Big Play: Rose's ripped 5-wood to set up an eagle

Big Play: Rose’s ripped 5-wood to set up an eagle

Justin Rose's powerful long game was a big advantage on Sunday at the AT&T National.
Fred Vuich/SI

WHO: Justin Rose
WHAT: 279-yard five-wood to three feet for an eagle
WHERE: 605-yard par 5 ninth hole at Aronimink Golf Club
WHEN: Final round of the AT&T National

Justin Rose today is vastly different from the 17-year-old Justin Rose who charmed the world with a tie for fourth at the 1998 British Open. He’s matured, become very fit and made significant changes to his body (putting on more muscle) and reworked his swing. Rose is proof that golf is no longer a pastime, but a true sport.

How else can you explain Rose hitting a 279-yard five wood on a rope to set up his first eagle of the season? In the old days, guys used to rip a driver and hope it went 280 yards. And to hit a shot like that under those pressurized final-round circumstances made the shot even more remarkable.

THE DRILL: The fairway wood swing is different from the swing for a driver or a mid- to long-iron. With a fairway wood, your swing needs to flatten out through impact with a sweeping motion rather than having a descending blow.

To learn the sweeping, flat swing, use a fairway wood and take practice swings with two tees in the ground. No ball is needed. Put one tee where the ball would be, and put the second tee three inches ahead of the first tee and toward the target. The goal is to swing and sweep both tees off the ground. Most golfers try and lift the club at impact with a fairway wood, so my drill forces you to keep the clubhead sweeping along the grass.

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Eden Foster is the head professional at the Maidstone Club in East Hampton, N.Y.

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