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Big Play
March 10, 2008
WHO Ernie Els
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March 10, 2008

Big Play

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Ernie Els

175-yard approach to 32 feet

434-yard par-4 16th hole at PGA National

Sunday at the Honda Classic

It was refreshing to hear Els say that he had goose bumps while waiting to see if he'd be in a playoff. Many pros have let riches make them lazy, but Els still burns with desire to chase Tiger Woods. After two recent final-round collapses and a first-round thumping at the Match Play, Els intensified his practice. His work paid off when his ball landed in a divot at the 16th and he still pured the approach. Els has a long way to go to catch Woods, but he took a big step on Sunday.

To play from divots, you need solid contact, meaning the clubhead must hit the ball before it hits the turf. Practice in a flat sand bunker. Draw a line in the sand, then stand over the line so it runs through the spot where the ball would be. The goal is to swing so your divot starts at the line (YES), not behind it (NO). Do this with everything from a pitch-sized motion to a full swing.

Mark Wood teaches at the Cornerstone Club in Montrose, Colo.


Divot RX: Draw a Line in the Sand