improve your putting, take advantage of your hands. I know, I know. You’ve probably been told to take your hands out of the stroke. But that doesn’t make sense. You’ve been training your hands to perform precise, coordinated movements even before you could walk, so why not let them help you putt? I’ll explain how in a moment, but first understand that great putting is all about controlling the putterface. If you can keep it square to the target longer, you’re going to roll the ball in a lot more. Start by getting behind the ball and identifying the line (above). Visualize the ball rolling on that line to the hole, and then trace that line back to where your ball is at rest. Once you…

2 min
when the chipping gets rough match your setup and swing to the lie

ALL TOO OFTEN amateurs have one basic chipping stroke, and they use it no matter the lie. I’m all for keeping it simple on standard chips, but you have to adapt to different lies. When you try to force a technique, you get in trouble. Let’s look at two common chipping scenarios: the perched lie and the buried lie. When the ball is sitting on top of the grass, it’s easy to slide the clubhead under it and flub the shot. That happens because when you shift forward on the downswing, it drives the clubhead downward. You catch the ball on the top of the clubface. To handle the perched lie, set up in a narrow stance, legs tall, and play the ball back. Make a sweeping motion with the clubhead, like…