Big Play: Honda Classic

Big Play: Honda Classic

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Ernie Els's shot from a divot helped him win his first Tour event since 2004.
J. Pat Carter/AP

Who: Ernie Els
What: 175-yard approach to 32 feet
Where: 434-yard par-4 16th hole at PGA National
When: Sunday at the Honda Classic

Why: It was refreshing to hear Els say that he had
goose bumps while waiting to see if he’d be in a
playoff. Many pros have let riches make them lazy, but
Els still burns with desire to chase Tiger Woods. After
two recent final-round collapses and a first-round
thumping at the Match Play, Els intensified his practice.
His work paid off when his ball landed in a divot at the
16th and he still pured the approach. Els has a long way
to go to catch Woods, but he took a big step on Sunday.

To play from divots, you need
solid contact, meaning the
clubhead must hit the ball
before it hits the turf. Practice
in a flat sand bunker. Draw a
line in the sand, then stand
over the line so it runs through
the spot where the ball would
be.

The goal is to swing so your
divot starts at the line,
not behind it. Do this with
everything from a pitch-sized
motion to a full swing.

Mark Wood teaches at the
Cornerstone Club in Montrose, Colo.


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