Viktor Hovland showed up at Marco Simone for some light practice on Monday before the Ryder Cup. With a long week ahead, no one is going to risk tiring themselves out.
Most of Hovland’s time was spent on the practice green, hitting a variety of very saucy chip shots. You can see him hitting one of those dastardly little spinners that rip backwards from just a few yards off the green, in the video below.
Hovland’s short game has undergone a something of a revelation this season with the help of coach Joe Mayo.
The key thing the pair have worked on is focusing on hitting really steeply down on the ball. He does this by shifting his body towards the target during his move, which you can see here.
“Chipping is so much more fun now,” Hovland said. “I actually enjoy practising them.”
It’s good advice for the rest of us, too: Shifting your weight forward allows you to make crispy contact, by moving the low point of your chipping technique more forward.
And clearly, it’s worked wonders for Hovland. Mayo says Hovland hits about 11 degrees down on the ball now, compared to about four degrees before.
“It’s about triple what it was before,” Mayo says.
That change rejigs Hovland’s crucial spin-loft metric, which has the welcome effect of generating a ripping amount of backspin.
“Viktor’s talent is without question. When you align a player as talented as Viktor with the correct math [of the shot], success is inevitable,” Mayo says.
Images: Luke Kerr Dineen