Golf Digest May 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
to absent friends

Peter Dobereiner, one of the great British sportswriters of the 20th century, introduced me to an Italian red wine called Amarone that has come to hold an extraordinary meaning for some golfers. Amarone della Valpolicella, its full name, is distinguished among all other wines that typically are made from grapes harvested, immediately crushed and fermented. The grapes for Amarone come from older, mature vines that are picked later in the season and left to dry for 120 days, loosely stored on straw mats to allow air circulation all winter. The process is called appassimento or raisinate. The grapes practically become raisins by the time they’re crushed, losing 30 to 40 percent of their weight and developing an intense concentration with a strong 15 percent alcohol level. Amarone in Italian means “the…

5 min
undercover tour pro

“I feel like it’s necessary for one of us to speak the truth.” People have been talking about the golf ball going too far since the 1930s, but recently it has reached a crescendo. Half the golf world thinks the game is fine, and the other half thinks it’s a disaster. Wisely, most of my fellow pros with endorsement contracts have stayed fairly mute or politic around conversations about equipment rollbacks. But I feel like it’s necessary for one of us to speak the truth. So forgive my anonymity, but it’s just easier this way. You can know that I’m a major champion, in case that lends more weight to what I’m about to say. First, forget any numbers you’ve read about driving distance. They’re all nonsense. The PGA Tour doesn’t tell…

3 min
pre-flight check

I’m on the Tour and have my eye on a PGA Tour card, but I’m still practicing fundamentals that began when I started working with my swing coach, Alex Murray, in the eighth grade. Namely, I’m trying to set up in the proper hitting angle. Alex’s theory is that to be in the correct position at impact, you should start in a very similar position at address. It makes it easier to maintain those angles when you swing. I start with the left side of my torso set higher than the right (photo, previous page), but I don’t put too much weight on my back foot. Instead, I focus on my left side, making sure the shoelaces, calf, quad and shoulder are all in a straight line. I also set…

7 min
young maverick

“My dad would’ve made me pay rent to live at home after school.” Maverick McNealy isn’t on the PGA Tour yet. He still has to earn it with good play on the Tour. But the Stanford alum and former No. 1-ranked amateur is relishing the chance to make his own way. The son of Scott McNealy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, whose net worth is estimated at $1 billion, Maverick, 22, is far more modest and ambitious than a privileged upbringing might lead you to believe. We talked with Maverick about his childhood, his prospects for making the PGA Tour and how he defines success. YOU TURNED DOWN A CHANCE TO BE ON OUR COVER. WHAT WAS YOUR REASONING? Being on the cover of Golf Digest is a big deal, and I…

1 min
improve your feel

Golfers are often told to keep their hands passive when hitting shots—even I’ve been guilty of saying it from time to time. But what does having passive hands mean? Your hands are the only thing holding the club. They have to do something! Instead of passive hands, think control the hands. Here’s one example: Certainly when hitting pitch shots, the hands might feel passive during portions of the swing. The club is moving as a result of the body pivoting. But as the ball is being struck, let your dominant hand move under the glove hand. For righties, that’s the right moving under the left through impact (right). Just keep the body turning toward the target, and this controlled hand action will loft the ball up with a good amount of…

3 min
looks easy, plays hard

When a hole lacks distance, you can bet there’s something else that makes up for it—like a brutal green. The 315-yard 10th at Riviera Country Club (above) is a perfect example. It might be the toughest drivable par 4 in the world, with a very narrow green that tilts severely to the left. If you miss it right, you can’t hold a pitch shot on the surface. Most pros try to drive the green during the Genesis Open—Dustin Johnson is going for it here with a fairway wood—but because of that green, it seems we see as many bogeys as birdies. When you face a short par 4, you have a choice between trying to drive the ball as close to the green as possible or laying back with a more…