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The Tour Report

April 10 2012

9:13 AM

Tip from Travis: Bubba's big hook

Live Report Image
Lecka/Getty Images
Bubba Watson pulls a gap wedge onto the green on the second playoff hole at Augusta. The resulting par allowed him to capture his first major title.

By Travis Fulton, Director of Instruction, TOUR Academy

You gotta love it: Bubba Watson won The Masters. Even though players that swing like Bubba make my job more difficult, I always enjoy watching them play golf and do things with the ball that -- I and the majority of us -- can’t do.

What a great shot that was on the second hole of sudden death. I am still sitting here wondering how Bubba hooked a wedge that much, and under that kind of pressure. More impressively then that, how about Bubba launching that PING driver 320 yards every time? With this kind of length off the tee and a skill set that allows for unlimited shot-making, it's hard to relate to a player like Bubba Watson.

On the PGA TOUR, Bubba has always been known to be able to hook the ball. What’s impressive is not only can he hook it a bunch, but he seems to be able to manage how much it will hook with different clubs.

Although it would be nice to be able to hook the ball like this when needed, here are a few tips to get the ball to just simply draw it to start with.

The first step to drawing the ball is to understand that the clubface needs to be closed to the path of the club head at impact. These alignments are measured in degrees in relationship to the target line. Therefore, to hit a draw, you need to get the path of the clubhead working from the inside through impact. With the path working to the right for a right-handed golfer, the clubface can now work closed to the path, creating the draw spin.

At the TOUR Academies, when teaching this, we will encourage many of our students to drive the clubhead down and out towards right field. When doing this, allow the trail shoulder to work down and under the chin allowing the trail arm to straighten from the inside. Oftentimes, this will give you the feeling as if you are going to push the golf ball to the right.

As this occurs, the clubface will want to rotate and close more through impact on its own. For many of you, this closing of the face will be a new feeling and can be supported by allowing the lead hand to turn down, where the knuckles are facing the ground.

Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.