Big Play

April 05, 2004

Adam Scott's watery hook at 18 was a fluke. He won the Players
because his modern, Iron Byron-like swing is the most efficient
action on Tour

ANALYSIS

There was no uniform swing on Tour a generation ago, when most of
the stars, including Ray Floyd and Johnny Miller, had idiosyncratic
swings with lots of moving parts. No more. Today's prodigies,
including Scott, generate power much more efficiently with
machinelike actions centered around a stable body. Less is more for
them. Scott was fifth in driving distance (297.5 yards) last week,
even though his backswing stops well short of parallel. He
generates power three other ways: His body is the engine of his
swing; he maintains the radius of his swing arc; and he has a fast
and perfectly timed pivot.

THE TIP
Width Equals Power

You don't need to take a huge swing to hit it long. Instead, you
should maintain the width in your swing by pushing your right palm
against your left thumb throughout the swing and fully extending
your arms while keeping them in front of your chest. To check
width, take a swing and pause at the top. If there's slack in your
arms (poor width), swing again, only this time push with your right
palm so you extend the arms as much as possible (good width).

AND ANOTHER THING ...

"BE PATIENT with Tiger Woods. He's in the midst of a swing
change--making the club go more around his body than up and
down--that's as dramatic as the changes he made in 1998."

"MICHELLE WIE will be a pro playing fulltime on the LPGA tour
before she graduates from high school."

"ANNIKA SORENSTAM has been unfairly criticized for saying she
wanted to win the Grand Slam. She was simply being honest and
realistic."

Mark Wood teaches at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J.,
and he's a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher.

COLOR PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: CHRIS LIVINGSTON/ICON SMI (WOOD) COLOR PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: CHRIS LIVINGSTON/ICON SMI (WOOD); JIM GUND (BACKGROUND) GOOD WIDTH COLOR PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: CHRIS LIVINGSTON/ICON SMI (WOOD); JIM GUND (BACKGROUND) POOR WIDTH COLOR PHOTO: COURTESY OF NBC (SCOTT)

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)