By Travis Fulton, Director of Instruction, TOUR Academies
Two of the most unorthodox swings in golf belong to Jim Furyk and Ryan Moore, this week’s CIMB Classic winner in Malaysia. CBS commentator David Feherty once said that Furyk’s swing resembled that of “an octopus falling out of a tree,” and Moore’s motion doesn’t fall far from the same tree. At address, he crouches down low with his hands very close to his body, setting up an unusually steep takeaway and backswing in which his left arm is almost vertical to the ground. On the downswing, he loops the club to the inside much like Furyk, clearing his left hip out of the way to deliver the club shaft on-plane.
It may look very strange, but here’s the thing: It works. Moore ranked 14th in driving accuracy on the PGA TOUR in 2013, while Furyk was fourth. At the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance in May, Moore hit an astonishing 54 of 56 fairways (96.4 percent), including 39 in a row at one point. And at the CIMB Classic, he hit 75 percent of his greens in regulation, stuffing an 8-iron approach to 4 feet on the first playoff hole to set up the tournament-winning putt.
What can the average golfer take away from Moore’s swing? Plenty. First of all, when you have that much plane shift and movement, like he does, you must have well-educated hands. Moore has a great feel for what the club shaft, clubhead, and clubface are doing through impact. Coming into delivery, his right wrist is bent and the shaft is “lying” down on his right forearm, so that the sensitivity of the clubhead can be felt through the trigger finger of the right hand. This helps him maintain the lag of the clubhead on his downswing and through impact.
The image of the shaft lying down on the right forearm during the transition is a good one for amateurs, because so many times the shaft runs away from the forearm (toward the target line) and gets too vertical. In other words, it comes over the top. During the first half of the downswing, you want to have the feeling that the right elbow is swinging down toward your right hip, and the shaft is resting flat against the underside of your right forearm. This helps you to drop the clubhead down to the inside with sufficient clubhead lag.
The second thing Moore does well -- and this is what really makes his swing work -- is that as he clears his hips, he pushes his left hip back. This frees up space for his hands to return to where they started at address. When you set up with your hands so close to your body, as he does, you have to really push your hips back through impact, otherwise, you’d miss the ball entirely.
Amateurs typically move their pelvis in toward the ball through impact, which causes them to lose their spine angle (i.e., stand up) and hit the ball thin or heavy. To maintain your posture through impact and hit the ball solidly, you must keep the hips back. As a drill, set up as normal with a chair behind you, gently applying pressure to your back side. As you start down from the top, have the feeling that your buttocks are sliding forward against the chair and that later, closer to impact, the left hip is pushing the chair back. It’s almost as if you’re trying to nudge the chair off-balance with your left hip. Practicing this way with a chair will help you maintain your spine angle and hit more laser-like approach shots and drives like Moore.
Travis Fulton is Director of Instruction for all TOURAcademy locations nationwide. For more game-improvement tips from the TOURAcademy instructors, on-the-spot club recommendations and 3D previews of each hole you play, download the TOURCaddie PRO app at www.pgatourcaddie.com.
By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM
When Ryan Moore stepped up to his four-foot putt on the 18th hole to win the playoff against Gary Woodland at the CIMB Classic, he backed off. He was visually disturbed. He looked at his putter, wiped the face and started his routine over. Then, Ryan got into his putting stance and sank that pressure-packed putt for his third win on the PGA TOUR.
Afterwards, Moore admitted to his nerves and stated that he felt uncomfortable when he first got over that putt to win. Importantly, Ryan proclaimed that any time he feels unsure, he will back off his putt and start his routine over again. Starting over allowed him to reset his mind and greatly contributed to his sinking that winning putt at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & CC.
Unfortunately, many amateur golfers do the opposite. When they feel a bit uncomfortable over a putt, they usually do not back off. They are thinking about their playing partners and what they may think of them, and, how silly they may look if they don’t putt this ball right now. In turn, they just go ahead and make the stroke, usually leading to a poor stroke and a poorer result.
To improve your mental game and make more putts under pressure, follow Ryan Moore’s lead.
Here are some mental game recommendations:
1) At times the nerves will get to you, especially if it is an important putt. When those nerves come, back off the putt. Take some deep breathes and roll your shoulders to shake out those butterflies.
2) Like Ryan Moore, hit the restart button. Don’t just jump into your stroke--restart your routine from the beginning.
3) Stop worrying about what your playing partners will think of you if you begin your putting routine over again. Once you start making more putts under pressure, they will only complain that you are taking their money!
When we observe and listen to what the best golfers in the world do under pressure, then we will understand what really works under pressure. Follow Ryan Moore’s putting strategies to boost your success on the course!
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the Tour” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. He is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players. Dr. Gregg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf, and you can get coaching advice and your autographed copy at www.drgreggsteinberg.com
Ryan Moore is a winner for the third time on the PGA TOUR, taking the CIMB Classic in a playoff over Gary Woodland.
With the win, Moore moves to second in the FedExCup standings on the early 2013-14 season.
Want to congratulate Moore on his victory? Just leave a note in the comments below and we'll deliver it to him.
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Ryan Moore and Gary Woodland returned to Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club on Monday morning in Malaysia to decide the CIMB Classic. They played the 634-yard, par-5 18th hole. Here's what happened:
First playoff hole: Both players hit the fairway off the tee. Moore laid up with a 5-wood to the center of the fairway. Woodland laid up with an iron to the right side and it trickled into the rough.
Moore played his third shot first, from 157 yards, and hit it tight to four feet at the back-right hole location. Woodland, from 136 yards, missed the green to the right in the rough.
Woodland hit a good chip but came up two feet short. Moore made his four-footer for the birdie and the victory.
Ryan Moore made a gritty par putt to tie Gary Woodland in the near-darkness Sunday at the CIMB Classic, sending the event its first playoff in the four-year history of the tournament.
Woodland had a 10-foot birdie putt to win in regulation, but his putt just skirted the cup. The pair will return to the course at 7:30 a.m. local time to finish.
Both players will be going for their third PGA TOUR title. Play will resume on the 634-yard par-5 18th, and Golf Channel will televise it live.
This is Moore's third PGA TOUR playoff, and Woodland's second.
"To have to come back tomorrow for a playoff is not the worst thing ever," Moore said. "I'm just happy to be in it. I was scrambling there on the last hole just to somehow make a par and kind of see what happens at that point, and fortunately I still get another shot at it."
Moore birdied the short par-4 16th to get to 14 under, then parred the last two holes. Woodland had a one-shot lead through two rain delays before Moore tied things up.
Woodland still had the edge heading into the long par-5 18th. He played three textbook shots, but his birdie putt didn't go in.
"I made it when I looked up, and it just broke too much at the end there," Woodland said. "But it was a tough day, and obviously to come down to the last putt, obviously I'd like to have made it, but I wouldn't do anything different. I hit it where I wanted to, and unfortunately it didn't go in."
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the Asian Tour's top player, shot 70 and finished one shot out of the playoff. Chris Stroud, who was playing the final round with Moore and Woodland, also was one shot back after his birdie chip just missed the hole on the 18th.
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Ryan Moore's 60s streak is over.
Moore failed to break 70 for the first time during the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season on Friday, making birdie on his final hole for an even-par 72 in the second round of the CIMB Classic. The first-round leader finished at 9 under through 36 holes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and is still right in the mix to pick up his first PGA TOUR victory since 2012.
"I'm at or near the lead going into the weekend depending obviously on what happened on a couple guys the last few holes," Moore said. "But I'm in a great spot, obviously, enjoying the course and playing well."
Moore, who carded a first-round 63 for his fifth straight round in the 60s to open the season, birdied two of his first three holes before losing momentum in Round 2. He bogeyed Nos. 13, 16 and 5 before rebounding with a birdie 3 on the ninth hole. That was much different than his 10-birdie, one-bogey performance in the first round.
"I was happy with my ball striking," Moore said. "I didn't get it around the hole, but I had my wedges and 9-irons in my hands. I just didn't get it to those 8- to 12-footers. I seemed to be in that 15- to 20-foot range today and just wasn't able to convert them."
MORE: Moore's scorecard
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Ryan Moore bogeyed his first hole but he still managed to shoot a tournament- and course-record 63 on the West Course at Kuala Lumpur Country Club to grab the lead at the CIMB Classic.
Moore quickly shook off the miscue and birdied 10 of his final 15 holes -- including all four par 3s -- to open a two-stroke advantage over Keegan Bradley. He hit 11 of 14 fairways and all but three greens in regulation while using 25 putts.
"First and foremost on this golf course, you gotta put it in the fairway," Moore said. "The fairways are very small, and I started out doing that really well. I hit it in the fairway, and with ball in hand and the ability to clean the ball and give yourself a perfect lie every time, that's a huge advantage.
"So I was able to hit some good iron shots and started rolling in some putts kind of late in my first nine and just kind of kept it rolling the whole day."
Moore has a solid history with the first-round lead. A little more than a year ago, he opened with a 61 at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open and went on to win the tournament. The other three times Moore has led after the first round he's finished no lower than sixth.
"It's always great to get off to a good start and get comfortable on a golf course," Moore said. "Especially one that you haven't played before, and to go hit it in the right places, put it in the fairway, putting it on the greens, and for me it was huge just to make some putts."
Moore made his third visit to Malaysia with some momentum after tying for ninth in his title defense in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas last week.
"It was a really nice start to come out, have a top-10," Moore said. "... And you know, to get some good positive momentum, play some decent golf. I didn't play amazing, but had a good solid week. So to roll that into this week, I think it definitely helped, you know, just to get a little positive momentum."
By PGATOUR.COM staff
So much for jet lag. Despite making the 9,000-mile trip from Las Vegas to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, earlier this week, Ryan Moore remained in top form at the CIMB Classic on Thursday.
Moore continued his hot play to open the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season, carding a 9-under 63 to grab first-round lead by two shots over Keegan Bradley.
Sergio Garcia (66) was another shot back while five players were tied at 67. Phil Mickelson carded a 71, saying afterward that he could not remember swinging this badly in his career. Click here to read more on Mickelson.
After carding rounds of 69-63-69-68 to finish T9 at last week's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Moore made 10 birdies at the CIMB, finishing with a tap-in birdie on the 18th after stuffing his approach to a foot.
Moore finished 68th in the FedExCup standings in 2013, picking up a trio of top 10s. He's looking for his first PGA TOUR win since the 2012 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Moore tied for fifth at the CIMB in 2010.
MORE: Moore's scorecard