This is what led to Collin Morikawa’s ball-striking breakthrough

Collin Morikawa swings.

Morikawa picked up PGA Tour win No. 2 on Sunday.

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There was a lot of buzz around Matt Wolff and Viktor Hovland — and rightfully so — when the phenomenal talents turned professional last year. But so far it’s been Collin Morikawa who has raced into the early lead. The 23-year-old captured his second career win over the weekend, which reminded me of what Morikawa said was a key that gave his game a breakthrough.

Morikawa, appearing on Mark Immelman’s “On The Mark” podcast, explained that the thought came in college, and it was a pretty simple one: He started hitting “85, 90 percent of fades.”

“That’s when my ball-striking really changed,” he said.


“I had a go-to shot that I could rely on every single time out of the fairway … it’s just being able to have that shot. For me, it’s the 5- to 7-yard cut with any club. I can choke down on it a little bit, hit it different heights, but that’s the shot I’m always going to go to.”

The lesson: Find your shot shape

The same concept can apply to recreational golfers. You may not be able to hit a 5-yard cut every time, but you can follow Jack Nicklaus’ timeless advice of eliminating one side of the golf course. If you eliminate the two-way miss by knowing your ball is going to move one direction, whether that’s left-to-right or right-to-left, you’ll be able to work on perfecting that shot and shooting lower scores.

Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.