February 11 2013
By Mark Immelman, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Brandt Snedeker has found a way to channel his inner Tiger Woods.
Since the start of the 2012 FedExCup Playoffs he has had two victories, at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and seven out of 11 finishes in the top 10. His form has been torrid and over this period of play he is a collective 134 under and has only shot over par three times.
Arguably the hottest player in the game, Snedeker was in complete command at Pebble Beach. He triumphantly made his way into the winner’s enclosure by posting four rounds in the 60s and winning by two strokes.
There is a lot to like about the affable 32-year-old Tennessean. There is also a lot to learn from his game and the way he approaches his craft:
Be decisive: Once he is over the ball, Snedeker wastes no time in pulling the trigger. Indeed, I would list him as one of the most decisive and fastest players in the game. Do not be confused, though, Snedeker does not hit shots with careless abandon at all. He and his caddie, Scott Vail, carefully consider every factor that could influence the upcoming shot before Snedeker pulls a club and addresses the ball. And once he is over the ball there is no wasting time. In my opinion, this is a great way to play as it reduces the chance for doubt to creep in and potentially ruin the shot. So, just like Sneds, think the shot through thoroughly but when the club is in your hand and you are over the ball, be decisive, don’t hang around and pull the trigger.
Make a balanced pass: Sneds is not one of the longer hitters in the game but that does not slow him down. In fact he is, in my opinion, one of the most explosive players on the TOUR thanks to his prowess with a putter in his hands. I love how he embraces his strengths and does not appear to get wrapped up in the search for power off the tee. Never will you see Snedeker make an unbalanced swing or a swing that is violent and lacking poise. Whether he is hitting a wedge or a driver you will always see Snedeker in a balanced and complete follow-through. I love this approach as I firmly believe that the follow-through is evidence of what has come before it. So just like the current FedExCup points leader, swing with discipline and at a pace that allows you to make a balanced follow-through.
And as always, remember the putter defines the golfer. So invest in your putting and log some practice on the putting green -- it works for Snedeker; I promise it will pay dividends for you.