Photos for June 7, 2011

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Rice graduate Michael Whitehead earned a spot in the U.S. Open when Tiger Woods decided not to play.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Kathleen Ekey during the final round of the 2009 NCAA Championship.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Angel Cabrera has started a foundation with hopes of funding some of the young players. He is aware of the Tour’s plan and loves it.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Rika Park with Kathy Whitworth.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Rika Park hits a shot during the Kathy Whitworth Invitational.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Points hits putts while holding the putter with only his right hand to work on his release. “This drill makes him swing the putter head,” Mogg said. “The right hand is the feel hand. He feels the putter’s weight naturally releasing the putter.” Points used to lead with the grip through impact, which left the face open or forced him to flip the face closed, Mogg said. Points said this drill helps him better control the speed of his putts because it makes his release more consistent.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Points hits putts while holding the putter with only his right hand to work on his release. “This drill makes him swing the putter head,” Mogg said. “The right hand is the feel hand. He feels the putter’s weight naturally releasing the putter.” Points used to lead with the grip through impact, which left the face open or forced him to flip the face closed, Mogg said. Points said this drill helps him better control the speed of his putts because it makes his release more consistent.

Published on June 7, 2011

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A yardstick helped fix Points’ struggles with short putts (pictured above). Points strokes flat 3-foot putts on the ruler. It is barely wider than the ball’s path, which forces him to be more precise. If he hits the putt even slightly offline, it will roll off the ruler and away from the hole. The ruler’s bright color also helps Points visualize a path to the hole. “You’re trying so hard to stroke it down the line, that a residual benefit is he keeps his head down longer,” Mogg said. Points credits this drill for helping him win at Pebble Beach. His mental coach, Bill Nelson, showed him this drill two weeks before his win.

Published on June 7, 2011

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When Points’ downswing was steep, it prevented him from properly turning his body through impact. His legs would shift to his left side, but his upper body had to stay to the right to keep from coming “over the top.” To teach Points the proper motion, Mogg puts an alignment stick in the ground just left of Points’ left hip. He wants Points to feel like he turns through the ball without hitting the stick. “When I play my best, my left hip gets out of the way,” Points said. “Having the stick there reminds me to turn out of the way. I feel like I turn the belt buckle into the stick, finishing over the left heel.” Said Mogg: “He wants to feel like his belt buckle is low and left through impact.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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On the practice range, Mahan will make swings with an extended pause at the top of his backswing. “It teaches you to start the downswing from the ground up. No one is going to pause for 3 seconds and try to start with their arms first,” Foley said. “(The pause) takes the use of momentum out. The momentum can help you cheat it.” Foley wants Mahan to feel like he’s “stepping on the accelerator,” i.e. putting force into the ground underneath his left foot to start the downswing. Foley also wants Mahan to slide to the left at the start of the downswing, instead of just turning, as he used to do. “I had very little lateral move on the way down,” Mahan said. “I was firing my hips and spinning off my right foot, instead of getting all my weight to my left side. When I finished (my swing), I’d have 70 percent of my weight on my right side instead of 100 percent on my left side.” The linear movement allowed his hands to travel down the correct path. Too much turn on the downswing caused his arms to move too far to the outside. The lateral move also shifted the axis of his swing forward, which allowed him to hit down on shots. “Your axis is just a bit behind the ball at address,” Foley said. “The low point of the arc is supposed to be 4 inches past the golf ball. How are you supposed to be able to compress the ball, and have the low point go through the ground for 4 inches, if you don’t move the axis forward? It’s not possible.” This allowed Mahan to compress the ball more. “I’ve had a lot more divots, a little different sound and more compression (of the ball),” he said. “The ball travels through the wind better. I’m taking divots with long irons instead of sweeping them (off the turf).”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Maintaining a flat left wrist helps Points make a flatter backswing. Points used to cup the left wrist, which promoted a more vertical plane. “If your left wrist is cupped, you are going to be steep and your clubface will be open,” Mogg said. Points’ clubface was open and across the line at the top of his swing. It now points slightly left of his target because his swing is slightly short of parallel (pictured above). The club should point down only the target line when it is parallel to the ground.

