Hit Shots Like A Pro

Quick Tips From The Tour

It stands to reason that if you want to learn how to do something the right way, you should learn from the best. For this reason, we’ve gathered some shotmaking tips from current PGA Tour players. Pay close attention to the techniques they describe, and practice them regularly, just like they do. Soon enough, you’ll find that these Tour-proven tips will pay dividends in terms of better shots and lower scores. In addition, we offer a swing sequence of Padraig Harrington, arguably the best player in the world at the moment. Check out Padraig’s swing and strive to copy both its simplicity and consistency. You’ll be glad you did.

Padraig Harrington

He’s One Of The Best
Harrington’s secret is that he swings both on-plane and in sync. this type of move provides tremendous consistency.

More often than not, a golfer’s personality matches his or her golf swing. John Daly has an out-of-control backswing, Ernie Els has a silky-smooth tempo, Nick Price was machine-gun fast, and Tiger has a ridiculously athletic downswing. Then there’s Padraig Harrington. His blue-collar, never-say-die, workmanlike attitude shines through in his simple, yet extremely effective golf swing. What makes his golf swing so great is that it’s so consistent. In fact, his mechanics are so solid that it’s hard to find fault with just about anything he does. His angles are perfect, his pivot is unremarkable, yet flawless, and his commitment to the finish is unshakable. As a result, he’s competitive on every type of golf course, in all conditions, against the toughest competition in the world. This is an excellent swing to copy because it doesn’t require Tiger’s physique or outrageous flexibility. The simplicity of Harrington’s motion makes it among the very best in the game.

Great posture, a slight flex
in the knees and perfect
alignment of the shoulders are evident.

Harrington has the ideal blend of an arms’ swing and body coil.This helps him stay in sync._Ê



His hands are running up through his right shoulder while his body maintains the proper tilt.

This is a great position! His weight is in his right heel and the clubface is totally square.


Another great position—his arms are close to his body while his shoulders are closed.


He looks so comfortable here because his right foot is being pulled off the ground naturally. _Ê

His right arm is parallel to his toes and the target line, a great indicator of a free release. _Ê


Look at the photo directly above. The swing is on-plane and in sync._Ê

Harrington’s signature, rock-solid finish has his weight located on top of his left foot._Ê _Ê

My eyes are right over the ball, even after impact. This helps me swing on-line and with a body-driven stroke._Ê

Steve Flesch
See The Coin
It’s simple: Better putting comes from better fundamentals. I play with dozens of amateurs during pro-ams, and one of the places I see a lot of them lose sight of important fundamentals is on the putting green. When putting, no matter what type of stroke you may have, it’s critical that you maintain a level head above the ball, well through impact. This helps you keep the putter on-line and promotes a smooth, rhythmic putting stroke.


A simple drill to help train your head is to practice putting with the ball placed on top of a coin. Find a coin (a ballmark works well, too) and set up with your normal stance. As you make the stroke, make sure you keep your eyes stationed over the ball. After impact, you should still be staring straight down, only this time you’re looking directly at the coin._Ê Obviously, this drill can’t be used on the golf course, but it’s a simple trick to help station your head effectively and enable your body to swing the putter in a smooth and controlled motion. Furthermore, you can apply a similar approach for full shots, and be sure you see the tee or divot mark after impact. That helps, too.

If you move your head while putting, you’re Likely to drift the putterhead offline. Station your eyes over the ball and make sure you see the coin after impact. Do This and You’ll see and hear more putts rattle the bottom of the cup.

Kevin Streelman
Match The Slope
Make no bones about it, hitting a delicate pitch shot from a downhill lie isn’t easy. It’s a tough shot, especially if you don’t know how to address this scenario. To improve your odds, the key is to distribute your weight so that your knees and shoulders best match the slope of the ground. In the photos, I have to put a large amount of weight on my forward leg to accomplish this. Then, when making a stroke, it’s imperative that you swing parallel to the ground. Don’t try and scoop or lift it, since that could lead to either fat or skulled shots. When in doubt, always swing along the ground for the best results.

Do what you need to in order to align your body with the slope of the ground. my weight here is mostly on my front foot.

On a downslope, you want to finish low and along the ground. See my hands? They mirror each other and are parallel to the slope. Try this move before you make a swing.

Try your putting grip (as long

as it’s not left-hand low) from around the green. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels._Ê _Ê

Ken Duke
Chip With A Putting Grip
Putting is a precise motion, and it’s not uncommon for the hands to get too involved. When that happens, inconsistencies arise and make it harder to putt with any sense of control. The same goes for chipping. You want to limit as much hand action as possible. To do that, I like to use my putting grip (which happens to be a reverse-overlap) when hitting shots around the green. This does wonders to enhance feel and also prevents my hands from getting too active in the stroke. (If that happens, by the way, the hands tend to flip over too soon, causing a slew of bad shots.) But when I use my putting grip, I’m more inclined to keep the clubface square to the target and also use my body in a more rotary-driven motion (as opposed to the faulty, handsy stroke). Practice this often, and you’ll see how easy it is to hit more accurate shots around the green. Keep the hands steady during the shot, just as you would with your putting stroke.


Keep the hands steady during the shot, just as you would with your putting stroke. _Ê

Unlike big, full swing shots that need a log of hand action, chip shots are better executed with soft, quiet hands.

Richard S. Johnson
Center Yourself
You can’t tell by looking at these photos, but I’m hitting into a stiff wind here. When you’re faced with this condition, the key is to keep your body as centered over the ball as possible during the golf swing. To do this, first position the ball back a few inches from normal and make sure you have the shaft leaning toward the target. Then, as you swing, allow your body to coil, only don’t shift your weight! Keep it centered, instead. By doing this, you’ll make a more upright swing and, hence, a steeper blow into the ball. These are the first steps you should take to hit a punch shot. From there, don’t hit the ball any harder than normal. Instead, just hit the ball with a steep angle and finish your swing in an abbreviated finish position. These two factors will help you hit the ball low with a penetrating trajectory. This shot works so well that some players actually hit it when there’s no wind, since it tends to fly very straight and with a predictable trajectory._Ê_Ê

Play the ball back a Few inches from normal. Try to keep the shaft leaning in the direction of the intended target._Ê


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