WHO: Phil Mickelson
WHAT: 50-foot pitch to set up the winning birdie
WHERE: Par-5 18th at Baltusrol
WHEN: Final round of the PGA Championship
Mickelson's pitch will silence critics who questioned his meticulous preparation for Baltusrol. Scouting the terrain gave him the knowledge and peace of mind he needed when his ball was buried in the rough by the 18th green. He played the shot perfectly. He kept his hands low and cocked his wrists to get the clubhead high going back and through. He also accelerated at impact.
To Pitch High, Forearm to the Sky
When pitching from deep rough, you must maintain the loft on your club face from address all the way to the finish. To do that, keep the inside of your trailing forearm facing the sky from the point when you cock your wrists (early in the backswing) until just after impact (inset). If you do this correctly, you'll have an abbreviated finish with the club face facing the sky. (You should be able to see the grooves on the club.)
T.J. Tomasi teaches at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield, Conn., and is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher.
... AND ANOTHER THING
"No matter what Tiger Woods says, his swing is shakier, and he's nowhere near the player he was in 2000. Statistics and win totals don't lie."
TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL
Which Tiger Woods is better?
Tiger 2005 ...37%
Tiger 2000 ...63%
"Woods in 2000 will never be matched, but nobody can keep up with him now, either."
RiverPines Golf Club
COURTESY OF CBS (MICKELSON)
THREE COLOR PHOTOS
GINA HOUSEMAN (TOMASI, 3)
JIM GUND (BACKGROUND)
ROBERT BECK (WOODS)