Published on June 7, 2011

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On the practice range, Mahan will make swings with an extended pause at the top of his backswing. “It teaches you to start the downswing from the ground up. No one is going to pause for 3 seconds and try to start with their arms first,” Foley said. “(The pause) takes the use of momentum out. The momentum can help you cheat it.” Foley wants Mahan to feel like he’s “stepping on the accelerator,” i.e. putting force into the ground underneath his left foot to start the downswing. Foley also wants Mahan to slide to the left at the start of the downswing, instead of just turning, as he used to do. “I had very little lateral move on the way down,” Mahan said. “I was firing my hips and spinning off my right foot, instead of getting all my weight to my left side. When I finished (my swing), I’d have 70 percent of my weight on my right side instead of 100 percent on my left side.” The linear movement allowed his hands to travel down the correct path. Too much turn on the downswing caused his arms to move too far to the outside. The lateral move also shifted the axis of his swing forward, which allowed him to hit down on shots. “Your axis is just a bit behind the ball at address,” Foley said. “The low point of the arc is supposed to be 4 inches past the golf ball. How are you supposed to be able to compress the ball, and have the low point go through the ground for 4 inches, if you don’t move the axis forward? It’s not possible.” This allowed Mahan to compress the ball more. “I’ve had a lot more divots, a little different sound and more compression (of the ball),” he said. “The ball travels through the wind better. I’m taking divots with long irons instead of sweeping them (off the turf).”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Points’ left knee used to dip down and out over his toes early in his backswing. This made it difficult to transfer his weight to his right side and caused his backswing to be steep. To combat this tendency, Points places an alignment stick in the ground at a 30-degree angle and parallel to his target line. The shaft runs under his left knee. His objective is to keep his knee above the stick throughout his swing. “It helps with my weight transfer,” Points said. “If my left knee goes out too much, I don’t get to my right side in the backswing. If I can keep my left knee tall and work it into my right leg, my weight transfers better.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Points’ left knee used to dip down and out over his toes early in his backswing. This made it difficult to transfer his weight to his right side and caused his backswing to be steep. To combat this tendency, Points places an alignment stick in the ground at a 30-degree angle and parallel to his target line. The shaft runs under his left knee. His objective is to keep his knee above the stick throughout his swing. “It helps with my weight transfer,” Points said. “If my left knee goes out too much, I don’t get to my right side in the backswing. If I can keep my left knee tall and work it into my right leg, my weight transfers better.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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By keeping his arms close to his body, Mahan can focus on making a giant shoulder turn to generate clubhead speed.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Instruction piece with D. A. Points at Golden Bear Club in Keene's Point.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan and Sean Foley started working together in 2008 to address issues with Mahan’s short game. They soon expanded to Mahan’s full swing, as Foley added another young talent to his impressive stable of students. Mahan’s swing often is revered as one of the most admired.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Instruction piece with D. A. Points at Golden Bear Club in Keene's Point.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan and Sean Foley started working together in 2008 to address issues with Mahan’s short game. They soon expanded to Mahan’s full swing, as Foley added another young talent to his impressive stable of students. Mahan’s swing often is revered as one of the most admired.

Published on June 7, 2011

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David Higdon

Published on June 7, 2011

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Like his full swing, Mahan practices hitting chips with an extended pause after the completion of his backswing. This drill improves his tempo. “He’d hold the club (in place) for 3 seconds, then make it accelerate all the way to the finish,” Foley said. “After the pause, he’d have to accelerate by pulling the club through (impact), instead of pushing it through with the right hand. We’d accelerate all the way to the finish to ingrain that, even though you’ve made impact with the ball, you have to continue to accelerate.” When Mahan started working with Foley, Mahan would “take it back real quick, start down real quick and have no follow-through,” Foley said. “Now, the hands create the angle (with the club), and the angle is maintained the whole time. He feels like he’s doing a lot of work with the weight on his left side and with the pivot of his body, so he’s taking the hands out of the shot.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Instruction piece with D. A. Points at Golden Bear Club in Keene's Point.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Like his full swing, Mahan practices hitting chips with an extended pause after the completion of his backswing. This drill improves his tempo. “He’d hold the club (in place) for 3 seconds, then make it accelerate all the way to the finish,” Foley said. “After the pause, he’d have to accelerate by pulling the club through (impact), instead of pushing it through with the right hand. We’d accelerate all the way to the finish to ingrain that, even though you’ve made impact with the ball, you have to continue to accelerate.” When Mahan started working with Foley, Mahan would “take it back real quick, start down real quick and have no follow-through,” Foley said. “Now, the hands create the angle (with the club), and the angle is maintained the whole time. He feels like he’s doing a lot of work with the weight on his left side and with the pivot of his body, so he’s taking the hands out of the shot.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Instruction piece with D. A. Points at Golden Bear Club in Keene's Point.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Like his full swing, Mahan practices hitting chips with an extended pause after the completion of his backswing. This drill improves his tempo. “He’d hold the club (in place) for 3 seconds, then make it accelerate all the way to the finish,” Foley said. “After the pause, he’d have to accelerate by pulling the club through (impact), instead of pushing it through with the right hand. We’d accelerate all the way to the finish to ingrain that, even though you’ve made impact with the ball, you have to continue to accelerate.” When Mahan started working with Foley, Mahan would “take it back real quick, start down real quick and have no follow-through,” Foley said. “Now, the hands create the angle (with the club), and the angle is maintained the whole time. He feels like he’s doing a lot of work with the weight on his left side and with the pivot of his body, so he’s taking the hands out of the shot.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Tiger Woods

