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WATCH: Justin Rose’s Short Game Tips and Philosophies (Full Video)

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Fresh off his win at the 2018 Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose showed up on Tuesday at a TaylorMade media event held at Heritage Golf Club — just down the road from Muirfield Village during The Memorial — to give an insight into his short game philosophies. He had traveled home to the Bahamas after his win on Sunday, but he made it back for the event in Ohio on Tuesday. Much appreciated, JR.

Thanks to his generosity, and brilliant golf mind, Rose gifted the on-site media members with a short game clinic for the ages. Using TaylorMade’s new Hi-Toe wedge — he spoke on the versatility of the grind throughout the session — he hit long bunker shots, short bunker shots, flop shots, low skippers and high lobs. And he taught us how to play all of the shots.

Due to popular demand on our Instagram account, where we’ve released snippets of his instruction, we’ve decided to release all of the videos we have from the event. Yes, we shot the videos with a phone so there’s a bit of wind and volume issues, but we thought the instruction and philosophies in this video needed to be seen.

Enjoy the video below!! For a glossary of time stamps/topics and transcription, check underneath the video.

Long bunker shots — 0:06

“Even for these very long bunker shots, you’ll see me play a lot of loft. A lot of face open. And, yea, one, by playing it open I’m not gonna hit the ball very far. But the more I play it open, the more bounce I’m putting on it. To me, bounce is the most important thing to create distance in a bunker shot. So even though I’m playing it super wide open, I also have my stance really really wide. And the only reason I do that is I feel like the narrower I stand, the steeper my angle of attack. The wider I stand, the shallower my angle of attack. So again, more ability to use that bounce and the less chance of my club digging in.”

Short bunker shots — 0:42

“So I’ll stand very wide, then I’m gonna go a lot more weight on my left side. Now I’m gonna be using a different part of my club and really trusting the leading edge. Face super wide open, and I’m just gonna be chopping the leading edge right on the ball…. That’s the way I would play it to come out super short. And sometimes that’s the way you have to play it when there’s not a lot of sand in the bunker. When you’re trying to play a super delicate shot, and you sort of like, and you’re really trying to get under the ball, and if you’ve got not enough sand, the clubs gonna bounce and you’re not gonna get that coming out soft.”

Flop shots from good lies — 1:29

“I’m gonna play it how I feel is almost a very shallow, sweepy draw feel. I wanna feel very connected with my elbows and my body. A bit like the bunker, I’m gonna have the ball up and have my hands low, but I’m not gonna be open. And I’m basically just gonna stay very connected. And gonna sweep underneath it.

Flop shots from bad lies — 1:54

This doesn’t now offer me the same opportunity. Now I’m gonna be using the front end of the golf club. So now obviously I need loft. I’m very willing to lay it wide open. Now I’m 90 percent of my weight on my front foot. This is a bit more like how Mickelson would hit his lob shots. He’s way open, weight is way left, and he really commits to driving the leading edge down. And you’re saying you designed it with almost 25 degrees of bounce (the TaylorMade Hi-Toe wedge) on the leading edge; that would really give me the confidence to really drive that down into the ground. So with a bad lie, I’m going weight forward, (face) way open… and driving it down.”

How to use the bounce like Seve — 2:42

“Now one thing I’ve learned not to be scared of even on a tight lie, is, so, you have position 1 (lead armpit), 2 (middle of chest) and 3 (rear armpit). So I’ve always felt that where the most important ball position is relative to your upper body not necessarily your feet. I feel like when we’re chipping, the club always wants to lengthen at its longest/lowest point, underneath the left arm or left armpit area, so that’s the low point. So if I put the ball back, my low points ahead of the ball. So it’s always going to be descending, descending, descending, descending, until it gets to my low point, which is ahead of the ball. So that’s a way to guarantee contact.

So if I want to hit a soft shot, I’m sometimes more than happy to play the ball and the low point at the same point. And I’m more than happy to actually put the handle of the club behind. So it’s position 1 (left armpit), position 1 (the ball) and position 2 (the club). And now, just keep these connection with my armpits and turn through. And that’s, believe it or not, how Seve (Ballesteros) chipped there; hit three or four inches behind it. He often talked about that the ground absorbs the energy of the club like the sand. The sand slows the club down. Seve always liked the ball to come out soft and never relied on spin. He wanted it to roll in as much as he could like a putt. He would always go for height, land, roll out. Rather than low, grabby, spinner.

