Follow these four steps to dominate a dogleg right
Nobody has won more masters titles than Jack Nicklaus, who slipped on the green jacket six times. Nor has any other golfer possessed such mastery of the power fade. When you take a look at the shape of Augusta National’s 18th hole, you realize that those two things are connected. Nicklaus was well-equipped to tackle golf’s most pressure-packed finale—he won three titles by a single shot, including in 1986, when he sealed a legendary win with a perfect drive just right of the bunker, and a fourth in a playoff. In honor of Jack’s 80th birthday, here’s how to tackle one of the world’s most famous doglegs right.
1. Consider you options
As with most doglegs, the worst trouble lurks on the inside—but two bunkers guard the elbow, too. As a result, two options exist: Hammer a driver with a fade around the dogleg or lay back short of the bunker. Time to make a plan.
2. Stick to your go-to shot
If you struggle to hit the fade, this probably isn’t the time to learn how. Doglegs can play tricks on the mind because they seem to call for a curved shot, but shortcuts can lead to long delays; you can dissect the hole with two straight shots (or even draws) just as happily.
3. Don’t be a hero
Unless you’re playing in the actual Masters, hitting the 18th green in three shots isn’t a bad thing. Off the tee, hit the longest club you feel secure hitting, even if it’s an iron; with a confident weapon, you’ll give yourself the best chance to make a confident swing.
4. Swing through it
The first obstacle you have to conquer is the chute of trees directly off the tee. It’s a terrifying visual. On scary shots, often our natural instinct is to freeze up a bit. Finish your backswing and hold your finish for a full, balanced move.
(1) Don’t be afraid to lay back off the tee. For most amateurs, hitting this green in three would be an accomplishment worth celebrating.
(2) A good dogleg doesn’t allow you to bail out; here, two penal bunkers guard the outside of the dogleg.
(3) Yeah, it’s an intimidating look off the tee. That’s kind of the point. But if you’re a big-hitting power fader, take a rip! This hole was made for you.
(4) Whether it’s water, waste area or woods, the inside of a dogleg is typically worth avoiding. Be careful what you try to cut off.
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