Golf Digest December 2018-January 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

6 min
the best waggle in golf is gone

As Tom Watson said, Dave Anderson “did it the right way.” MAYBE THE MOST beloved typist in the press tent for the latter half of the 20th century was the great Dave Anderson. He died on Oct. 4 at age 89, still with the title: Nicest Guy in Sports. ? One of our pals always said Dave was thought to be a boxing writer by the boxing writers, and he was known as a football writer by the football writers and a baseball writer by the baseball writers—and certainly he was a golf writer among the golf writers. That might be the highest tribute paid a sports columnist: to be considered an expert in every field by the experts. ? My connection to Dave was all about golf, except for one…

2 min
the lpga’s top rookie will show you how

If you’re No. 1 in greens in regulation on the LPGA Tour like Jin Young Ko was in 2018, you might not need to spend a lot of time chipping. Unfortunately, most amateurs hit fewer than six greens in regulation each round, so having better short-game skills should be a focal point of practice, says Ko, the LPGA Rookie of the Year. “Amateurs I’ve played with don’t think about whether the shot should run or if it should land soft,” she says. “They just try to get it on the green any way they can.” That’s no way to approach these situations, says Jorge Parada, one of Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers and director of instruction at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J. With the help of Ko…

2 min
how to stop coming up short

“If you’re a stiff-wristed putter, you’ll struggle from long range.” IN GOLF, your instincts can get you into trouble. A good example is when you have a long putt. The tendency is to think you have to hit the ball harder than normal. That mind-set leads to a short backstroke and a fast flick on the downstroke. The result is usually poor contact—and a putt that never gets to the hole. A better technique is to lengthen your backstroke but keep the pace of the motion the same. That produces more energy at impact—the longer stroke gives you smooth acceleration—and a better chance of catching the ball flush. It’s just like trying to get more distance on a full shot: Hitting the ball in the middle of the clubface is the best…

2 min
poised to strike?

“Get your right elbow in the slot near your right hip.” GOLFERS frequently stop their backswings to check the club. What you don’t see nearly as often is someone stopping halfway down to check if the club is in position to hit a quality shot. Here I’m checking my driver’s shaft on the downswing. Note how it’s angled—not too steep or shallow. Lesser-skilled players tend to swing down with the shaft more upright, leading to an outside-in swing path and a pull or slice. Better players err with the shaft too shallow or flat at this checkpoint. That often causes them to push or hook the shot. The key for a good, repeating swing is to have the club moving toward the ball on an angle or plane that closely matches the angle…

2 min
this touch shot is a must-have

“Make the clubhead go whizzing past your hands.” When most golfers leave themselves short-sided, meaning off the green but close to the hole, they feel like they have to hit a perfect shot that lands soft and stops dead. All too often, they decelerate into impact and dump it short. Then comes the classic line: “I got too cute with it.” Let’s get away from cute and go for reliable instead. When you have to soften a greenside shot, start by taking your most lofted wedge. This seems obvious, but you’d be amazed how often I see golfers grab their favorite club, say, a pitching wedge, no matter where they are. You need loft here, so go with a 58- or 60-degree. Then open the face 10 to 20 degrees before you…

3 min
beau hossler

It’s difficult to see, but when analyzing Beau Hossler’s tee shots, one thing stands out: He gets all he can out of his driver. He finished his rookie season on the PGA Tour in 2018 ranked second in a statistic called total driving efficiency. It’s determined by how far a player hits the ball in relation to his average swing speed. Hossler swung the driver 111 miles per hour last year—nearly 2.5 mph slower than the tour average—but he ranked 59th in driving distance hitting it an even 300 yards off the tee. How does he squeeze every yard he can out of his driver? His coach, Cameron McCormick, says Hossler’s strengths are the width of his swing arc, the clubhead lag he creates in the downswing and his smooth, consistent…