April 12, 2008

Get on the ball

Mickey Wright's drill will improve your coil

STEP ON IT: Placing a ball under the outside edge of your right foot will keep you in balance going back and will make your downswing more consistent.

STEP ON IT: Placing a ball under the outside edge of your right foot will keep you in balance going back and will make your downswing more consistent.

Here's an old Mickey Wright tip that I used as a kid and still believe in. Ben Hogan said her swing was the best he'd ever seen, man or woman.

I saw Mickey hit balls just once, but I was impressed by the consistency of her swing plane. She always made solid contact.

Her tip was in a magazine, and my father saw it and got me to do it. You place a golf ball under the outside edge of your right foot when you practice. This encourages your right hip to turn away from the ball, your center of gravity to stay between your feet and your upper body to coil more. Then the downswing is faster and the club travels on a much more consistent path.

Back then I was moving my lower body too much laterally, with limited hip rotation -- my weight sliding too much to the outside of my right foot. That led to less shoulder turn, followed by less arm speed coming down.

But Mickey's drill fixed it.




THOUGHTS FROM TOM

We're doing a fun event in my hometown of Kansas City (Mo.) in June ­— called The Watson Challenge­. It might serve as an example for other cities to raise money for charity. It's a 54-hole, stroke-play tournament to determine the best golfer in the metro area, pro and amateur. Proceeds go to The First Tee program here. This old guy will play, and the winner of a silent auction will caddie for me.

Watson is the golf professional emeritus at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Click here for more tips from Watson.