Keys To Winning The U.S. Open At Pebble Beach - #2 Know How To Hit A Knockdown Shot


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , , , | Posted on Friday, June 18, 2010

The weather is very unpredictable at Pebble Beach. It can be sunny and calm one day and then cold and windy the next. Such is the case this year at the 2010 U.S. Open. The first round was a perfect day for golf. The sun was shining. It was the type of day that photographers and painters dream of when looking for inspiration.

Today is just the opposite. While it is not too windy, the temperature has dropped into the mid fifties and the air is heavy and damp. If the wind kicks up it could make for a difficult round for the afternoon tee times.

Much of Pebble Beach is situated along the Monterey Bay Peninsula and Carmel Bay. The wind is often howling off the shores, making it hard for golfers to choose the proper club. It really becomes a guessing game and then hoping that the wind does not take the ball to far off line.

Michael Breed
used the studio simulator that they have on The Golf Fix to mimic the condition on the 7th at Pebble Beach. On paper it doesn't seem like a difficult hole. It only measures 106 yards, a lob wedge for most pros under ideal conditions. The problem is the conditions are rarely ideal.

The wind was very strong during the last round of the 1992 U.S. Open. Tom Kite used a 6-iron to hit a knockdown shot into the 7th which sits right on the water. Miss it right, water. Miss it long, bunkers then water, Miss it left, deep bunker. Miss it short, bunker. There is no place to miss it and if you get it up to high in the air, the ball is at the mercy of the wind.

Kite missed the green left in the rough, but it was "safe". He was in contention and all he wanted to do was to escape this treacherous hole with a par. How about a birdie? Kite chipped in from a tough lie to hole out for a birdie two. This gave him the confidence to go on the win the championship.

Living in S. Florida, I deal with windy conditions all the time. I have been working on the knockdown shot. On distances that I would normally hit a wedge, I will practice with my 7-iron, trying to hit the same distance but with lower trajectory.

Golf is a game for the creative mind. In an article for Golf Digest, Jim Flick said that a golfer should learn how to hit all fourteen clubs to a distance of a hundred yards. This drill teaches you versatility and creativity. The more shots you know, the better you will be prepared in every situation.

So far the pros have escaped the winds, but they will come. They always do. The golfer that wins this year will be the one who can play a variety of shots under ever-changing conditions. Take a look at the following videos. They will show you the technique needed to hit this very useful shot. Learn it, love it, then use it. Have a good one and always hit your target.

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