Thursday, September 28, 2006;
IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR GAME
For all of your pitch shots, your weight stays
in your front hip joint as you swing. But don’t
just stand there on your front foot and swing
your arms up and down as if you were chop
ping wood. Take care to rotate around your
front hip axis as you swing the club.
The less-accomplished pitcher’s lower body .
is very active on the backswing, but dead dur
ing the forward swing, leaving the hands and
arms to over-manipulate the club. To be a good
pitcher, you should do just the opposite: Use
minimal leg action during the back swing
while your upper body creates the length and
leverage necessary for the shot. Then, during
the forward swing, use a good deal of leg ac
tion, moving the back knee aggressively to the
The key to your upper-body action is that
while your hands and arms stay low, your club
head is elevated above your shoulders by the
setting (cocking) of your wrists. This gives you
what I can “low hands-high club head”; The
club head is high enough to loft the ball in the
air, but your arms and hands are under control
because they haven’t moved very far from
where they were at address.
After your hips and upper body turn the club
away from the ball, it’s your lower body that
controls the club face during the downswing. A
common mistake is to abruptly stop the arms
at impact in an attempt to put a “hit” on the
ball. When this happens, your front wrist col
lapses, sending the club head past your hands
in a flipping action that makes controlling the
distance of your shot almost impossible.
You can avoid being a “flipper” by keeping
your chest moving well into your follow-
through. To do this effectively, you must keep
your hips rotating as you swing through the
ball with no change of pace or speed. In other
words, don’t add or subtract any energy—sim
ply “hit it with your turn.” This keeps you hit
ting down and through the ball with no un
wanted bursts of power. •
At the finish, the back of the left hand faces
the sky, as does the club face, indicating that
the club face never shut down. As proof, you
wUl be able to see the scoring lines on the club
face. This is accomplished by allowing no rota
tion of the forearms through impact.
1. The weight starts, stays and finishes in the
ft’ont hip joint; there is no weight shift as there
is for a full swing.
2. There is a hip turn as in a full shot, but not
3. There is very little leg action going back;
the legs are quiet but the arms are active. This
reverses in the downswing where the legs are
active and the arms are passive. In the correct
ly executed pitch shot, the hands and arms feel
4. The club swings along the body line and
the wrists cock the club head upward, produc
ing low hands-high club head.
5. You can see the lines on the club face at the
finish because the forearms haven’t rotated.
PGA Tour player Tommy Armour I
sets the club for a pitch shot using low
hands-high club head.
Note how fully Armour has rotated his
body even though the pitch shot is only
about 20 yards.
BYRON NELSON, 1912-2006
‘A sad day for golf’
‘Lord Byron’ was
revered by all those
who knew him
Cox News Service
B yron Nelson, who won golf
tournaments with his pure
swing and fans with his gen
tle and gracious spirit, died
Tuesday at his home in Roanoke,
Texas. He was 94.
On the course, “Lord Byron”
was best known as a Hall of Fame
golfer who won 11 consecutive
tournaments in 1945, the year he
won 18 events and compiled a
record stroke average of 68.33.
Nelson won five major champi
onships in his career.
Off the course, he was known
as a man who quietly enjoyed
helping other people, whether by
sharing his insight into life or by
paying their way through college.
“He was wonderful to me per
sonally and wonderful for the
game of golf,” said four-time PGA
Tour winner BiQy Andrade.
“When you get the name ‘Lord,’
that means something.”
Nelson’s death is the final chap
ter in one of golf’s greatest peri
ods. His primary contemporaries
were Ben Hogan (nine majors),
Sam Snead (seven majors) and
Jimmy Demaret (three majors),
who all preceded him in death.
“He was the last of that era
with Hogan and Snead,” said two-
time Walker Cup captain Danny
Yates of Atlanta. “It’s a sad day for
golf It’s a big loss of one of the
last great ones.”
Nelson was born Feb. 4,1912, on
his family’s farm in Waxahachie,
Texas. He began to caddie at Glen-
Garden Country Club in Fort
Worth, Texas, when he was 10 and
once defeated future-great Hogan
for the club’s caddie champi
After working as a file clerk in
an accoimting office and for a
bankers’ magazine. Nelson decid
ed in 1932 to become a profession
al golfer. By that time, he had
crafted a graceful, fluid, repeat-
able swing that was so good that
the US. Golf Association eventu
ally named its robotic club-tester
“Iron Byron” in his honor.
“Hogan was a grinder and beat
range balls until his hands bled.
Nelson was more of a natural,”
CURTIS COMPTON / Cox News Service
Byron Nelson served as honorary starter at the Masters
from 1981 until 2001 (above). The golfing legend, who died
Tuesday at his Texas home, was widely respected.
