Golf Digest August 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

3 min
armchair architect gets real

The winning entry was built at Sand Valley’s Mammoth Dunes. ACENTURY AGO, Country Life magazine held an “armchair architect” contest inviting readers to submit a drawing of a two-shot hole for the Lido Golf Club to be built on New York’s Long Island. The winner was a surgeon from the Boer War, later a camouflage expert in World War I, named Dr. Alister MacKenzie. The hole was built, but the course no longer exists. MacKenzie’s sketch proved to be his first step in developing into arguably the greatest golf architect of all time, designing two of the top three in America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses (Augusta National and Cypress Point). Golf Digest held its first armchair architect contest in 1987 and unleashed a torrent of budding designers: 22,000 entries flooded our offices,…

3 min
undercover tour pro

If you’re complaining about Tony Romo, there’s a simple solution: Play better. I PLAYED THE PGA TOUR EVENT in the Dominican Republic this season. Down there, I met Tony Romo, who was in the field on a sponsor’s exemption. Earlier in the week in the locker room, I’d heard some pros talk about how good he was, how far he hit the ball. There was this feeling that the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback might actually make the cut. The Puntacana course is long and forgiving, so presumably the best setup for a physically strong amateur. Of course, Romo shot 79-80, last place, save the withdrawals and one unestablished pro who blew up. ▶ I didn’t get into the field at Dallas. I was surprised, considering it was the week before the…

4 min
major player

THANKS TO TIGER WOODS, we know what historic runs in major championships look like. And we’re seeing another one from Brooks Koepka, especially after he won the PGA Championship at Bethpage, his fourth major in eight tries. He’s often thought of as a muscle-bound bomber, but he’s actually a technician and strategist. And he has a complete game—physically and mentally. He’s long off the tee and a good iron player. He has an excellent short game and can putt. With his work in the gym, he has become physically intimidating to some other players. And his mental toughness is another kind of intimidation. Like I said, he’s the total package, and it’s so cool to see what he’s doing up close. If you want to know more about why he’s…

3 min
kevin tway

KEVIN TWAY’S development from a U.S. Junior Amateur champion to an All-American at Oklahoma State to a winner on the PGA Tour can be traced to lessons from his father, 1986 PGA Championship winner Bob Tway. But there have been plenty of other influences along the way, says coach E.J. Pfister. “He’s been hanging out at Oak Tree National forever, playing golf with pros like Scott Verplank, Willie Wood and Dr. Gil Morgan,” Pfister says. “They embraced him and pushed him. He’s a product of his environment.” Kevin won the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in October largely because of a sharp short game, but he’s also spent a lot of time on driver technique. “My swing is shorter and faster compared to when I first came on tour,” he says. “I used to…

2 min
driving for distance

“Be like Dustin, and keep up your arm speed to the finish.” THE OLD IDEA of hitting a low draw to get the ball running down the fairway is, well, an old idea. Launch monitors have proven that carry distance is the key to overall distance. Here are some tips for maximizing carry. First, check your driver specs. A little more loft—for most players, at least 10.5 degrees—will help you launch the ball higher. A lighter, more-flexible shaft means you’ll get more out of the speed potential you have. Next comes the setup. Move your trail foot back a few inches to widen your stance. That’ll tilt your spine away from the target and put your head behind the ball. From there, you can swing into impact on a shallow, sweeping angle and…

4 min
damage control

“It’s tough to make a confident swing if you’re worried about the result.” ONE CROOKED SHOT; one missed short putt; one bad hole. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get a round spinning out of control. Just look at Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship. He was cruising but then hit a couple of bad shots on the back nine on Sunday and went on to make four straight bogeys. He nearly lost the tournament. Things can even turn ugly through no fault of your own. Maybe it starts raining or the wind picks up; or you come to a hole with an unsettling forced carry. I could go on, but the point is, dealing with stress is a part of playing golf. Here I’ll go through some on-course scenarios that…