Big Play The unique waggle Mike Weir uses to calm his nerves and trigger his swing was just the ticket on Sunday, when he had to birdie 15

April 20, 2003

So many distractions could have discombobulated Mike Weir on
Sunday. The day before, he had made four bogeys during a
back-nine meltdown, and during the final round his composure was
tested by having to watch the train wrecks of his playing
partner, Jeff Maggert, on the 3rd and 12th holes. He also had to
block out the crowd roars that helped inspire Len Mattiace to go
five under for the first seven holes of the back nine. But Weir
won the Masters because, instead of getting rattled, he stayed in
his own world by executing his methodical and meticulous preshot
routine before every swing, keyed by his idiosyncratic waggle
(above). Weir's patience was especially evident on the par-5s,
which he played in 10 under for the week. Instead of trying to
overpower them, Weir usually laid up, getting in position for his
bread-and-butter shot, a precision wedge. He did this flawlessly
on the 15th hole, where he needed a birdie to pull even with
Mattiace. After losing his drive into the left rough, Weir could
have attempted a risky 221-yard shot over water to the green, but
he wisely punched out with an eight-iron and then nestled a
91-yard wedge to four feet, for the last birdie of his first
major victory.

FOUR COLOR PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CBS COLOR PHOTO: ANDREW GOMBERT Mitchell Spearman, 40, teaches at Manhattan Woods Golf Club in West Nyack, N.Y., and is one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers. COLOR PHOTOMONTAGE: ANDREW GOMBERT/JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (BACKGROUND) STANDARD WAGGLE
COLOR PHOTOMONTAGE: ANDREW GOMBERT/JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (BACKGROUND) WEIR WAGGLE

THE TIP

THE WAGGLE is the miniswing in a preshot routine. Most players,
including me, have a small waggle (left) in which they keep the
grip between their hips while slightly hinging and unhinging
their wrists to release tension and create the feel they want for
the upcoming shot. Mike Weir has a unique waggle that is really
half of a backswing (right). The purpose of Weir's waggle is to
rehearse the proper takeaway. He goes back far enough so that he
can turn his head and see that his club is on plane and that his
wrists are properly cocked. The type of waggle you have is not
important, but it is essential that you demonstrate consistency
by using the same waggle for every shot.

OUR TOP TEACHER SAYS...

"Augusta National's rough was longer than usual due to the
heavy rain, and a more penal second cut should become a permanent
fixture at the Masters. It reasserted precision shotmaking,
rather than raw distance, as the key to winning a green jacket."

"It's embarrassing for the European tour to have role models
like Darren Clarke, who is out of shape and puffs away on cigars
while competing."

"Forget Martha Burk. We need Martha Stewart. The interior of
Butler Cabin looks like an antiquated funeral home, with cheesy
flowers and a cavernous black fireplace that reminds me of a
crematorium."

"The word among Tour caddies is that Chad Campbell, who last
week missed the cut at his first Masters, is the most talented
player on Tour who has yet to win a tournament."

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)