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Peter Uihlein

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TOUR INSIDER Control Former US Amateur champion Peter Uihlein discusses finding the right blend of balance, speed and rhythm, and also the importance of a ‘go-to’ shot you can rely on. Power and AFP 34 HK GOLFER・JAN 2016 HKGOLFER.COM HKGOLFER.COM HK GOLFER・JAN 2016 35


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D ifferent players generate power from different places. Some guys, like Rory McIlroy, use their hips to create the speed through impact and some players, like Alvaro Quiros, have fast arm speed with quick hands. But for me, power comes from my base. As Pete Cowen or Mike Walker [Uihlein’s coaches] would say, I use the ground force. It’s about setting a solid base from where I can get after the shot without losing control or balance. So from the tee I have a wider stance with the ball forward so I can hit it on the upswing. I maybe have a little more weight on my right side at address as well – let’s say 60/40, just to help that feeling of launching the ball on the upswing. For me, power in the swing comes from using my lower body well and taking advantage of the pressure from the ground. “The golf swing is a bit like a rubber band. You pull it really tight and then just let it go” downswing is where you get your rhythm and timing from. If you look at Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Hideki Matsuyama, they all have a pause at the top of the backswing. Then there are other players, who are great drivers of the ball, who are really quick from the top of the backswing. Whatever your approach, the main thing is that you need to be consistent. One thing I would say is that if you get too quick, jumping at the ball from the top, you can lose the synchronisation in your downswing and this will affect your timing and accuracy. 26-year-old Uihlein, the son of Acushnet chairman and CEO Wally Uihlein, was European Tour Rookie of the Year in 2013 Extra Yards Rhythm Pointers Years ago, Davis Love III said something about rhythm. He said instead of swinging the club at 100% speed he’d rather swing it 70% and hit it solid. He felt that he hit it just as far because the contact was that much more solid. Obviously, if you hit the ball from the heel or toe, it’s not going to go as far as the shot struck right out of the middle. With your driver in hand you need to get the relationship between balance, speed and rhythm just right. If these are all synched up, you’ll hit the ball far. To find a few extra yards, if I’m trying to attack a long par 5 in two, I almost want to feel as if I’m taking the club away a little slower than usual. The feeling I’m looking for is like a slow coil to the top. The golf swing is a bit like a rubber band: you pull it really tight and then let it go. So I try to turn everything a little bit more but I slow it down a bit to help me create that extra energy in the downswing. Then from the top, you unwind and see where it goes! Common Mistakes Your ‘Go-To’ Shot You will notice a lot of guys out here on Tour have a ‘go-to’ shot off the tee. When they get to a tight hole or they are under pressure, they will hit the shot they feel most comfortable with. And the point about that shot is that it takes out one side of the golf course – they either hit a draw they know won’t go right or a fade that won’t go left. I would say that’s the big difference between the pros and amateurs: the pros have a shot they know they can hit and they have the confidence to do it. Mine is a pressure fade. I tee the ball down a little bit and hit a ‘squeeze fade’ that takes out the left side of the course. I like this play because I can commit to the shot. Trying to steer the ball down the fairway is the last thing you want to do when you are under pressure – you want to be able to make an aggressive swing. The most obvious mistake I see among amateurs would probably be over-swinging and trying to hit the ball too far. Like Davis Love said, my advice would be to swing at 70% of your normal speed. Keep it smooth but hit it solid and you’ll hit it just as far. This will certainly work, especially if you get the right flight and launch. MY BAG DRIVER: Titleist 915 D3 9.5˚ FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist 915 F 15˚ IRONS: Titleist T-MB 2-iron, Titleist 716 MB 3-9 WEDGES: Titleist Vokey SM5 46˚, 56˚& 60˚ PUTTER: Titleist Scotty Cameron GSS Newport BALL: Titleist Pro V1x SHOE: FJ DryJoys Casual GLOVE: FJ Pure Touch APPAREL: FJ / Outerwear: FJ DryJoys Select AFP Transition When we talk about the transition, what we are really referring to is rhythm. The speed of the change in direction from backswing to 36 HK GOLFER・JAN 2016 HKGOLFER.COM



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