Big Play

March 23, 2008

WHO
Tiger Woods

WHAT
24-foot birdie putt

WHERE
441-yard par-4 18th hole at Bay Hill

WHEN
Final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational

WHY
Part of Woods's genius is his willingness to adapt his game to different conditions. Bay Hill's greens were unusually slow, and Woods griped about them while taking 59 putts in the first two rounds. But instead of simply complaining, Woods took action and adjusted his stroke and mind-set to the conditions. The result was a 54-putt weekend highlighted by the jaw-dropping clincher at 18, which was the only putt over 20 feet that he made all week.

Stand at one edge of a green and hit a short putt toward the fringe on the other side of the green. Hit the next putt so that the ball goes past the first putt by as short a distance as possible. Do the same with each subsequent putt, seeing how many balls you can place between the first ball and the fringe. If you come up short of the previous ball or go off the green, you're out. You can play alone or against somebody, and you can play in reverse, from the edge back toward yourself.

Patti McGowan teaches at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando.

PATTI'S TIP
Play Boccie to Get a Feel for Distance

... AND ANOTHER THING

"Things don't look good for Sergio García, who is only 28 but seems to have the yips. If he doesn't clear up his mind, it could wreck his potential."

GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL

If Tiger Woods doesn't win the Masters, is his season a disappointment?
Yes 59%
No 41%

"Whenever Tiger tees it up and doesn't win, it's a disappointment. Excellence is painful.?"
—SHAWN HUMPHRIES, COWBOYS GOLF CLUB

PHOTOCOURTESY OF NBC (WOODS) THREE PHOTOSERICK W. RASCO(BACKGROUND, MCGOWAN) PHOTODAVID WALBERG (WOODS)

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)