Big Play

February 04, 2008

WHO
Tiger Woods

WHAT
23-yard flop shot to 18 inches

WHERE
548-yard par-5 9th hole at Torrey Pines

WHEN
Final round of the Buick Invitational

WHY
It sounds preposterous, but I believe Woods can win every Tour event he plays this year. Since childhood he has believed that he should win every time he tees it up, and he dearly wants to break Byron Nelson's record of 11 straight victories. Tiger's driver is back in sync (the club face is finally open at the top), and his short game is better than ever, as we saw with his magical flop at the 9th from wet and trampled grass to a tight pin with the green sloping away.

Dave Stockton once told me that to nail a high, soft flop, the bottom edge—not the leading edge—of the club (top) must hit the ground first at impact. Doing so adds loft and helps the club glide through the grass. Also, play the ball inside the left heel and take a big, full swing (bottom) to generate a lot of clubhead speed. Most amateurs don't swing hard enough on this shot.

AJ Bonar teaches at Encinitas Ranch Golf Course in Encinitas, Calif.

AJ'S TIP
Swing Big for a Fabulous Flop

...AND ANOTHER THING

"John Daly has lost his big endorsements, but tournament sponsors will never stop giving him exemptions because he's still a huge draw."

GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL

Nick Faldo predicts that Tiger Woods will win the Grand Slam this year.

Agree 56%

Disagree 44%

"The closer Tiger gets to something, like Jack's record [18 majors], the more dangerous he gets."
—SHAWN HUMPHRIES, COWBOYS GOLF CLUB

PHOTOCOURTESY OF CBS (WOODS) FOUR PHOTOSCARLOS M. SAAVEDRA (BONAR) PHOTOERICK W. RASKO (BACKGROUND) PHOTOFRED VUICH (FALDO)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)