Phil vs. Seve technique — 4:16

The Phil Mickelson approach would be, he’s always committed to driving that thing down. He’s the hinge it, and pinch it. So he’s always working that leading edge down. And I guess that’s why he uses that 64-degree, his method’s very different. Seve only ever used a 56-degree. Seve could hit incredibly soft shots; his whole technique was designed about returning loft, increasing loft. And he would always be really soft on grip pressure. One thing, he would always hold it 1 or 2 out of 10 and literally chip it and let go of the club. That’s how soft it would be in his hands.

But anyways the other approach is if you kind of got the heebee-jeebees and hit the ground first, Phil’s approach is the simplest possible shot is you hit everything off the back foot with a square club face. It’s that hinge, and a pinch through. And then obviously if he needs to do something different, he will play it front foot, open club face, and still very much the same; hinge it, and pinch it through. That’s all well and good, but the contact, there’s no margin for error. You have to be spot on every single time.

Long arc vs. Short arc — 5:29

I think for me, if you basically just… the principles are if you want to get back to a back pin I always tend to go long arc, so the club and my left arm being long, and that arc is quite long, it’s going to have more energy, more mass on the strike. That’s always coming out quite quick. Now I’m always going to get the ball back to a back pin. If I’m playing something shorter to a front pin, I’m always feeling like I’m now getting down to it. I’m cracking the left elbow. So I’m making the radius, the length shorter so there’s less energy, less mass. And now I’m gonna be shortening it even more. So I’ll get that coming out soft. So just some of the principles really that are involved.

Traditional putting grip vs. the claw — 6:25

So when I putt traditionally I’m very sensitive, I feel every little, tiny movement of my stroke and I start to nitpick my stroke way too much. When I put this grip (the claw) in play I found that I sort of calmed down all the sensations that I was feeling a little bit and just made everything a little more simple up here (points to head). So I don’t fight the stroke as much. And that’s the most important thing. So yea I get in there this way. The reason I tuck the shirt in last week (at the Fort Worth Invitational, which he won) is that I felt that I was beginning to steer it a bit. I felt like I was beginning to push my hands out a little bit too much. So just by popping this here (shirt under the left armpit), I wasn’t jamming it in, but it just kinda gave me the sense that my chest and upper left arm could work in rhythm together. And that felt like it just really helped with the rhythm and the flow of the stroke. (A pretty cheap training aid). Yea.

Justin Rose’s putting routine — 7:20

As I walk into the putt, I’m building that picture back to the ball, so I’m kind of aware where the ball is and I’m building that line back. I then sort of quiet my eyes down at the ball, I then feel like I’m… on the back of my putter it has a channel, so I feel like I’m laying down a bit of a tube or a channel for the first couple feet. This little clear area (points to cutout in the back of his putter), it pretty much is the width of the ball, so I feel like I’m just laying down like a bit of a starting tube really. Now that’s what the ball is going to start down. I don’t really consciously aim the putter but I set my tube is what it feels like. And then I set my awareness to the hole, and then I track my eyes down the line to the hole. Awareness back to the ball, eyes back to the ball, and now the key is my eyes are staying dead still on the ball but my awareness goes to the hole and I’ll react to that. (Drains 6-footer.)

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. The Dude

    Jun 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    AT!….this is how it’s done!….thanks for this….great stuff!!!

  2. golfraven

    Jun 1, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    I always thought that Justin Rose has a great way of explaining things. I have a video from eaeoy 2000s with him and that was when he started to sharpen his game. Great vid ??????????????

  3. ROY

    Jun 1, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Great stuff!!!!

  4. chuck harvey iv

    Jun 1, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Had my volume 100% and couldn’t hear very well , very low recording.

  5. Brian

    Jun 1, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    This is incredible. So simple, well articulated, and helpful for anyone who wants to increase consistency in their short game.

  6. Dom

    Jun 1, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    This might be one of the best instructional videos you all have put up on the website. Thank you! And thank you, Justin Rose!

  7. Mr M

    Jun 1, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Would be great to see more videos from pros just like this. Excellent insight from Justin!

  8. Sideshow Rob

    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:42 am

    So much gold in this video. Thank you Justin! This needs to get put up on Youtube.

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Instruction

How to eliminate the double cross: Vertical plane, gear effect and impact location

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One of the biggest issues teachers see on the lesson tee is an out-to-in golf swing from a player who is trying to fade the ball, only to look up and see the deadly double cross! This gear effect assisted toe hook is one of the most frustrating things about trying to move the ball from left to right for the right-handed golfer. In this article, I want to show you what this looks like with Trackman and give you a few ways in which you can eliminate this from your game.

