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Saturday, December 31, 2016

How Bobby Jones Hit a Controlled Draw Off the Tee

Consider this the companion post to yesterday's post about how Jones hit a controlled fade off the tee. This also comes from John Andrisani's book The Bobby Jones Way, published back in 2002.

And believe it or not -- and I know those of you who struggle with a slice will have trouble believing it -- but compared to the fade, this draw is actually a simpler shot.

As you might suspect, Jones teed the ball higher when he wanted to hit a draw. That's a common modern tip for hitting long drives, since it helps you hit the ball with an upward but flatter swing. However, while most modern instructors recommend teeing the ball so half of it is above the top of the club, Andrisani says Jones teed THE ENTIRE BALL above the top of the club! I'm not sure USGA-legal tees are tall enough for that.

However, if you use your 3-wood for this tee shot -- and most pros tend to do that, since draws fly considerably lower than a straight shot so the extra loft helps -- the modern equivalent would probably be to just tee the ball as high as you can.

When Jones addressed the ball, his setup sounds like a Jack Nicklaus setup. (Not a surprise, since Nicklaus was a huge Bobby Jones fan.) However -- and this is contrary to the typical modern advice on how to aim -- Jones aimed his clubface directly at his target and then closed his stance only slightly. That means your feet, body and grip are aimed for a slight push BUT the clubface is aimed at the target.

Let me add something here that Andrisani doesn't. Yesterday I said that Jones wrote in one of his own books that he liked to play the ball about even with his lead heel. Well, Jones did that pretty much all the time, no matter what kind of shot he was playing.

So if you try this draw technique, try playing the ball forward as well. It should help you get the clubface square or even a bit closed at impact, which slicers generally struggle to do. With the ball teed so high, you shouldn't have any problem getting solid contact, even though the ball is forward in your stance.

Other than that, you're just making a normal swing.

I know the Jones technique sounds a bit strange when compared with most modern instruction. But if you've been struggling to hit a draw, this technique just might be what you're looking for.

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