Big Play with Mark Wood

June 18, 2006

WHO: MichelleWie

WHAT: Lipped outfour-foot putt for par

WHERE: 387-yardpar-4 16th hole at Bulle Rock

WHEN: Final roundof the LPGA Championship

WHY
I disagree with the putting regimen David Leadbetter has prescribed forMichelle Wie (page G2). It's not wise to use two routines--one with a practicestroke for putts of 12 feet and longer, and one without a practice stroke forputts of less than 12 feet. Sameness is key in golf, especially on the greens.Having two routines creates doubt and can throw off your rhythm. With a singleroutine, Michelle probably wouldn't miss so many short putts, as she did at theU.S. Open qualifier and the LPGA Championship.

MARK'S TIP

Hit the Spot, Notthe Hole on Short Putts

To drain shortputts, narrow your focus by aiming at a tiny target on the edge of the hole (ablade of grass or a speck of dirt). To practice, put a small dot on top of atee and stick the tee into the back edge of the cup (inset). Focus on the dot,then look at the ball and stroke it. The ball should rap the tee as itdrops.

Mark Wood teachesat Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J.

... AND ANOTHERTHING

"Only 24 guysbroke par at Westchester despite lift, clean and place rules. Who says we need7,500-yard courses and scaled-back equipment?"

The Pepper Mill

[ by DOTTIE PEPPER ]

FLEE MARKET The revolving door at LPGA headquarters isreally whirling, but the traffic is only flowing one way--out. Since CarolynBivens (left) took over as commissioner nine months ago, seven high-levelexecutives have left the organization, including three last week. This latestround of resignations is particularly troublesome because two of the threedepartees were hired by Bivens, including Deb Richard, senior vice president ofgolf. Richard, a tour player for nearly 20 years who's highly respected by herpeers, openly stated her concerns about the tour's leadership and said that sheleft to protect her "integrity and reputation." Ouch! Bivens did notseem bothered by Richard's assessment. Her reply: "Business is business.People come, people go. I haven't seen anybody at headquarters with Kleenexboxes." Maybe that's because there are so few people left atheadquarters.

THE LONG GOODBYE I'm surprised that Tiger Woods didnot enter the Memorial or the Barclays before the U.S. Open. Tiger'spreparation is better than anyone's ever, so I wouldn't spend one secondworrying about his golf, but the interruptions at Winged Foot from well-wisherspassing along their thoughts about the loss of his dad, Earl, will be constant.Perhaps a week on Tour would've helped control the chaos and dam the inevitableflood of memories that will come back--especially over Father's Dayweekend--with each person's words of condolence.

THINKING OF JUDY This week my close friend and WorldGolf Hall of Fame member Judy Rankin, 61, announced that she has breast cancer.Although Judy will be undergoing a "simple double mastectomy" in thenext month, it is a low-grade cancer in its very early stages, so the prognosisis excellent. She will have no other treatments to go through--no radiation orchemotherapy--because of the aggressive action being taken now. We all wishgolf's classiest lady the best!

Dottie Pepper, a 17-year veteran of the LPGA tour andan analyst for NBC and the Golf Channel, welcomes questions atdottie@siletters.com.

GOLF MAGAZINE
TOP 100
TEACHERS POLL

Do you think the tiered rough at Winged Foot is goodidea?

Yes ...94%

No ...6%

" The farther astray you go, the worse the penaltyshould be--in all tournaments."

--NANCY QUARCELINO

KING'S CREEK GOLF CLUB

PHOTOCOURTESY OF THE GOLF CHANNEL (WIE) FIVE PHOTOSERICK W. RASKO (WOOD, 2; TEE); TODD BIGELOW/AURORA (BACKGROUND); DUOMO/CORBIS (CUP) FOUR PHOTOSDAVID WALBERG (PEPPER); SCOTT HALLERAN/GETTY IMAGES (BIVENS); STEVE MARCUS/REUTERS (WOODS); TODD BIGELOW/AURORA (RANKIN)

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)