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Big Play With Eric Alpenfels

July 26, 2004
July 26, 2004

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July 26, 2004

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Big Play With Eric Alpenfels

Todd Hamilton used a hybrid club to stiff a 50-yard chip on the
last hole of the Open playoff, capping one of the great
short-game clinics in major history

This is an article from the July 26, 2004 issue

ANALYSIS

Hamilton is no fluke, not with one of the Tour's most creative
and technically sound short games. Hamilton's signature shot
around the greens is a chip with a 14-degree hybrid club that
keeps the ball on the ground from start to finish. Using a
regular stance and playing the ball back of center, he hit the
shot a few times during every round at Troon and again in the
playoff against Ernie Els for his victory-clinching par. With his
deft hands, I wouldn't be surprised if Hamilton wins next year's
U.S. Open at Pinehurst, a chipper's paradise.

THE TIP

Raise the Right Heel To Hit Solid Chips

Hitting chip shots with your right heel in the air--when you're
playing as well as practicing--will help you make solid contact
by ensuring that your weight stays on your left side. Address the
ball as you would for a regular chip shot: with your feet a
little narrower than shoulder width, the ball slightly back of
center and your hands slightly ahead of the ball. Then lift your
right heel a bit and swing away.

AND ANOTHER THING...

"The best part of ABC's British Open telecast was Nick Faldo's
terrific commentary. He's blunt and spunky, and takes you inside
the players' minds."

******

"Tiger Woods's swing looks tighter and more confident. He'll snap
his 0-for-9 major funk at the PGA."

******

"Over the next few years, the biggest gains in distance will be
made by women, and 300-yard drives will be common on the LPGA."

Eric Alpenfels is the director of the Pinehurst (N.C.) Golf
Advantage schools and is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher.

COLOR PHOTO: ANDREW GOMBERT (ALPENFELS, 2)COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS (HAMILTON)COLOR PHOTOMONTAGE: ANDREW GOMBERT (ALPENFELS, 2)/JIM GUND(BACKGROUND)