An inside look at GOLF Magazine’s December issue

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10 Tips from December's Golf Magazine The top 10 things in this month's issue of GOLF Magazine that will improve your game right now! 1. How to choose the right wedge The question isn't if you should carry a lob wedge (you should!) but when you should use it. Golf Magazine's December cover story proves that you can hit the ball as much as 41 percent closer when you pick the right club. Here's what we found: • Pitch from fairway: Use lob wedge (41% closer) • Pitch from rough: Use lob wedge (40% closer) • Pitch from hardpan: Use sand wedge (34% closer) • Chip from fairway: Use sand wedge (29% closer) • Chip from uphill rough: Use sand wedge (29% closer) • Standard bunker shot: Use lob wedge (34% closer) • Deep-faced bunker shot: Use lob wedge (30% closer) • Buried-lie bunker shot: Use either one • Find out how to master all these wedge shots and get short-game tips from top Tour pros like Ernie Els.
2 of 10 Leonard Kamsler
9. Dave Pelz's Short-Game Advice On short shots around the green, should I pitch with more loft or chip with less loft? Which is the right choice? Dave says: It varies, but there's a way to check for your game. Hit 10 balls with each loft from several different spots around a practice green. Notice which loft leaves you with the most short putts. After several sessions you'll begin to feel which club and loft you have more confidence in. That's the best shot for you. • The Dave Pelz Vault
3 of 10 Schecter Lee
8. Mizuno's New Driver The Mizuno MP-600 has 16 grams of adjustable weight that can be set to promote 15 — count 'em, 15 — different ball flights, a boon for better players seeking to tweak the shape of their drives. (If forgiveness is your first priority, Mizuno recommends its MX-560.) The design of the MP-600 is novel in that its two eight-gram weights don't screw in, they slide along a crescent-shaped track that looks like a set of six teeth imprints in the driver's sole. Need help hitting a draw? Simply loosen the weights and slide them toward the heel, which helps close the clubface at impact. Fancy a fade? Scoot the weights toward the toe for the opposite effect. You can loosen, slide and tighten the weights in 10 seconds with an easy-to-use wrench. Now if only the Rules allowed you do that on every tee • ClubTest | Equipment Finder
4 of 10 David Bergman
7. How to Hit Greens From the Rough As long as the ball isn't completely buried, you don't need to back off, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher Kevin Walker says. Play the ball in the center of your stance with the majority of your weight on your front foot. Take one more club and open the face about 5 degrees. Swing the club up abruptly and keep your weight over your front foot. As you do that, rotate your forearms and cup your left wrist. On your downswing, make your regular move to the ball but exaggerate your release. It should feel like you're throwing the clubhead at the target. With this steeper swing and open clubface, you should be watching your ball fly to the green. • More tips from: Kevin Walker | The Top 100
5 of 10 Darryl Estrine
6. The Rules Guy Dear Rules Guy: After chipping in his second shot on a par 3, my pal called himself on a double-hit. How's that scored? — Gary Winter, via e-mail A: The double-hit ranks up there with the whiff among golf's greatest indignities, and the Rules offer little consolation. If you strike the ball more than once in the course of a stroke, you must count the stroke and add one penalty stroke, states Rule 14-4. Thus your friend made a bittersweet 3. The good news is that no matter how many times you strike the ball during the course of a stroke, you cannot be charged with more than two strokes, because a "stroke" is defined as the forward movement of the club, not the number of times the ball strikes the clubhead during that movement. If this is a Rule you have to apply frequently, Rules Guy suggests you take up tennis. • More from the Rules Guy
6 of 10 Schecter Lee
5. How to Stop Swinging Over the Top When you slice, you know exactly why — you swing over the top. But how do you stop doing it? GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher Steve Bosdosh has the answer in his pocket: Set up to a ball and imagine a friend grabbing your right pocket. When you're ready to start your backswing, feel your "friend" yank your right hip away from the ball and behind you. This hip action makes it difficult to swing over the top. As you start down, feel a tug again, but this time on your left hip. This will help you approach the ball from the inside and hit a draw. More tips from: Steve Bosdosh | The Top 100
7 of 10 Monte Isom
4. Jim Furyk's Answers to YOUR Questions This is YOUR interview with Jim Furyk in the December GOLF Magazine. YOU asked the tough questions. YOU got Jim to give you his best tips. YOU brought our readers closer to one of the Tour's most popular players. The best part: We didn't have to pay YOU anything. Jim, I need a good chipping tip. Any ideas? — Dan Duncan, 33, Carlsbad, Calif. Jim says: This sounds almost too simple, but it works. A mistake most amateurs make is they take their grip, then manipulate the clubface for the shot they want to hit — open face for a flop shot, closed for a bump and run, and so on. Then when they swing, their hands want to return to square, which changes the shot. My advice is to set your body and clubhead up to the ball for the shot you want and then take your grip. That keeps your hands where you want them, so you won't manipulate the club. • Read more of YOUR interview with Jim Furyk.
8 of 10 Fred Vuich
3. How to Make a Money Stroke GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher Tim Mahoney has a foolproof way to make your putts roll smoothly to the target, but it'll cost you — 35 cents. Stack a dime on top of a quarter directly behind the ball on the target line. Hover your putter over the coins at address and make your stroke. If your forward stroke is solid, you'll miss the coins. (Don't cheat by exaggerating a descending blow.) This drill produces a slightly descending stroke that bottoms out at the equator of the ball for an ultra-pure roll. More tips from: Tim Mahoney | The Top 100
9 of 10 Schecter Lee
2. The New Titlest NXTs All golf balls are definitely not the same, but these two have something in common: high expectations. This photo is a cross-section view of Titlest's new NXT Tour and NXT Extreme balls that replaced the company's popular NXT Tour (at left) and NXT models. (No, it's not a photo of the breakfast special at the Salmonella Cafe.) GOLF Magazine put the new (and old) balls to our exclusive robot test and found the new NXT series has a slightly higher flight, it provides a slight bump in carry distance and for NXT Tour more spin with the sand wedge than its predecessor. Head-to-head, the new NXT Extreme is longer off the driver than new NXT Tour; the two new balls perform similarly with the 8-iron; and NXT Tour offers 3,500 rpm more backspin off a full sandwedge shot. • See how they performed in our test.
10 of 10 Corbis Outline
10. How Tiger makes the cup look bigger Would you operate on these eyes? We talked to Dr. Mark Whitten, the guy who's performed two LASIK-eye-surgeries on El Tigre. So what was up, Doc? "When (Tiger) sat up from the laster he feigned blindness and then he smiled," Whitten says. "I looked at him and said, 'You're kidding, right?' A month later he won the Wachovia. He said the cup looked bigger (laughs). Imagine how everybody else felt about that." • Read about the man who operated on Tiger.