Golf Digest
FlagHunt Image Credit: Golf Digest
FlagHunt Image Credit: Golf Digest

Flag Hunt

MOST GOLFERS, AMATEUR AND PRO, have a stock shot—a ball flight and trajectory they’re used to producing. It’s the one they rely on most. For example, I like a baby draw, seeing the ball start right of the target and curve back toward it. Without that shot, I’m nothing. That being said, you can’t get through most rounds hitting only one type of iron shot—especially when it’s windy. You need a variety to deal with various course conditions and hole locations. Golf Digest asked me what four I’d recommend as the most valuable for everyday golfers; the must-have shots. Selfishly, I picked my baby draw as one of them. Why? I haven’t seen too many draws that weren’t hit flush. When you need to get it to the hole, you could do worse. The other three I like are a three-quarter swing for control, a low spinner that checks up by the hole, and finally a high-trajectory shot. That’s the one you’ll probably use the least, but it’s great for holding firm greens and getting out of tree trouble. I will teach you the keys to hitting all four. If you can get confident with them, you’ll be able to get to more pins than you can with only one go-to shot. Let’s get started. —WITH RON KASPRISKE

Tommy Fleetwood

1 THE BABY DRAW

PLAY IT BACK AND DROP YOUR HANDS

Swinging into the ball from inside the target line comes naturally for me, but I know drawing it isn’t always easy. One reason is that many of you look at the course through a fader’s eyes. If you can’t visualize a draw shot shape, it’s going to be hard to hit one. Seeing the shape tends to make you unconsciously change your setup and swing to get the curve you want. That’s an easy swing change, right?

OK, I know it’s not that easy. So here’s more help: First, play the ball back in your stance—no farther forward than centered between your feet. Then, as you reach the top of the backswing, feel like your hands drop before the club moves toward the ball (above). Combined with the ball position, this drop allows you to slot the club inside the target line and hit the ball on a path that’s moving outward. If the club is slightly closed in relation to that path at impact, the ball’s going to curve just the way you want it. See how my right arm is higher than my left in the follow-through (right)? That’s a good swing thought to get the clubface to close as you strike the ball.

2 THE THREE-QUARTER SHOT

SHORTEN THE SWING, BUT STAY SMOOTH

Normally I swing irons with about 90 percent of my maximum effort, but there are


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