Blog 88, 1/11/11 - How to hit Bubba's Amazing Shot, Dues Due at Lake Padden


Did you see that!?!?
In the first round of last week's Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on the island of Maui, Bubba Watson reached the green of the 663-yard 18th hole with two drivers, the first shot 348 yards long, the second 305 (if you haven't seen the second shot yet, check it out here): While it looked absolutely amazing, I actually think that, for a player of Watson's talent, it was pretty, not straightforward perhaps...eminently possible.
The lie of the land made the shot a lot easier than it might have been had the lie been flat or the ball level with or slightly above Watson's feet. From a hanging lie and with the ball an inch or two below his feet, it begged to be sliced. It would have been virtually impossible to hit anything else. Where the shot is so amazing however, is that Watson was able to get the ball airborne. Only a player with his incredible clubhead speed would have been able to get the ball off the ground for any significant amount of time. Slicing the ball exactly the right amount was also pretty canny.
Here's what Phil Gaggero at Lake Padden thought: "It's difficult for most amateurs to hit the driver off the deck because of the volume of the head - the ball's equator sits well below the club's sweetspot. Bubba was able to pull it off primarily due to his swing path and the nature of the shot he was trying to hit. To hit a 40+ yard slice, he had to come down on the ball very steeply and keep the clubface open. This allowed him to strike the ball on the proper part of the clubface and get it off the ground, rather than hit a top. He came down so sharply and powerfully in fact, he even took a small divot after contact. I think most amateurs could try this shot if their ball were sitting up slightly in the rough, like it's tee'd up almost. From the sort of downhill slope Bubba was on, and with the lie he had, I wouldn't recommend the shot to a seasoned pro, much less a typical weekend warrior. Most amateurs just don't have sufficient clubhead speed to launch the ball at the correct angle with a driver off the deck. They really need to catch the ball on the upstroke to get it airborne."

In an email Tuesday evening, Lake Padden Men's Club Tourney Chair Steve Swank reminds members that, because the USGA has moved the renewal date for GHIN memberships to February 28th (from April 30th), members must renew by Feb 28th or risk being removed from the computer. "That means if you want to start recording scores on March 1st, you have to be paid up," Steve says. Membership cards can be found by the computer next to the pro shop. If you miss the due date and find yourself unable to enter scores, Steve says you should fill out a membership card, attach your dues then drop it in the box at the pro shop. You will then be reactivated. Dues this year have increased to $65 for a full membership to cover the increased cost for GHIN. Associate memberships remain at $30.

Add comment

Security code