Nelly Korda is ranked 4th in the world and she was the favorite coming into the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship this week. There’s no doubt she is a very talented player, but what we witness in this tee shot displays her course management skills as well.
Each shot has a worst case scenario. Always consider where the most trouble is before the shot, and then play away from it. In the case of the Par 3 15th hole on the Highlands Course at the Atlanta Athletic Club it looks like there is trouble everywhere. It’s true, both bunkers and water are trouble.
The most trouble is definitely the water. We can get up and down from a bunker lie for par. Notice how Nelly looks as if she is aiming at the water’s edge. Her shot tracer then shows perfectly how to start the ball toward trouble and work it away.
You may think you can’t move the ball like Korda. Try this the next time you are on the practice range. Pick out a target. Aim as if you are going to try and hit a straight shot directly at it. Then just before you take the club back. Realign the face slightly to one side or the other away from the trouble.
The final clubface position will determine which way the ball will curve. Swing toward the target and the ball will bend away from it. Practice on the range and build up your confidence. Once you get a feel for bending the ball, bring it to the course. Keep Korda’s approach in mind the next time you face a similar situation and turn that ball away from trouble..