Weather on Par: Play like Phil

Weather Wednesday

The beautifully challenging Ocean Course… making for an incredible PGA Championship here in the Lowcountry.

“It was a great week at Kiawah,” Lowcountry Lessons Director Brandon Ray said. “Weather definitely played a factor, that wind switching.”

One of the big things you were talking to me about was Phil Mickelson and how he took advantage of play.

“Yeah I mean he hit some bombs coming in,” Ray said. “16 and 18 were down wind, and we were talking about, how did he do that?”

No really… how DID he do that? One of the biggest challenges on the Ocean Course is the sheer amount of wind with the course so exposed to the Atlantic Ocean.

“Last week Phil was playing a 6 degree driver,” Ray said. “So your average driver is 10 and a half degrees, so he went to less loft on the driver and he tee’s it up really high. I’ve got my taller tee in the ground here for this drive.”

The max tee height stands at 4 inches.

“So if you take and hit up on it with a 4 inch tee, you have less back spin and it rides that wind going down and hits the ground running and I think he hit one over 360 out there,” Ray said.

366 yards to be exact, out driving Koepka, as Mickelson is quick to point out. On the Ocean Course you’re never only playing with the wind in your favor.

“If you’re going into the wind, you’re trying to go lower loft because that’s going to help keep the ball lower,” Ray said. “Not only that, you try to hit the ball with your hands ahead which takes the angle of the face down which keeps the ball from getting in the wind and rising up.”

Safe to say that’s a skill Mickelson has an excellent grip on. 

“So Phil’s really taking advantage of that. Come by the swing shack, we’ll get you on the Trackman and we’ll get you tuned in on that,” Ray said.

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