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Original Issue

Big Play with Patti McGowan

WHO: AaronBaddeley

WHAT: 220-yardsix-iron to 50 feet to set up the winning birdie

WHERE: 571-yardpar-5 15th hole at Harbour Town

WHEN: Final roundof the Verizon Heritage

WHY
The Tour needs personalities like Baddeley, who is winsome, chic andpassionate. He reminds me of a young Arnold Palmer. I know Baddeley loves tointeract with fans. I once saw him jump a fence into a backyard during a Tourevent and jokingly ask the proprietor if it would be possible to use thefacilities. Baddeley's also fearless, as he showed at 15, where his daringapproach sailed high over dense trees, a water hazard and sand, and onto thegreen.

PATTI'S TIP
To Hit It High, Reach For the Top of the V

Three keys tolong, high shots:

1) Position theball forward in your stance, off your left big toe.

2) At address,place a little extra weight over your left side and keep it there during theswing.

3) Take asteeper-than-normal backswing. To do that, imagine there's a tall, narrow Vbehind you (right), then swing your hands to the top of the V. If your hands goback rather than up, your swing is too shallow.

Patti McGowanteaches at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando.

... AND ANOTHERTHING

"MichelleWie's primary goal--playing on the PGA Tour--is realistic, and I think she'llhave a Tour card by the time she's 20."

GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL

Is Phil Mickelson's two-driver approach good foreveryone, not just pros?
Yes ...17%
No ...83%

" Hell no. Most people can't hit one driver, nevermind two. "

--GERALD MCCULLAGH

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

Total Chambles

[ by BRANDEL CHAMBLEE ]

HERE'S AN eye-opening stat that I uncovered: In 1998,90 Tour pros hit at least 70% of the fairways. Last year, despite bigger, moreforgiving clubheads and balls that fly straighter than ever, that number hadbeen reduced to fewer than 20.

A number of factors contribute to the problem (longershafts, narrower fairways, harder to work the ball), but I think a big part ofthe decline is due to the modern swing. Most players now try to keep the club"in front of them," as golf instructors love to say, on the backswing.This causes their arms to separate from their bodies and helps the club stay inthe downswing plane during the backswing--or on one plane back and through.It's hard to argue with the theory, but in practice this swing has more holesthan Dunkin' Donuts. When the club goes back in this manner, it gets tooshallow on the forward swing and gets "stuck," or comes from too farinside.

The most accurate players--Bobby Jones, Byron Nelson,Ben Hogan--made no attempt to put the club on the downswing plane during thebackswing. They all swung the club in, up and over. Their left arms went acrosstheir chests on their backswings, then up, and they rotated through the shot asfast as they could. Their downswing plane was outside that of theirbackswing.

There is no doubt in my mind that the bombers on Tourwould hit it straighter if they reverted to a traditional swing.

Brandel Chamblee, a Golf Channel analyst, played onthe PGA Tour for 14 years.

FIVE PHOTOS

COURTESY OF CBS (BADDELEY); ERICK W. RASCO (MCGOWAN, 2); JIM GUND (BACKGROUND); ROBERT BECK (MICKELSON); DAVID WALBERG

PHOTO

DAVID WALBERG

MODERN The hands stay in front of the chest and the arms move away from body.

PHOTO

DAVID WALBERG (CHAMBLEE, 3);

TRADITIONAL The left arm stays close to the chest while the club moves to the inside.