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A Game to Add Feel
Tom Watson

Most amateurs get the distance to the target and then pick the club that will be just strong enough to reach it - if they make really solid contact. But what if they don't hit their best shot, or it's windy, or there's room in front of the green to play a lower shot that runs up to the hole? Instead of, say, a 7-iron from 140 yards, maybe a 6- or 5-iron makes more sense.

There's a fun little practice game that teaches a feel for distance and swing-speed control. Take those three clubs - 7-iron, 6-iron, 5-iron - and try to hit them the same distance.

You can achieve consistent results by adjusting the length of your backswing and your swing speed. You will develop a feel for a shortened swing.

A shorter swing should be slower and will produce a shot with a lot less backspin. The ball will fly lower and roll more. Allow for more roll with the 6- and 5-irons to get the same distance as your full 7-iron.

If you can train yourself to swing the club at different speeds and lengths, you'll add a valuable weapon to your arsenal. You'll be able to play more shots and make the game easier.


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