Stay Down on Wedges
Don't help the ball up. Let the club do the work for you and stay down on the shot. I like to think about trying to keep my left shoulder down for as long as I can.
Control your Trajectory
A simple rule: the harder I hit the ball, the higher it goes. So when I'm playing into a wind, I hit it softer. The softer you hit the ball, the lower it goes. You'll need to take a bit more club, but do experiment with taking a normal swing, but hitting it softly. It's a great way to control the ball.
Don't Fight the Fade
Anyone watching me practise will notice that all my divots go way left of the target. I tend to take the club away outside the line and then cut across it coming through. That's what I do naturally. That is my 'straight shot'. I aim down the left-hand side of every fairway and every green. It means I have the full width of any fairway or green to aim at. If you fire straight at the flag, then your margin for error is much smaller. I love it when pins are located on the right of greens because then the set-up favours me.
Get More Loft on your Driver
One of the biggest mistakes amateurs make is that they don't have enough loft on their driver. The most accurate drivers are slightly toed in with loft. We all tend to go for 8 degrees of loft with a square face and they are very difficult to control. I use 12.3 degrees of loft - it's one of the more lofted drivers on Tour - but I hit down on the ball by 4 degrees because I get onto my left side quicker than most. Having a little extra loft on the driver gives you an extra club when playing from the fairway. The best shot I've ever hit came on the last hole in Dubai in 1996 when I hit a driver over the water.
Control in Cross Winds
A left-to-right wind would exaggerate a fade and you might be in danger of missing your target on the right. So what do you do? I close the clubface a few degrees and then regrip it. I don't aim more left and I don't try and hit a draw. I keep the game simple and I close the face slightly so that the ball holds up on the crosswind. I change nothing else. Conversely, when the wind is off the right, I may open the face a little to encourage more fade.
With a fade, I'm playing to my strengths. All right, so I probably lose 10 or 15 yards with the driver, but I hit the fairways, and if I hit the fairways, I'll hit the two putt, all I've got to do is hole four putts a round to shoot 68. If I shoot four 68s, I'll probably win the tournament.
MONTY'S WORDS OF WISDOM
People get an inflated view of how far us pros hit the ball. My driver flies about 270 yards, but into a bit of wind it might be 260. Amateurs who say they hit it 250, that's a long way. Technology is helping us hit the ball further, mainly because the ball stays in the air longer. Technology is about 80 per cent ball and 20 per cent clubs.