Watching Cameron Champ pulverize a golf ball en route to his inaugural PGA Tour win at the Sanderson Farms Championship on Sunday, average golfers might assume there is little they share in common with the 23-year-old rookie. He, too, uses golf clubs and golf balls, but that’s pretty much it.
In fact, what we learned in our time shooting our most recent Golf Digest cover feature with Champ is that he faces many of the same challenges as the rest of us. The numbers involved might be a bit more eye-popping, but especially when it comes to his wedge play, Champ fights a familiar battle.
All of this is apparent watching Champ and teacher Sean Foley work together in our latest “Undercover Lesson,” in which viewers are given full sight- and-sound access to a top level tour player working with his instructor. Following previous episodes featuring cover stars Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, and Jon Rahm, Champ spends most of the lesson with Foley dialing in his wedge play. And understandably so: if you’re going to drive the ball farther than anyone else on the PGA Tour, averaging 328.4 yards off the tee in Mississippi, you’re not going to have much left into greens.
Still, both teacher and student concede Champ’s wedge play needs work, especially as he fights a common tendency to try to control his wedge distances with his hands. As seen in the lesson, Foley instead emphasizes Champ rely on more body rotation through the wedge swing, thus limiting occasions when Champ decelerates through the ball. Champ also has a habit of aiming too far right, which instinctively makes him try to pull the ball on line by cutting across it—sound familiar, slicers? In other words, check out “Undercover Lessons” before you assume you have nothing in common with a tour bomber.
It all makes for a fascinating mix of entertainment and instruction, and you can watch the whole thing by either purchasing the individual lesson, or signing up for an monthly or annual subscription to Golf Digest Schools, in which you’ll have access to our complete instruction library of more than 250 video lessons with the top teachers and players in the game.