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The Tour Report

June 19 2012

10:04 AM

Tip from Travis: Greenside wedge shot

Live Report Image
Cannon/Getty Images
Webb Simpson managed to save par with a nifty wedge shot on the 72nd hole of the U.S. Open.
Another major and yet another young American captures his first major championship. Although no one was really paying attention to Webb Simpson at the beginning of the final round on Sunday, in the end it really doesn’t feel like a big surprise that Simpson is this year’s U.S. Open champion. Simpson is a guy that over the years has continued to improve in all phases of the game. His golf swing has gotten better, his short game has improved, and from the very beginning Simpson has been a pioneer on how to operate the belly putter. This week at The Olympic Club, Simpson needed to be polished in all of these areas with none being more impressive then that nifty little wedge shot he hit from the deep greenside rough on the 72nd hole to save par. TRAVIS' TIP When hitting these delicate little wedge shots from the deep greenside rough, here are a few things to consider. First, it is important to lean the shaft forward with the club face slightly open. With the shaft forward, allow the body to move a little forward with it so the butt of the club is pointing just left of the belt buckle. This will solidify that the ball position is a bit back in the stance. Secondly, pay attention to where your sternum is in relationship to the ball. One of the most common errors at address is the sternum gets too far behind the ball. Where you position your sternum at address will greatly influence where it is at impact. With this shot it is important that the sternum is over to slightly ahead of the ball towards the target. In addition, allow the weight to favor the lead foot – this combination of sternum alignment and weight forward are critical when executing this shot. Finally, during the motion it is helpful to keep the lead arm attached and close to the body. The arm swing should be kept to a minimum, putting more emphasis on hinging the clubhead up quickly. Oftentimes during this shot the arm swing will get quickly disconnected and too long during the backswing creating an environment where the attack angle into impact is too shallow countered with the opportunity to decelerate. Therefore, with a conservative arm swing and an aggressive wrist hinge, you are ready to not only accelerate with the torso but have the necessary built in steep attack angle to make efficient ball contact. 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