A LEGENDARY CAREER
• In 1945,'he had 18 victories, 11 in
• Retired at 34 to spend more time
on his ranch.
• Won 52 career PGA Tour events;
made 113 consecutive cuts.
• Masters icon: two-time winner, 20-
year honorary starter.
said Rand Jerris, director of the
USGA’s museum and archives.
“Any of today’s golfers would pat
tern their swing after him. He was
simple, effective and pure. Byron
Nelson’s swing was foil of rhythm
Nelson won 13 times in 1944, a
record 18 times in 1945 and wound
up credited by the PGA Tour with
52 victories, sixth on the afl-time
list. He won 14 other “unofficial”
tournaments. He made the cut in
113 consecutive tournaments.
“What Byron accomplished,
that goes down to probably one of
the greatest years in the history of
our sport,” Tiger Woods said re
cently after winning the Deutsche
Bank Championship for his fifth
victory in a row. “Consistency I
mean you’ve got to have one bad
week somewhere. He never did.
What Byron accomplished there,
goes down as one of the greatest
streaks in all of sport.”
Nelson won the Masters in 1937
and 1942, the US. Open in 1939 and
the PGA Championship in 1940
and 1945. His total might have
been shortchanged because most
majors were canceled during
World War II.
“He won five, but we imagine
that he would have won quite a
few more if he had played with a
fun schedule,” Jerris said.
In 1946, at age 34, he retired
from full-time competition to
work his 673-acre ranch. He was
elected to the PGA Hall of Fame
in 1953 and to the World (Jolf HaU
of Fame in 1974:
Finally, a fail-safe plan to win back the Ryder Cup
By ALAN TAYS
Cox News Service
This has got to stop. That’s five losses for the United
States in the past six Ryder Cups, seven in the past 11,
going back to 1985.
Tom Lehman’s US. team wound up with the same
tread marks on its backside as Hal Sutton’s drubbed
dozen in 2004 at Oakland Hills. Back then the chief
complaint was Sutton’s pairing of Tiger Woods and
Phil Mickelson, also known as “Fire” and “Gasoline.”
Lehman’s pairings here at The K Club offered no
similar broad-side-of-a-barn target. Woods with Jim
Furyk and Mickelson with Chris DiMarco had torn it
up at the Presidents Cup, right?
WeU, to quote the philosopher Sergio Garcia, “The
Presidents Cup, with all due respect, is not the Ryder
It’s fruitless to rehash aU the tired theories for the
Americans’ biennial punching-bag impersonatipn.
It’s time for action. So here’s a five-point plan for re
claiming the Cup at Valhalla in 2008:
1. Give it the old college try
What are the Americans most passionate about?
Their college football and basketball teams. Want to
get ex-Florida Gator DiMarco REALLY fired up? Pit
him against a Georgia Bulldog.
To stir up some passion, figure out all the rivals of
the US. players’ schools, and make the Euros wear
2. Harness power of the press
A Dublin magazine angered Woods with fake nude
photos of his wife. But then it apologized and pulled
copies from newsstands. What kind of yellow jour
nalism is that? If you’re going to deliberately insult
someone, don’t chicken out and apologize later. Stick
to your guns. Make all the US. players good and
angry They’ll probably play better.
3. Think small
Bring back the old “smaller British ball” and make
the Euros use it. If that doesn’t work, go to Haskells,
then gutties, then featheries. As a last resort, there’s
always dried sheep dung.
4. Drink up, lads
Ian Woosnam and Darren Clarke got lots of air
time on Irish TV poimding champagne and Guinness
after the matches. During the winners’ news confer
ence, Woosie was, well, woosy What if the Euros did
their celebrating beforehand? Open a bar on the first
tee and make it free for the boys in blue.
5. Expand our horizons
Why does a coimtry the United States, have to play
against a whole continent? Whose lame-brain idea
was that? What? Mr. Nicklaus is holding on Line 1?
Oh. never mind.
We should change our designation to “The
Americas,” bringing in Canada (Mike Weir, Stephen
Ames) and South America (Angel Cabrera). Better
would be to let the United States add as many coun
tries as there are in Europe (45). TeU you what — give
us Australia and South Africa and we’ll call it even.
All Times EDT
• Site: Hertfordshire, England.
• Schedule: Thursday-Simday
• Course: The Grove
(7,125 yards, par 71).
• Purse: $7.5 million. Winner’s
share: $1.35 million.
• TV: ESPN (Thursday-Friday
8:30 a.m.-l p.m.; SatuMay
1-3:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1:30-6 p.m.).
Southern Farm Bureau
• Site: Madison, Miss.
• Schedule: Thursday-Sunday
• Course: Annandale Golf Club
(7,199 yards, par 72).
• Purse: $3 million. Winner’s
• TV: None.
