BIG PLAY with Mark Wood

August 28, 2005

WHO: Tiger Woods

WHAT: 194-yard seven-iron to 18 feet for the winning birdie

WHERE: par-5 16th at Firestone

WHEN: final round of the NEC Invitational

WHY
Woods didn't become an expert shot maker by simply banging balls. As a child he played practice games that developed his creativity. A favorite was hitting a single club different distances and trajectories. The results were on display on Sunday, when Woods used his short irons to hit a wide variety of shots, ranging from a punched 133-yard nine-iron from the trees at 18 to his monster seven-iron at 16.

MARK'S TIP
Use One Club to Hit Many Shots

The key to improving is to light the fire of experimentation in practice. A great way to do that is to hit one club an assortment of distances and trajectories. Try hitting a seven-iron anywhere from 90 to 160 yards. Vary three things from shot to shot: how much you choke down on the grip, swing length and swing speed. When doing this drill, make sure to maintain your rhythm and turn your body instead of throwing the club at the ball.

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

... AND ANOTHER THING

"Insiders tell me there are two big rule changes on equipment coming: a ban on the belly putter and a decrease in the amount of trampoline effect in drivers."

TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL

Should Tiger Woods have stayed at Baltusrol through the finish of the PGA?

Yes 77%

No 23%

"Woods wasn't thinking about anybody but himself. He could have embarrassed the PGA and the entire game of golf."

--JIM SUTTIE

COG HILL GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

COLOR PHOTOCOURTESY OF CBS (NEC) TWO COLOR PHOTOSGINA HOUSEMAN JIM GUND (BACKGROUND)  160 YARDS
COLOR PHOTOGINA HOUSEMAN 90 YARDS COLOR PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON (BALTUSROL)Baltusrol

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)