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The simple message that I take from this sequence – shot on the 12th tee at Doral, which sets up beautifully for one of Bubba’s 330-yard fades – is that there’s a huge benefit to be had if you go out to the range and just experiment with what it is possible to do with the golf ball. Leave convention in the locker room. Lay a club on the ground so that you undertstand where you are aiming – that is one of my ‘musts’ – and spend some time learning about the swing path what you can do with the ball.

The great thing about Bubba we all enjoy is that he will give it a go from absolutely anywhere – even winning a Masters from out of the trees! You cannot copy his swing – it’s unique. But what you can copy is the philosophy that says ‘I can take any club and work miracles with it.’ Why not? You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain from a better understanding of the way the swing path in relation to the target line affects ball flight. Quite apart from anything else it makes practice a lot more fun.

Bubba does it the old fashioned way. When he hits a hooking wedge he stands and aims his body lines 20 yards left, swings seriously in-to-out and hooks it with his arms. I watched him warm up recently. He started out with a wedge - as most of the guys do. He hit about 30 balls, the shots ranging from choppy, dinky fades of around 70 yards to high, looping draws of 140-150 yards. For his piece de resistance, he fired raking hooks at a green in the distance. I asked his caddy how far it was: “176 yards,” came the reply. All the shots I saw made the carry. That’s Bubba’s unique talent.

So next time you hit balls, set aside some time for a little Bubba golf. Place a club on the ground to confirm your target line, and then have some fun. A game I always liked to play is to stand up to the ball and say to yourself, ‘OK, this ball has to fade’. It doesn’t matter by how much, just make the ball fade – and as you achieve it so you recognise the feelings in the body that relate to swinging across the golf ball. Then do the opposite - ‘Right, this ball has to draw’. Feel the shape of the shot with your body. Over time you will learn to understand your golf swing, the art of visualising a certain shot and pulling it off. That is the game of golf.

One of the many things that amazes me about Bubba’s talent is the phenomenal ability he has to manipulate his angle of attack on the ball. When he plays his ‘dinky cut’ with a driver he strikes down on the ball at an angle of 5 degrees; when he hits the high, blasting hooking shot, the clubhead is travelling 5 degrees ‘on the up’. These are incredible numbers.

Most guys on tour are hitting very slightly down on the ball, hitting a ‘squashy’ fade. I regularly hit balls with the benefit of feedback via TrackMan, and for me to get even a 3 degree difference, it feels like I’m contorting my body in so many directions I could join a circus. This is simply another illustration of Bubba’s unique talent. And if you are anything like me, it makes you want to get out there and experiment to identify the sensations associated with hitting an array of glorious golf shots.





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