WHO: Robert Karlsson
WHAT: A holed-out 8-iron for eagle
WHERE: 452-yard par-4 third hole at Jumeirah Golf Estates
WHEN: Final round of the Dubai World Championship
Karlsson started the final round three shots behind Ian Poulter, but after his eagle Karlsson had a two-stroke lead. His eight-iron shot landed 30 feet right of the hole and rolled down and to the left along the third green’s severe right-to-left breaking slope.
On huge and sloping greens like the third at Jumeirah, it’s often imperative to aim away from the flag. But Tour players are used to firing directly at the flags, so they have to change their mindset when they play courses that have big, sloping greens and thus require approaches away from the flagsticks.
On a normal short-iron shot, you need to accelerate through impact. But when you want the ball to release and roll, as Karlsson’s ball did, you need more of an even swing tempo from start to finish. If you accelerate through impact, you will likely put backspin on the ball and prevent it from releasing.
When I want the ball to release, I take a little extra club and keep my swing more even by thinking of a metronomic cadence. The cadence could come from repeating phrases like “Tick-tock” or “One, two, three.” Some of my students actually carry a metronome and use it while practicing.
Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Jim Murphy teaches at Sugar Creek Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas.