WHO: K.J. Choi
WHAT: 325-yard drive into the fairway
WERE: 439-yard par-4 15th hole at Congressional Country Club
WHEN: Final round of the AT&T National
WHY Jackie Burke once said that the top 10 money winners will have 10 different positions at the top of the backswing, but they'll be identical—and picture-perfect—through impact. Choi is definitely unorthodox at the top, where he pauses and then lifts the club higher, getting it steep and off-plane. But as he comes down, his arms drop and the club falls into the slot. The result is power and accuracy. At the AT&T, Choi tied for fifth in driving accuracy, and he was 15th in driving distance.
Forget how your swing looks going back—focus on getting the club into the slot going down through impact. To practice, hit eight-irons one-handed (the right hand for righthanders) with teed-up balls. Choke down on the grip and lay your left palm on your chest. Swing back to the top and pause. Then start the downswing by releasing the right side as you swing gently through (without lunging) to a three-quarter finish. A good shot will go 100 yards.
...AND ANOTHER THING
"The average Tour player won't admit it, but winning isn't his main motivation. There's too much money in the middle of the pack."
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The movie version of Golf in the Kingdom is planned for next summer. Will you see it?
"Shivas Irons lives in all of us. May we recognize his value."
—JANE FROST, SANDWICH HOLLOWS GOLF CLUB