Big Play

March 15, 2009

WHO
Y.E. Yang

WHAT
149-yard knockdown to eight feet for birdie

WHERE
427-yard par-4 12th hole at PGA National

WHEN
Final round of the Honda Classic

WHY
Yang could be the Tour's breakout player of the year. Fit and fiery, he's an experienced winner (four Japan PGA titles, one on the Asian tour and one in Europe) who pulled away on Sunday at one of the Tour's hardest tracks. Two facets of his game impressed me. Yang used a variety of knockdown approach shots to control distances, and he proved that he's a super lag putter by rapping his crucial 50-footer at 18 to a foot.

ERIC'S TIP
Cut Off Your Swing to Control Distance

You can achieve distance control by varying the length of the follow-through. Practice by hitting seven-iron shots with three follow-throughs: 1) halfway (shaft parallel to ground); 2) two thirds (shaft points up); 3) and full finish. The goal is to learn your distances and trajectories with the different swings.

Eric Johnson teaches at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa.

... AND ANOTHER THING

"American kids don't know how to practice. Foreigners, especially Koreans, are infinitely more focused, hardworking and hungry."

GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL

Will Tiger Woods win at Doral?

Yes 31%
No 69%

"Woods's layoff has given his challengers the shot of confidence they needed.?"
—STEVE BOSDOSH, THE MEMBERS CLUB AT FOUR STREAMS

PHOTOCOURTESY OF NBC (YANG) PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (BACKGROUND) PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (JOHNSON) THREE PHOTOSERICK W. RASCO (JOHNSON)1 2 3 PHOTOROBERT BECK (WOODS)

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)