Puyallup’s Ryan Moore has stayed planted in the top 40 in the official world golf rankings for a while now.
He knows a final ascent — possibly to the top 10 or higher — will take time.
And the improvement necessary to reach that point means subtle, long-term work, not big changes.
“The great thing, and the annoying thing about golf is that it takes time,” Moore said. “And I’ve gotten to the point I am in a maintenance zone.”
A couple years ago, Moore and swing instructor Troy Denton sat down to take a hard look at what was misfiring — or missing — in Moore’s game. Both identified wedge play as Moore’s biggest weakness.
So they developed a grinding workout plan to sharpen his wedges.
“We really focused on yardage a lot, and me getting comfortable with choking down on a club and hitting it this far or this hard,” Moore said.
Denton likes to use a TrackMan Golf device to get the best feedback on how Moore’s ball reacts on certain shots.
“It tells you how far the ball is flying, so he will make me hit 3 to 5 shots from different yardages to get instant feedback,” Moore said. “And for me, it is feeling and understanding what a 50-yard shot feels like, so I know under the gun how to hit it.
“It is very tedious work, but it has paid off.”
The benefit of extensive wedge work has really sharpened Moore’s skill and feel hitting other clubs, all the way up to his driver.
“(Wedge work) is not the fix-all, but when you concentrate on wedges and starting small, and move up, it helps with the way you pivot your chest and hips through all your shots,” Denton said.
Last season, Moore hit greens in regulation nearly 68 percent of the time, easily a career best. And on the PGA Tour’s overall ball-striking statistics, he ranked 24th.
And in 2015, Moore passed on re-upping with Taylor Made to play irons with a start-up company called Parsons Xtreme Golf, out of Scottsdale, Arizona. It is owned by Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy.com.