Golf Digest September 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
how hard can golf be?

Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Forty years ago, Nancy Lopez was Tiger before Tiger. RANDOM TRENDS IN GOLF WE LIKE: ▶ Allowing fivesomes as long as they keep up with the group ahead. ▶ Not waiting till January to begin using the new USGA rules that won’t officially go into effect until 2019. Especially dropping from O.B. as if it were a hazard. ▶ Encouraging music to be played during a round (and ignoring the USGA rule that bans it). ▶ Pushing or pulling a cart instead of riding—Augusta University’s Broc Everett used a pushcart in winning the Men’s NCAA Championship. ▶ Adding a mammoth putting green (like Thistle Dhu at Pinehurst) or a short course (like The Sandbox at Sand Valley). I can’t help pausing this summer to remember that 40 years ago every…

3 min
undercover tour pro

Except for Sundays and holidays, never has a day passed when both the FedEx and UPS trucks drove by my house without stopping. My wife is a seasoned online shopper, but most of the cardboard packages left on our doorstep are for me. PGA Tour players, as you might imagine, get a lot of stuff. ▶ Every three months I get a shipment of 50 shirts, plus a few dozen pairs of pants. My clothing supplier wants me to wear the new season and encourages getting rid of the old to avoid confusion. I’ve purged entire boxes when one sponsor changes a logo. I give clothes to friends as much as I can and save certain items I especially like to wear just around the house. Still, I’m always bringing…

3 min
four ways to find the fairway

I’VE COME TO ACCEPT I’M NOT ONE OF THE LONGEST GUYS ON TOUR, so if I’m going to beat guys who are 20 to 30 yards longer off the tee—like I did at the 2015 RSM Classic and the 2017 Dean & DeLuca Invitational—I have to keep the ball in the fairway. My stats prove that. Heading into the British Open in July, I was 35 under par on approaches from the fairway between 50 and 175 yards. In the same range from the rough, I was 14 over. That’s a big difference. Being a solid driver means having more than one way to find the fairway. I’m going to teach you four, one for each type of wind condition. Pair the correct play with that wind, and you’ll be…

2 min
prime-time putting

“Be like Tiger: Beat pressure with a relentless routine.” We all know players who seem to always get it done under pressure. More likely, they just look good by comparison with the golfers around them who are collapsing. Putting seems to exaggerate this phenomenon. When that putt on the last hole falls or doesn’t, the player’s reputation on the greens is set for life. But you can do something to boost your chance of putting well in stressful situations. Develop a pre-putt routine, and stick to it no matter what’s on the line. I don’t care if you take one practice stroke, two or none. I don’t care if you look at the hole once, twice, three times—whatever. The key is doing what feels right to you when there’s no pressure, and…

3 min
tyrrell hatton

Although only 26, England’s Tyrrell Hatton A has a mature golf swing built over a decade that he trusts in the most pressurized situations. For that reason, unlike many pros who tinker, Hatton’s practice is based on keeping his swing just the way it is. That’s why Hatton’s father, Jeff, describes himself as a swing mechanic and not a coach. “I get involved with his game if something is off,” Jeff says of Hatton, a three-time winner on the European Tour and virtual lock to play in this year’s Ryder Cup. “If he’s playing well, I don’t need to provide input. It’s been nearly 10 years since I’ve had to do any true coaching.” Instead, the Hattons focus on Tyrrell’s setup, two positions in his backswing (the start and the top) and good…

2 min
accuracy tip: stare down the ball

Every bad result in golf can be traced back to a root cause. If you’re struggling to hit accurate drives, the issue is a lack of clubface control. Many amateurs start their backswings by whipping the driver way inside the target line and opening the face. From there, they re-route the club on a looping path that comes into the ball from outside the target line—the classic over-the-top move—with an open face in relation to the path. You can guess what happens next. The ball slices right of the target. If by some luck or last-second adjustment they can close the face, the ball flies on a straight line but left of the target. How many times have you heard another golfer get frustrated after setting up to hit a drive…