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Analyzing a golf shot: Kevin Na's hybrid off the cart path at the Players

By Shane Bacon | Blogger

The Club: Titleist 910H hybrid (21 degree) ... Matrix Ozik Altus hybrid shaft

The Shot: Second shot on the 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass, 241 yards, off a cart path

How He Did It: For an amateur, hitting a golf ball off a cart path seems like a recipe for injury. The ground is obviously hard (yikes!) and you're swinging a golf club with full force (uh oh!) and you could damage your golf club to the point of having to make an afternoon trip to the local PGA Tour Superstore (dang).

But at PGA Tour events, especially one as tough at the Players, the cart path might simply be your best bet. First, you don't have to worry about rough snagging the hosel of your golf club and forcing the ball to go just about anywhere. Second, it's a rather playable golf shot if you have the right idea of what you want to do. Third, these guys get free golf clubs anyway!

Na put the ball a little up in his stance, forcing him to hit up at the ball almost like you would with a driver off the tee. Instead of digging down into the ball like you might if you had to get it out of some thick rough, Na's hybrid didn't smack the pavement first and cause a wacky shot.

If Na had to hit this shot to say, a green that called for a hook, it would be nearly impossible, but since he was able to cut it, the shot was doable (it's similar to the shot Bubba Watson hit a year ago at Kapalua that had everyone talking, when he cut his driver off the fairway on the 18th hole to set up an eagle. He wouldn't be able to hit that shot if he had to hook it up, but hitting a driver off the fairway is very similar to hitting a shot off the cart path).

Na aimed right, let the club do the work, and made sure not to get his weight too ahead of the ball. His result was the shot of his day, and one of the coolest of the tournament.

Where It Ended Up: The ball landed just short of the green, bounced up on the front, and Na two-putted for a par to end his tough day on a high note.

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