Big Play WITH BRAD REDDING

June 14, 2004

By flexing his knees before he swings, Ernie Els ensures that he's
well-balanced enough to hit shots like his approach to the 72nd
hole at the Memorial

ANALYSIS

Ernie Els looks like he's doing the Bobo when he flexes his knees
before beginning his swing, but the flexing is a big reason why
he's playing so well and is my pick to win the U.S. Open. Els used
to bend over too much from the hips, so he began standing more
erect a couple of years ago. That, however, put him too far from
the ball, so he began flexing his knees to get closer to the ball.
The flex fixed Els's address posture and improved his balance--his
weight is now over the balls of his feet, not the toes--and it
became part of his preshot routine. On Sunday, Els was in perfect
balance in Muirfield's 18th fairway when he hit a seven-iron from
186 yards to set up a tap-in birdie.

THE TIP

Perfect Posture

Here's a drill to perfect your posture and balance at address.
Stand erect and with your left hand, hold the grip end of a club
against your buttocks. With your right hand, hold the hosel of the
club against the back of your head. Arch your back slightly, then
bend forward at the hips about 20 to 30 degrees and flex your
knees. You should feel stable and balanced, with your weight evenly
distributed over the balls of your feet.

AND ANOTHER THING ...

"MICHELLE WIE doesn't deserve an exemption into the U.S. Women's
Open. Exemptions should be a reward for past performance, not
potential and Q rating."

"EVERYBODY KNOWS that Hank Haney is working with Tiger Woods, but
Hank will never publicly admit it because he's too much of a class
act and doesn't like the limelight."

"THAT HORRENDOUS two-toned red number that Woods wore on Sunday
looked like a bowling shirt."

Brad Redding teaches at Hartefeld National Golf Club in Avondale,
Pa., and is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher.

TWO COLOR PHOTOS: ERICK W. RASCO (REDDING) COLOR PHOTO: JIM GUND (BACKGROUND)

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)