Big Play

June 19, 2005

WHO: Annika Sorenstam

WHAT: Sand wedge to 18 inches for her 20th birdie of the week

WHERE: Par-4 16th at Bulle Rock

WHEN: Final round of the McDonald's LPGA Championship

WHY

From the top of her swing, Sorenstam begins rotating her head toward the target to trigger a smooth release of her torso and the club. The result is dead-on accuracy, which she had with her short irons last week. Recently, Annika told me how she learned the technique as a junior: "I was always hanging back, so my coach had me rotate my head to the target at the start of the downswing. I liked the drill so much that I made it a permanent part of my swing."

T.J.'S TIP

Head's Up on the Annika Release

The Annika Release is the hallmark of the hypermodern swing, and it's being used more and more by the pros, including Darren Clarke and Brad Faxon. To learn the technique, which helps you to stay balanced and to release your right side, try this drill: Using a wedge, go to the top of your backswing and pause. Take your left hand off the club and put it behind your back. During the downswing, keep your chin well ahead of your right shoulder, making sure that your head rotates from side to side, not up and down.

T.J. Tomasi teaches at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield, Conn., and is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher.

... AND ANOTHER THING

"Michelle Wie is the Rosa Parks of golf. She will contend in PGA Tour events, and that will totally change the aspirations and achievements of female players."

COLOR PHOTOCOURTESY OF CBS (SORENSTAM) COLOR PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (TOMASI, 4)JIM GUND (BACKGROUND)Start Here COLOR PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (TOMASI, 4)JIM GUND (BACKGROUND)Impact COLOR PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (TOMASI, 4)JIM GUND (BACKGROUND)Follow-through COLOR PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (TOMASI, 4)

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)