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Publication: Today's Golf
Tips To Take To The Bank

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          GOLF TIPS - Thursday, August 2, 2007
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"
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Fellow Duffers,

Want to try a neat experiment? Go to a golf course that has a
driving range and a decent pro shop and take a demo driver
with 13 degrees of loft (or more) out to the range and see how
you hit it. The trend on tour is increased loft, and I bet it
would do you some good, too.

The other thing to test is a softer shaft. Most professionals
swing between 110 and 125 mph. Most amateurs swing at less than
100. We would benefit from a whippier tip on our clubs.

Sam
mailto:sam@gophercentral.com


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Zach Johnson's putting tip

Groove your putting

I use these two drills to hone the speed and line of my putts.

My speed check

Find a fast, downhill putt on the practice green. Lay an iron two
feet beyond the hole and perpendicular to the line of the putt.
Then place tees along the line at nine feet, 15 feet, 21 feet, 27
feet and 33 feet. The goal isn't to make the putts (although that's
always good), but rather to place three in a row from each distance
at least to the hole or beyond without hitting the shaft of the
iron. If you miss one, you go back to the previous distance. When
you putt all three to the hole or beyond without hitting the shaft,
move back to the next distance. 



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Zach Johnson 

Improve your iron game

I use these two drills to sharpen my full irons and place the
ball where I want it on the green.

Drill 1 - The curve game

I prefer to hit the ball right to left, but my goal is to always
leave the ball right of the hole. To practice this, I divide each
side of the green into thirds (with the flag in the middle). If I
leave the ball inside the outer third on the right, I give myself
one point. For the middle third on the right I give myself three,
and for the third closest to the hole it's five points. If I miss
to the left of the hole, I deduct one point for the inner third,
and three and five for the middle and outer third. I play to 20,
but you can set your own score.




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Zach Johnson

HOW TO BIRDIE MORE PAR 5s

Over four rounds at Augusta National, I birdied 11 of the 16
par 5s I played, and I laid up every time. I executed that
strategy with confidence because I knew I could get the ball
close to the hole with one of my two basic lob-wedge shots:
(1) a low- to medium-height shot with maximum spin to attack
middle and back pins, and (2) a high, soft ball to front hole
locations. 

CHECKPOINT: How to find your lay-up distance

Lay up to a distance where you can make a controlled 3/4 swing.
For me, that's 50-75 yards. To determine your distance, drop
10 balls at the 100-yard marker on a hole (when the course is
empty) and make 3/4 swings with your favorite wedge. Take the
average distance of the 10, and that's your lay-up distance.



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Completing our Zach Johnson issue is his recap of...

How I birdied the 13th hole on Sunday

My birdie at Augusta's 13th hole on Sunday really got me going.
Like all the other par 5s that week, I laid up. Here's what I did:

Tee shot: Driver

SHOT 1 Hit an OK driver off the tee that left me 203 yards to the
front edge and 220 to the hole. Depending on the wind, that carry
distance would typically call for my 3-, 4- or 5-iron.

7-iron
SHOT 2 Punched a 7-iron to my pre-determined distance of 75 yards
to the hole. Where I played it to was key because of the way Rae's
Creek snakes around the green. In theory, I could have played the
ball to pin high or even beyond the pin and still been in the
fairway. However, I wanted to create the maximum amount of room
between the edge of the green and the pin, so I left the ball at
an angle that gave me 10 paces to work with and the backboard
behind the hole. Had I played the ball to pin high, I would have
had only five paces to work with. 


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