Tiger Flops InAgain

RSS

There must be something magical about the greenside rough at Muirfield Village, at least when it comes to Tiger Woods and the final round of the Memorial. Woods turned a near-impossible up and down into an eagle on Sunday, holing out from the greenside rough on No. 11 en route to a one-shot victory at the Memorial. The shot was reminiscent of 1999 and 2004, when Woods chipped-in for par on the 14th hole, also in the final round.
 
Tiger hit his approach shot long on the par-5 11th and drew a nasty, downhill lie in the thick stuff behind the green. Short-sided, Woods was only trying to carry the ball on the green and leave himself 'an easy chip back up the hill.' He did much better, lofting the ball high and soft and rolling it into the cup.
 
What made the shot even more remarkable was that Woods released his right hand off the club shortly after impact. This allowed him to make a big enough swing to generate the clubhead speed necessary to get the ball up and out, yet not transfer as much energy to the ball so he wouldn't air-mail the green. By removing his right hand from the club, he was able to keep the clubhead low to the ground – extending the flat spot – past impact. This way, he was able to move the club to the left and cut across the ball, creating more of a glancing blow.
 
It's not a technique I'd recommend to the average golfer or the faint of heart. If you find yourself in a similar situation – short-sided with little or no green to work with – weaken your grip some and open the clubface so it's pointing directly to the sky. Then, as you swing through, keep the clubhead traveling along the ground for as long as possible, cutting underneath the ball from right to left. You're not going to be able to create any spin from this lie (nor is Tiger, for that matter), so the only way you can stop or slow the ball down is with trajectory. Or by hitting the pin, if you're so lucky.