Big Play With Mitchell Spearman

December 13, 2004

Thanks to his compact swing, Q school winner Brian Davis had a disaster-free week in La Quinta and proved he has the chops to succeed on Tour

ANALYSIS

DAVIS WILL do well on Tour because he thrives under pressure, strives to improve and enjoys testing himself. In 2003 the Englishman spent $17,000 to fly to Chicago with his caddie to try to qualify for the U.S. Open. He made the field and finished 61st. Last week Davis, 30, used his tidy, efficient swing to avoid the water hazards that hurt so many of his peers at the Jack Nicklaus Tournament and PGA West Stadium courses in La Quinta, Calif. Davis, who stiffed his seven-iron over the pond at the 155-yard 8th hole (above) during a fifth-round 68, made only 12 bogeys all week. His only double bogey came on his 108th and final hole.

THE TIP

Start at Impact To Stop a Pull

UNDER PRESSURE, golfers often use too much hand action, causing them to release early and pull the ball. To keep the hands quiet, try this drill: Address the ball in impact position (left) by opening your hips, pushing your hands slightly forward so the right wrist is bent, and increasing the weight over your left foot. Start your swing from there, and it will be almost impossible to hit the ball left.

AND ANOTHER THING ...

" THE PGA TOUR needs a third tier, and it should be the Canadian tour, with the top 20 money winners in Canada getting exemptions to the Nationwide tour."

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" PAUL CASEY'S Ryder Cup comments were taken out of context. Unfortunately, he's been stitched up by the media, and it'll take a while to shake the bad rap."

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" TIGER WOODS'S rebuilt swing is ingrained physically and mentally, so next year the big question will be: Is the new action good enough to win majors?"

Mitchell Spearman teaches at Manhattan Woods Golf Club in West Nyack, N.Y., and is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher.

COLOR PHOTOCOURTESY OF THE GOLF CHANNEL (DAVIS) COLOR PHOTOMEL LEVINE COLOR PHOTOMONTAGEANDREW GOMBERT (SPEARMAN); JIM GUND (BACKGROUND)Start the swing from here.

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)