AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Each player's warm-up routine is unique to that player. Sure, many will make their way through the bag, but each decides how many swings they will take and with what purpose they will take those cuts. Or, in the case of Shingo Katayama, which side of the ball he'll take those swings from.
The Cat in the Hat (Katayama is known for wearing a turned-up cowboy-style hat but is sporting a pseudo-fedora style this year) had patrons at Augusta National GC doing a double take during his practice session as he began by hitting balls as a left-hander. That's fine if you're Phil Mickelson, but Katayama is right-handed and he was turning the club upside-down to make the
swings. So what gives?
The drill is designed to keep his right side from becoming too prominent in the swing. Swinging left-handed gives Katayama -- who finished fourth last year at the Masters -- strength in his left side to prevent the right side from taking over.
Like we said, each player's routine is unique.
-- *E. Michael Johnson *