Greater Hickory Classic
• Site: Conover, N.C.
• Schedule: Friday-Sunday
• Cotu-se: Rock Barn (Jolf and
Spa, Jones Course (7,046 yards,
• Purse: $1.6 million. Winner’s
• TV: The Golf Channel
(Friday 2:30-5 p.m.; Saturday
1-3:30 a.m., 2:30-5 p.m.; Suncfey
midnighf'-2:30 a.m., 6-8:30 p.m.;
Monday, 1-3:30 a.m.).
• Next event: Corona Morelia
Championship, Oct. 5-8, Tres
Marias Residential Golf Club,
• Last week: Karrie Webb held
oif Annika Sorenstam by a
stroke in the Longs Drugs
Challenge in Danville, Calif.,
for her tour-high fourth
victory of the year.
• Next event: Mark
Christopher Charity Classic,
Oct. 5-8, Empire Lakes Golf
Club, Rancho Cucamonga,
• Last week: Cliff Kresge won
the Oregon Classic for his
third Nationwide Tour victory
1 .Tiger Woods
2. Phil Mickelson
3. Jim Furyk
4. Vijay Singh
5. Adam Scott
6. Relief Goosen
7. Ernie Els
8. Luke Donald
9. Sergio Garcia
10, Geoff Ogiivy
11. Henrik Stenson
12. T. Immelman
13. David Howell
14. C. Montgomerie
15. David Toms
1. Tiger Woods $8,641,563
2. Jim Furyk $6,084,016
3. Phi! Mickelson $4,256,505
4. GeoffOgilvy $4,228,869
5. Vijay Singh
6. T. Immelman
7. Adam Scott
8. Stuart Appleby $3,013,631
9. David Toms $2.722“.2871
10. Luke Donald $2,694,742
1. Lorena Ochoa $1,974,1^
2. Karrie Webb $1,873,753
3. A. Sorenstam $1,769,408
4. Cristie Kerr $1,472,112
5. MiHyunKim $1,263,680
1. Loren Roberts $1,945,739
2. Jay Haas $1,892,027
3. Brad Bryant $1,547,200
4. Gil Morgan $1,385,765
5. Tom Kite $1,320,935
THE GOLF DOCTOR
Dying for power
I know it sounds simple, but I
can guarantee you that the only
thing you’ll kUl when you think
“kill” as you swing a golf club is
your chances of hitting a good
shot. How many times have you
watched someone top the ball or
hit a foot behind it and look up to
say “I was gonna kill that one.”
Your brain is a powerful weapon,
so train it to think about “quality
distance,” i.e. a long baU that’s in
the fairway Instead of the “kiU”
word, use soothing words and
phrases that promote the prerequi
sites of power—tempo and tim
To implant the image in your
brain of you swinging the club
with all time in the world,
video yourself hitting drivers, and
then watch it over and over in slow
motion while repeating one of the
phrases below, or one of your own.
Be careful not to critique your golf
swing. AU you want is to link the
visual image to your concept of
power under control and the ver
When these are merged into one
image, the phrase will act as a
prompt for power. When you repeat
it as you play or practice, it wiU
pull up what’s attached to it — in
this case, your most powerful golf
— T.J. Tomasi
UNK YOUR SWING TO THESE PHRASES
Here are some anchor phrases that you can
repeat as you watch your swing:
• The Sweet Surrender to Gravity
• No Ball Before its Time
• The Ball is on the Arc; I Don’t Have to Find It
• Cultivate the Wait
• Effortless Power, Not Powerless Effort
• Passive Power
• Finish High and Let It Fly
• Give the Club Time to Change Directions
• I Give Myself the Gift of Time
• There Is No “Now” in My Swing
• “Let” Rather Than “Make”
•Time is Mine
• I Have All the Time in the World
• I Control My Mind and My Time
Q: I have a tough time aiming at the target. Is
there a procedure I should use? I already stand be
hind the ball first, but I stUl aim too far to the right,
my friends say — L.L.,from the Web
A: Golf is basicaUy a fmd-the-target game, and
then, as Harvey Penick said, you need to “take
dead aim.” To help you pinpoint your target, use a
four-point reference system that takes advantage of
the way your eyes natoally gauge distance and di
Once you have a clear image of your shot, pick a
specific target where you want the ball to land.
Then pick a marker in the distance — a tree, fence
post, bunker or rooftop — in line with your landing
Draw an imaginary line back from your distant
marker, over the landing area, to the front of the
ball. Now, pick out a close-up or intermediate tar
get on that line — a divot, old tee or some other
mark. The fourth point is the ball.
Distributed by Universal Press Syndicate for Cox News Service. (800) 255-6734. ’For release the week of September 25, 2006.