Below is the address position of a golfer I teach here in Punta Mita; his handicap ranges between scratch and 2, depending on how much he’s playing, but his miss is a double cross when he’s struggling.

Now let’s examine his impact position:

Observations

  • You see a pull-hooking ball flight
  • The hands are significantly higher at impact than they were at address
  • If you look at the clubhead closely you can see it is wide open post impact due to a toe hit (which we’ll see more of in a second)
  • The face to path is 0.5 which means with a perfectly centered hit, this ball would have moved very slightly from the left to the right
  • However, we see a shot that has a very high negative spin axis -13.7 showing a shot that is moving right to left

Now let’s look at impact location via Trackman:

As we can see here, the impact of the shot above was obviously on the toe and this is the reason why the double-cross occurred. Now the question remains is “why did he hit the ball off of the toe?”

This is what I see from people who swing a touch too much from out-to-in and try to hit fades: a standing up of the body and a lifting of the hands raising the Vertical Swing Plane and Dynamic Lie of the club at impact. From address, let’s assume his lie angle was 45 degrees (for simplicity) and now at impact you can see his Dynamic Lie is 51 degrees. Simply put, he’s standing up the shaft during impact…when this happens you will tend to pull the heel off the ground at impact and this exposes the toe of the club, hence the toe hits and the gear effect toe hook.

Now that we know the problem, what’s the solution? In my opinion it’s a three stage process:

  1. Don’t swing as much from out-to-in so you won’t stand up as much during impact
  2. A better swing plane will help you to remain in your posture and lower the hands a touch more through impact
  3. Move the weights in your driver to promote a slight fade bias

Obviously the key here is to make better swings, but remember to use technology to your advantage and understand why these type of things happen!

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Instruction

Master your takeaway with force and torques

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Most golf swings last less than 2 seconds, so it’s difficult to recover from any errors in the takeaway. Time is obviously limited. What most golfers fail to realize is that the force and torque they apply to the club in the initial stages of the swing can have major effects on how they are able to leverage the club with their arms and wrists.

Our research has shown that it is best to see the golfer as a series of connected links with the most consistent golfers transferring motion smoothly from one link to another and finally to the club. Approximately 19-25 percent of all the energy created in a golf swing actually makes its way into the motion of the club. That means the remaining 75-80 percent is used up in moving the body segments. This emphasizes the fact that a smooth takeaway is your best chance sequence the body links and become more efficient with your energy transfers.

In the video above, I give a very important lesson on how the forces and torques applied by the golfer in the takeaway shape the rest of the swing. There will be more to come on the subject in future articles.

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Learn from the Legends: Introduction

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There is a better way to swing the golf club. I’d prefer to write that there is a correct way to swing the club, but I know that really freaks people out. People love to talk about how everyone’s swing is different. “There are lots of ways to get it done,” they say. “Look at Jim Furyk’s swing – it’s not what you’d teach, but it works for him.”

To some extent, they’re right. Elite swings do have different looks. Some take it back inside (Ray Floyd). Some cross the line (Tom Watson). Some swings are long (Bubba Watson). Some are short (young Tiger). But these differences are superficial and largely irrelevant. When it comes to the engine – the core of the swing – the greatest players throughout the history of the game are all very similar.

Don’t believe me? Well, let me prove it to you. In this series of articles, I will do my best to show you – with pictures and videos and data – that the legends all move a specific way. Focusing on these elements (while ignoring others) and practicing a certain way is the surest path to improving your golf swing and lowering your scores.

So, let’s get into it. There are a number of important elements that all the legends have, but the biggest and most important of these elements is rotation. Every great player throughout the history of the game has had elite rotation. It’s the most important thing they do, and it’s easy to see. When you’re looking down the line at all the great players at impact, you’ll see hips and torso open.

This is what the legends look like at impact:

1Hips open
2Torso open
3Both butt cheeks visible
4Left leg extended and visible

And here’s what some very good players with less good rotation look like at impact:

These are very successful players (one of them is a major champion!), but they don’t move like the legends of the game.
1Hips and shoulders not open
2Left leg not totally visible
3Can’t see both butt cheeks

Now, there are plenty of nuances to how great players rotate. They do it while keeping spine flexion, for example, and they do it with very little (or no) lateral movement toward the target (lateral movement impedes rotation). I will discuss these things in detail. My hope is that at the end of this series you will have a much better understanding of what separates the legends from the very good… and from the rest of us.

You will understand their “engine,” and hopefully this understanding will help you begin to create your own legendary swing!

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