Power Rankings: The Open Championship

In this case, the initial velocity of the ball is kept constant, matching a clubhead speed of about miles per hour — a little less than that of the average PGA Tour player. A flatter, more around-body swing will promote consistent contact without popping the ball up. Joaquin Niemann and Doc Redman forfeited exemptions into The Open Championship when each turned pro earlier this year. MORE FROM PGA TOUR

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Golf Association shows that, to make a ball go its farthest at any given swing speed, there is an optimal spin rate and launch angle. The graph on the opposite page shows how this works for a ball hit with a clubhead speed of approximately miles per hour — about the same as that of a short-hitting tour pro.

Without even knowing how you hit the golf ball, we can tell you right now: Just look at the graph. If you hit pop-ups, you may have a higher launch angle, but your backspin rate probably exceeds 5, rpm. The monster long ball champions of the world, who sometimes jack the ball more than yards, get up to 13 degrees or more launch angle, with less than 2,00 rpm. And even Tiger and the monster hitters would hit farther if they could increase their launch angles and decrease their spin rate.

And they can even help you find the right swing. Use a less-lofted driver. This is the easiest way to lower the spin rate of your drives. Super long hitters often use drivers with 6 degrees of loft or less. The results might be bigger hooks and slices. Tee the ball farther forward in your stance. A Moving the ball forward can lead you to open your shoulders at address — a recipe for slicing.

Make sure you keep your shoulders parallel to the target line. This results in glancing blows, downward hits, slices and pulls. Tee the ball higher. This is necessary to achieve high launch angles without more backspin, and allows you to hit the ball on the extreme upswing, This may require that you buy extra-long tees of three inches or more.

You can even experiment with teeing the ball on a scoring pencil try to make contact with the ball on the upswing, just below its equator. And if can be difficult at first to make solid contact with the ball this high. A flatter, more around-body swing will promote consistent contact without popping the ball up. As the chart indicates, the higher the launch angle and the lower the spin rate, the farther the ball will go.

An average player meets the conditions in the lower right-hand portion of the graph: According to scientist, the optimum combination of spin rate and launch angle consistently achievable by the best players today is approximately 1, rpm at 13 to 14 degrees launch angle. That explains why a tour player swinging this fast can hit this ball up to yards, while an average player, swinging at the same speed, will hit it only Set up with your right shoulder lower and your weight a bit more on your right side.

Again, this is to encourage you to hit the ball on the upswing. A Because you start with more weight on your right side, you may not make a good weight shift. B Your swing has a tendency to follow your eye line, if you lower your right shoulder without adjusting your head position. Make sure your eyes are parallel to your shoulder plane.

Increase the lateral move of your left hip toward the target on the downswing. With the ball forward in your stance, you must exaggerate this move. Be sure your upper body stays back through impact. Studies have shown that tour players have a side bend tilting the spine away from the target of 30 degrees at impact. You must have least that amount with the. A If you rotate your hips with out the lateral move, your clubhead will approach the ball from outside the target line, again producing a weak, glancing blow.

Benefited by only two par 5s. Winner of the Dunhill Links. Winner of the last two Dunhill Links Championships. T5 at the Open Championship. Relatively silent since runner-up finish at Trinity Forest, but that blend of barren land with a bit of wind is why he's among the favorites at Carnoustie.

Three top-six finishes in last three Opens. The only constant for the last year-plus is his inconsistency, relatively speaking, but it doesn't mean he's any less dangerous. Three-time runner-up of the Dunhill Links , , The champ at St.

Andrews has five top 15s in his last six Opens. It makes sense given the test of grit and elements that cater to his wheelhouse. Top 20s in last three starts upon arrival. Rested since a co-runner-up finish at the Travelers. Only three finishes outside the top 20 anywhere in the last 13 months.

The time veteran of the Dunhill Links placed T27 at the Open. Chased his Masters breakthrough with a solo fourth at the U. Potent combo of power and imagination.

Not unfamiliar with Carnoustie, but has zero top 35s in seven starts at the Dunhill Links. Also facing challenge of long trip following his T2 in the Quad Cities, but in career-best form.

Last seen by U. Owns the course record at Carnoustie Also 7-for-7 in the Dunhill Links. He wasn't ready for Shinnecock Hills, but it hasn't deterred his long game. Took two weeks off after coming out on top of a dynamite field at the Open de France. It's one of five top-three finishes in Veteran of eight Dunhill Links appearances; three top 20s.

Remember that the U. Open champ cut his professional teeth in Europe. Co-runner-up in the last of three appearances at the Dunhill Links in Still fresher than most since injury.

A legitimate contender every time he plays. Four wins in last 19 starts worldwide. Third appearance at Carnoustie in The Open; T12 in As prepared as he can be. Solid record in The Open with a pair of top fives baked into a 7-for-8 slate. Three top fives and another three top 25s in his last six majors. Off since he finished third at Shinnecock Hills, so he's poised to unleash that disappointment with a bevy of drivers at Carnoustie.

With his precision, it could get silly for the World No. Jordan Spieth … Even though he's the defending champion, he's competing at Carnoustie for the first time and in a field that has exhibited much better form as a whole than he has over the last three months. Consider that he's gone seven starts since the back-door solo third at the Masters without a top finish. When humming along as he has for the majority of his career, he should be a target on courses like this week's that rewards guile and moxie, but in a week that favors bombers when he arrives without his A-game, it'd be surprising if he contends.

The remaining golfers in the field of are segregated as seen below. Those who competed professionally last week are noted.

Of the 26 golfers who finished inside the top 25 at the Open Championship, 19 played the week prior. Champion Jordan Spieth did not, but the majority proves that sharpening the skill set immediately in advance was of value. If you'd prefer, label them as the snubs from the Power Rankings.

Each could appear and few would argue. Because it's a major, loosen the restraints as to who qualifies as a Sleeper. Ignore current world ranking, distant victories in majors and recent inclusion in team competition.

This cuts both ways. For golfers who have yet to scale to a position from which they can disappoint, they remain full of promise. On the other side of the ledger are talents, many of whom household names, who present negatively for any number of reasons. The doubt includes, but is not limited to, form upon arrival, course fit, history in majors, overall career trajectory and relative inexperience in the face of higher expectations.