Collin Morikawa played this unique shot at Genesis. Here’s why you should too

Collin Morikawa played a 5-wood from just off the green Saturday.

CBS Sports

Saturday’s mic’d-up segment with Collin Morikawa couldn’t have gone much better for CBS Sports.

The new practice of giving one player an AirPod to allow for a two-way mid-round interview between them and the CBS broadcast team for one hole has proven a big hit so far. Morikawa joins Max Homa, Keith Mitchell and Tom Kim as the first set of guinea pigs for the segment.

For the third round of the Genesis Invitational, Morikawa agreed to do the walk-and-talk on Riviera’s iconic drivable par-4 10th. The 10th, playing just 284 yards Saturday, has a reputation as one of the hardest short par-4s on the PGA Tour.

“It’s one of the most loved and sometimes most hated holes,” Morikawa said after he hit his tee shot.

Justin Thomas tees off on the 10th hole during the second round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 17, 2023 in Pacific Palisades, California.
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And he couldn’t have left his tee shot in a better spot to teach the viewers something while he was in the hot seat. Morikawa cut a 3-wood just short and left of the green, leaving about a 40-foot shot up a gentle slope to the front left pin.

The reason this was such a great opportunity for the viewers? There was no “right way” to play the shot.

“A lot of us immediately take out a 60 [degree wedge], I think that’s some of our favorite clubs,” Morikawa told CBS’s Jim Nantz and Trevor Immelman. “But with this Kikuyu rough and Kikuyu fairways, it just makes everything so much tougher. You never know what the bounce is going to be like. So it’s a guessing game. It’s kind of playing the percentages and what’s going to be the best play for me whether it’s putter, 5-wood, 8-iron or wedge.

“8-iron, I’d probably never play. But I know there’s a few guys out there that are really good with the bump-and-run.”

Earlier in the round, we saw Tiger Woods putt from well off the 10th green in a similar position to Morikawa.

But Morikawa mentioned earlier on his walk down from the tee, that he had played a 5-wood from just over the putting surface earlier in the week and alluded he was going to do the same.

Collin Morikawa
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He then talked through the shot with caddie J.J. Jakovac. There was a ridge that ran through the fairway and onto the front part of the green and he explained there was no way to judge a shot with a wedge would react.

“I don’t know how the spin is. If it hits here and it scoots, then it’s going to run,” he said as he walked up to the front edge of the green. “Worst case with 5-wood— we trickle it and we’ll get it right here [motioning to the front of the green]. And all you’re just trying to do is feed it along there.

“I just don’t know how the bounce is going to be and how it’s going to spin.”

He took the 5-wood, choked up on the grip about two inches and made a putting stroke. The ball climbed up onto the green, broke hard right of the hole, as Morikawa predicted and left him about six feet from the cup, hole high. He told Immelman that was pretty much the shot he had drawn up.

Morikawa’s short game has been a point of emphasis this year as he’s started working with Parker McLachlin. This week at Riviera, Morikawa was No. 1 in Strokes Gained: Around the Green through three rounds, picking up more than five shots on the field. He ranked just 152nd in the stat last season.

“What’s funny is that we can hit the craziest shots,” Morikawa said after marking his ball. “We can hit the flop shots. We can hit the plugged bunkers … Look, I had about 15 yards straight ahead of me and it looks basic. But it’s about finding the best play, the best way to execute that.

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“And that’s what’s been tough is that you want to get creative, but sometimes boring is good and I think a lot of people would agree with that.”

Morikawa ended up missing the birdie putt, but not through any fault of the second shot and viewers at home learned a ton about his shot selection around the greens. He birdied the next hole but made three bogeys on three of his last four to shoot 72. He starts Sunday in a tie for 6th at 7-under.

While the fairway wood/hybrid bump-and-run isn’t a shot we recommend you try on the course without practicing first (In my experience, you get asked, “Do you practice that shot?” every time you use it on the course anyway) it can be a great alternative to putting from off the green.

The longer length and additional loft on the fairway wood help counteract the slower speed of the fairway cut, making it so you can make the same stroke you would if were on the green with a putter.

Plus, if you struggle with chipping with a wedge around the greens, the fairway wood bump looks a lot cooler than the putter.

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at