SI Vault
Big Play with Jim Suttie
September 19, 2005
WHO: Mark Calcavecchia
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
September 19, 2005

Big Play With Jim Suttie

View CoverRead All Articles

WHO: Mark Calcavecchia

WHAT: 184-yard six-iron to six feet

WHERE: Par-4 18th at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club

WHEN: Final round of the Bell Canadian Open


Calcavecchia is 13th on the Tour's career money list (with $18.2 million) because he's one of the alltime great faders of the ball. Setting up way left of the target, he aggressively slides his body forward while holding back his arms and hands until his fast pivot releases them just before impact. The result is a high, soft fade--a much more reliable shot than a draw.

To hit a high fade, stand with your feet and shoulders open to the target line with the ball inside your front foot. Then swing along your body and "hold" the release a little longer than normal. To learn how to hold the release, stand in a bunker with your front foot parallel to the lip of the sand trap. With pitch-shot-sized swings, let your body's pivot pull your arms and the club through impact. Your wrists shouldn't break, and the clubhead should hit squarely into the lip.

Jim Suttie teaches at The Club at TwinEagles in Naples, Fla., and is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher.