WHO: Annika Sorenstam
WHAT: Sand wedge to 18 inches for her 20th birdie of the week
WHERE: Par-4 16th at Bulle Rock
WHEN: Final round of the McDonald's LPGA Championship
From the top of her swing, Sorenstam begins rotating her head toward the target to trigger a smooth release of her torso and the club. The result is dead-on accuracy, which she had with her short irons last week. Recently, Annika told me how she learned the technique as a junior: "I was always hanging back, so my coach had me rotate my head to the target at the start of the downswing. I liked the drill so much that I made it a permanent part of my swing."
Head's Up on the Annika Release
The Annika Release is the hallmark of the hypermodern swing, and it's being used more and more by the pros, including Darren Clarke and Brad Faxon. To learn the technique, which helps you to stay balanced and to release your right side, try this drill: Using a wedge, go to the top of your backswing and pause. Take your left hand off the club and put it behind your back. During the downswing, keep your chin well ahead of your right shoulder, making sure that your head rotates from side to side, not up and down.
T.J. Tomasi teaches at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield, Conn., and is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher.