This was Anna Nordqvist’s go-to shot around the greens at Carnoustie
Welcome to Teachable Moments, GOLF’s weekly instruction column that will help you improve your game through the excellence and expertise of the Tour stars of the week. Class is now in session.
Nordqvist’s key to victory
Anna Nordqvist conquered Carnoustie Golf Links last week as she claimed her third major victory at the AIG Women’s Open. Her ball striking was superb over the weekend as she shot 65-69 over the weekend to hold off the three runners-up by a shot.
The ball striking was no doubt an integral asset to the Swede’s success over the weekend, but she Nordqvist also showed creativity and finesse around the greens to keep bogeys off the card. She dropped just one shot over the final 36 holes, thanks largely to her excellent play around the greens.
Each time she got in trouble, there was no risk of putting up a big number — or even a bogey. Nordqvist often opted for the low-risk option around the greens, using a putter to nudge her ball up near the cup.
“I think the links golf, you kind of have to,” Nordqvist said of her decision to repeatedly use the Texas wedge around the greens. “When you’re out of position, I just feel like I need to get myself back in position and give myself a par putt.”
Norqdvist said she put an emphasis on speed control on the greens in her preparation for the week, knowing she’d faced lots of long putts for birdie that she’d need to get within tap-in range to avoid bogeys.
“The best lag putt of the day was the one on 18 when it mattered the most,” she said.
Flop shots and low spinners might be sexy, but the Texas wedge is often the most reliable club in the bag around the greens.
Playing well when you lose your swing
Golf is not a game of perfect. It’s a rare day when you go to the course and everything in your swing is feeling great. It’s true for weekend hackers and professionals alike. Sometimes, the ball just will not do what you want it to.
When you start to lose your swing, it can be easy to panic. But fortunately, there are strategies you can use when your swing heads south.
Here are two things major-winner Sophia Popov does to hold her game together when she doesn’t feel her best.
Know where to miss
“If I know I can’t attack the pins because I’m not feeling good, my swing’s not good, I try to focus on where I wanna miss it in order to give myself the best opportunity and best chance to make up and down and get away with par or even drop a longer putt for birdie.”
“Visualize a certain shot that you actually like hitting. I think in my head, ‘What’s my favorite shot?’ I love to hit a low cutty shot. It’s my go-to when things aren’t working out. Then I just try to channel that and trust it.”
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