Marc Leishman on his 'handsy' swing

Marc Leishman on his ‘handsy’ swing

Marc Leishman.
Robert Beck/SI

I've always been a very handsy player, much like Geoff Ogilvy or Phil Mickelson. I learned the game in windy South Australia without the help of a dedicated coach. I had to figure out my own way to play in a stiff breeze, so I developed the ability to manipulate the clubface with my hands through impact—faster for a draw, slower for a fade. To curve the ball, some pros prefer to change swing planes or get into a preset address position. I think my way is much easier.

The only tricky part is the timing. You need the proper hand action at just the right moment. This takes practice. The next time you're at the range, hit nothing but shots that curve. Pick a target, then try to get the ball there with a draw, a fade, a low shot and a high shot. Do this a few times and you'll start to see the course like pros do—in curved lines. Hardly anyone out here plays a straight ball. We hit draws and fades on almost every swing, which allows us to skirt hazards and reach tucked pins. You can't always do that with a dead-straight shot. Get handsy! You'll avoid trouble and set up a lot more birdies.

1. Handsy players are usually great feel players, which comes in, well, handy when you miss greens. My specialty: pulling off tough chips that other players can't.

2. Shaping shots by altering your stance is needlessly difficult. Instead, stick with your usual stance and swing and use your hand action through impact to curve it left or right.

3. Your left hand controls the clubface. Note how my glove logo and the clubface point in the same direction at impact (left).

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