On the course
Winner of the 2001 PGA Championship, David has 12 PGA TOUR victories to his credit and the lowest score – 265 – on record for a major championship. He consistently places among the top money-winners in tournament play. David's first signature course, Carter Plantation, was named to Golf Magazine's "Top Ten You Can Play" list. Get the latest on David Toms at PGATOUR.com.
Off the course
In 2003, he created the David Toms Foundation to help children in need. The Foundation serves abused, abandoned, and underprivileged children by funding programs to enhance their character, self-esteem, and career possibilities. Find out more at David Toms Foundation
David Toms shares personal coaching tips to help you improve your golf game:
David's Tip 1 – Sand shot
If I need to stop the ball quickly out of the sand, I use my most-lofted wedge. The ball should be slightly forward in your stance, and the shaft should be a little left of your torso. Keep your chest down and move your left side through impact. This should make the ball sit quickly and more softly.
The most important part of hitting a sand shot is to use the sand and not the club head to get the ball in the air. You can practice this without a ball by trying to splash sand at your target. Make sure your divots are the same and not erratic.
David's Tip 2 – Downhill lie
When trying to hit the ball on a downhill lie, you should try and get your shoulders as parallel to the slope as possible. The ball should be in the back of your stance, and your uphill knee should stay flexed. Take a ¾ backswing and keep your hands ahead of the club head through impact.
David's Tip 3 – Putting aim
If you want to improve your putting aim, you should have two targets. The first target should be where the break is and the second behind the hole.
David's Tip 4 – Low runner
The low runner is the preferred play when there's plenty of green between you and the flagstick – say, more than 20 feet. You can play this shot from nearly any type of lie, particularly a tight lie, when there's not much grass under the ball. There's very little risk involved, and you should expect the ball to skid, check up, and then run toward the hole. It's a shot that would make your Scottish ancestors proud. Even better, it takes advantage of one of golf's key truths: It's easier to control distance when the ball is on the ground than when it's in the air. To play the low runner, move the ball back in your stance and tilt your left shoulder lower than your right. This will ensure the correct shaft lean – toward the target – that you need to reduce the loft on your club and help you use the leading edge to pitch the ball crisply.
David's Tip 5 – Correct grip
Tidy up your grip. How you position your hands on the handle often dictates whether you're going to have a consistent swing. First and always, grip with the handle more in the fingers and make sure the V-shapes formed between your thumb and index finger on each hand – point – at your right shoulder. This assures the proper hand position at address. It also serves as a governor as to how far your hands release, turn, and roll through impact. In addition, it'll prevent you from collapsing your wrists and over-rotating or under-rotating the handle.