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Big Play with Patti McGowan
June 26, 2006
WHO: Phil Mickelson
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June 26, 2006

Big Play With Patti Mcgowan

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WHO: Phil Mickelson

WHAT: Sliced drive that bounced off a hospitality tent

WHERE: 450-yard par-4 18th hole at Winged Foot Golf Club

WHEN: Final round of the U.S. Open

Hitting driver at 18 and then trying a miracle recovery shot reveal the two things that Mickelson must learn to complete his major package: He has to adjust his game plan when his mind is going haywire from the pressure, and he needs to make his driver swing more stable and compact, like his iron swing. With the driver he still goes back too far and gets out of sync, with his knees sliding toward the target and his spine leaning away from it.

Big Drive? Don't Move the Boxes

To drive well under pressure, make a more compact swing. Also, be sure the lower body rotates without sliding and that it finishes stacked below the upper body. To practice, hit drives with a thigh-high object next to your lead leg. (I like to use a stack of boxes.) Your lead leg should barely touch the boxes, moving them only an inch or so.

Patti McGowan teaches at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando.


"The U.S. Ryder Cup team is in trouble. The Euros had 11 of the top 26 at Winged Foot and some of them weren't even their first-stringers."

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