Published on June 7, 2011

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Like his full swing, Mahan practices hitting chips with an extended pause after the completion of his backswing. This drill improves his tempo. “He’d hold the club (in place) for 3 seconds, then make it accelerate all the way to the finish,” Foley said. “After the pause, he’d have to accelerate by pulling the club through (impact), instead of pushing it through with the right hand. We’d accelerate all the way to the finish to ingrain that, even though you’ve made impact with the ball, you have to continue to accelerate.” When Mahan started working with Foley, Mahan would “take it back real quick, start down real quick and have no follow-through,” Foley said. “Now, the hands create the angle (with the club), and the angle is maintained the whole time. He feels like he’s doing a lot of work with the weight on his left side and with the pivot of his body, so he’s taking the hands out of the shot.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Like his full swing, Mahan practices hitting chips with an extended pause after the completion of his backswing. This drill improves his tempo. “He’d hold the club (in place) for 3 seconds, then make it accelerate all the way to the finish,” Foley said. “After the pause, he’d have to accelerate by pulling the club through (impact), instead of pushing it through with the right hand. We’d accelerate all the way to the finish to ingrain that, even though you’ve made impact with the ball, you have to continue to accelerate.” When Mahan started working with Foley, Mahan would “take it back real quick, start down real quick and have no follow-through,” Foley said. “Now, the hands create the angle (with the club), and the angle is maintained the whole time. He feels like he’s doing a lot of work with the weight on his left side and with the pivot of his body, so he’s taking the hands out of the shot.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Instruction piece with D. A. Points at Golden Bear Club in Keene's Point.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Like his full swing, Mahan practices hitting chips with an extended pause after the completion of his backswing. This drill improves his tempo. “He’d hold the club (in place) for 3 seconds, then make it accelerate all the way to the finish,” Foley said. “After the pause, he’d have to accelerate by pulling the club through (impact), instead of pushing it through with the right hand. We’d accelerate all the way to the finish to ingrain that, even though you’ve made impact with the ball, you have to continue to accelerate.” When Mahan started working with Foley, Mahan would “take it back real quick, start down real quick and have no follow-through,” Foley said. “Now, the hands create the angle (with the club), and the angle is maintained the whole time. He feels like he’s doing a lot of work with the weight on his left side and with the pivot of his body, so he’s taking the hands out of the shot.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Instruction piece with D. A. Points at Golden Bear Club in Keene's Point.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hank Haney with Tiger Woods during a practice round for the 2007 Accenture Match Play.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Instruction piece with D. A. Points at Golden Bear Club in Keene's Point.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Instruction piece with D. A. Points at Golden Bear Club in Keene's Point.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Instruction piece with D. A. Points at Golden Bear Club in Keene's Point.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Hunter Mahan swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Ostrow says golfers must have loose hamstrings. In his testing, players with tight hamstrings tend to rise out of their posture during a swing, leading to inconsistent contact with the ball. Players with loose hamstrings were better able to stay in proper golf posture during the swing. This exercise can be performed by players with bad backs. While keeping the back flat on the floor, lift one straightened leg onto the wall and hold the position. Alternate legs.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Ostrow says golfers must have loose hamstrings. In his testing, players with tight hamstrings tend to rise out of their posture during a swing, leading to inconsistent contact with the ball. Players with loose hamstrings were better able to stay in proper golf posture during the swing. This exercise can be performed by players with bad backs. While keeping the back flat on the floor, lift one straightened leg onto the wall and hold the position. Alternate legs.

Published on June 7, 2011

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David Ostrow, CEO of Body Balance for Performance, says this is oneof the best exercises for golfers. It develops the gluteal muscles, which comprise the buttocks. Strong glutes are necessary to provide stability and strength during a golf swing. Ostrow says this exercise can be performed by people with bad backs. 1. Start with the feet and back flat on the floor. 2. Raise the buttocks to form a straight line across the chest to the knees. 3. Straighten a leg without allowing the back to dip toward the floor. Alternate legs.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Smith’s favorite short-game shot is a low, running chip. He places the ball just in front of his right foot, puts his hands well ahead of the clubhead and maintains that angle throughout the swing. One key: Even though his hands are ahead, he opens the clubface slightly. This does two things: It maintains the club’s loft and keeps the sole from digging in the turf. When Smith hits a flop shot, he likes to feel like the left wrist starts to fold through impact, which allows the club to pass his hands.

Published on June 7, 2011

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David Ostrow, CEO of Body Balance for Performance, says this is oneof the best exercises for golfers. It develops the gluteal muscles, which comprise the buttocks. Strong glutes are necessary to provide stability and strength during a golf swing. Ostrow says this exercise can be performed by people with bad backs. 1. Start with the feet and back flat on the floor. 2. Raise the buttocks to form a straight line across the chest to the knees. 3. Straighten a leg without allowing the back to dip toward the floor. Alternate legs.

Published on June 7, 2011

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David Ostrow, CEO of Body Balance for Performance, says this is oneof the best exercises for golfers. It develops the gluteal muscles, which comprise the buttocks. Strong glutes are necessary to provide stability and strength during a golf swing. Ostrow says this exercise can be performed by people with bad backs. 1. Start with the feet and back flat on the floor. 2. Raise the buttocks to form a straight line across the chest to the knees. 3. Straighten a leg without allowing the back to dip toward the floor. Alternate legs.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Smith uses an impact bag to improve his point of contact, and it also helps his backswing by forcing him to focus on using his core to turn. “It gets me in a really strong position at the top,” Smith said. “When you’re going to hit that bag, you have to be in such a strong position at the top of the swing to be able to level a blow.” The impact bag also keeps Smith from standing up and spinning out in the downswing. “Your hands are ahead of the ball, and your head stays back,” Smith said. “It almost feels like you’re keeping your back to the target while you move into the ball, like you’re pushing against someone who’s pushing against your back, as your hands move down.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Bud Cauley

Published on June 7, 2011

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Smith uses an impact bag to improve his point of contact, and it also helps his backswing by forcing him to focus on using his core to turn. “It gets me in a really strong position at the top,” Smith said. “When you’re going to hit that bag, you have to be in such a strong position at the top of the swing to be able to level a blow.” The impact bag also keeps Smith from standing up and spinning out in the downswing. “Your hands are ahead of the ball, and your head stays back,” Smith said. “It almost feels like you’re keeping your back to the target while you move into the ball, like you’re pushing against someone who’s pushing against your back, as your hands move down.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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This drill takes care of the rest of Smith’s backswing. Smith “sets” the club at waist high, pauses, then completes his backswing. At waist high, Smith wants the club shaft to be parallel to his target line and the clubhead perpendicular to the ground. He completes his backswing by feeling his navel and right shoulder turning in unison around his spine. This ensures that he uses his core to complete his swing, instead of lifting his arms. “When my right shoulder, core and chest are turning, I can feel the club rotating along the plane,” Smith said.

Published on June 7, 2011

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This is a test of a player’s flexibility performed by Andy Hogg, a trainer at Body Balance for Performance. The player must try and keep his hips from rotating while turning the shoulders as far as possible. These tests can determine if a player has enough range of motion to move on to rotational exercises.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Think you’re a good bunker player? Try hitting bunker shots with a 6-iron. This drill makes standard bunker shots look easy by comparison, Smith said. It also forces a player to focus on fundamentals. Smith said he has a tendency to overlook basics such as ball position during long practice sessions. The only way to be successful with the 6-iron is to keep the ball forward in his stance, where it should be during standard sand shots, Smith said. The 6-iron, with its lack of loft and bounce, also forces Smith to keep the face open through impact, just like a standard sand shot. “If you watch the great bunker players, it’s like they’re lighting a match in the bunker, the club is moving so fast,” Smith said. “That’s what you have to do with the 6-iron. You can’t hesitate. You have to get under the ball quick and have to leave the club under the ball.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Think you’re a good bunker player? Try hitting bunker shots with a 6-iron. This drill makes standard bunker shots look easy by comparison, Smith said. It also forces a player to focus on fundamentals. Smith said he has a tendency to overlook basics such as ball position during long practice sessions. The only way to be successful with the 6-iron is to keep the ball forward in his stance, where it should be during standard sand shots, Smith said. The 6-iron, with its lack of loft and bounce, also forces Smith to keep the face open through impact, just like a standard sand shot. “If you watch the great bunker players, it’s like they’re lighting a match in the bunker, the club is moving so fast,” Smith said. “That’s what you have to do with the 6-iron. You can’t hesitate. You have to get under the ball quick and have to leave the club under the ball.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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A good swing starts with a good takeaway. Smith uses a 2-by-4 to ensure his club gets started on the correct plane. Smith places the board a couple of inches behind his ball, then pushes it out of the way with the back of the clubhead. “The board’s weight forces him to use his core – instead of just his hands and arms – while turning away from the ball,” Sargent said. This drill helps teach Smith to start the backswing with the clubhead. “Start the swing from the ground up” is a common tip given by teachers. When he’s swinging poorly, Smith hinges his wrists prematurely, which gets the club swinging outside the target line.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Nathan Smith swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Nathan Smith swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Nathan Smith swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Stormi Henley

Published on June 7, 2011

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Nathan Smith swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Nathan Smith swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Nathan Smith swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Brian Gay, right, celebrates with caddie Kip Henley at the 2010 St. Jude Classic.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Nathan Smith swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Nathan Smith swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Nathan Smith swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Nathan Smith swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Poor setup can cause problems throughout the putting stroke. Tseng used to have the ball too far forward in her stance, which caused her shoulders to be open. The ball was positioned off of her left foot; now it’s under her left eye (pictured). As a rule of thumb, the farther forward a player has the ball in the stance, the farther left the shoulders will aim, and vice versa. Tseng also used to set up with a closed putter face, which caused her to “drag” her putter inside the target line, Gilchrist said. “The putter would go inside and shut on the backswing, and then out (to the right) on the through swing,” Gilchrist said. “Once the putter face is square, it can move on the proper arc.” Players with an open face have a tendency to swing the club outside the target line on the backswing, while a closed face causes many players, including Tseng, to take the club inside. Tseng also was too far away from the ball and too “scrunched over” the ball. “Then you can’t rock your shoulders,” Gilchrist said. “The arms dominate the stroke.”

Published on June 7, 2011

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Some simple address adjustments help Tseng hit a variety of short-game shots. When she wants to hit a low, running shot, she places the ball farther back in her stance. This gets her shoulders more square at address, which causes her to swing more around her body. “The club moves slightly inside, but it’s on the arc of her body,” Gilchrist said. When she wants to hit a higher shot, she puts the ball forward in her stance, which opens her shoulders. Many amateurs know to swing along their shoulder line when hitting high chip shots but neglect to reroute the club in the transition, instead coming “over the top.” Just as in the full swing, the club’s shaft must flatten during the downswing while still swinging along the shoulder line. To help players achieve this, Gilchrist has them address the ball in a position that mimics the impact position of the full swing. The player’s weight should be on the left side, braced against a bent left knee, with the upper torso bent slightly to the right.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Some simple address adjustments help Tseng hit a variety of short-game shots. When she wants to hit a low, running shot, she places the ball farther back in her stance. This gets her shoulders more square at address, which causes her to swing more around her body. “The club moves slightly inside, but it’s on the arc of her body,” Gilchrist said. When she wants to hit a higher shot, she puts the ball forward in her stance, which opens her shoulders. Many amateurs know to swing along their shoulder line when hitting high chip shots but neglect to reroute the club in the transition, instead coming “over the top.” Just as in the full swing, the club’s shaft must flatten during the downswing while still swinging along the shoulder line. To help players achieve this, Gilchrist has them address the ball in a position that mimics the impact position of the full swing. The player’s weight should be on the left side, braced against a bent left knee, with the upper torso bent slightly to the right.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Practicing on an upslope forces Tseng to shift her weight to the right and helps her learn to swing her arms more effectively.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Practicing on an upslope forces Tseng to shift her weight to the right and helps her learn to swing her arms more effectively.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Practicing on an upslope forces Tseng to shift her weight to the right and helps her learn to swing her arms more effectively.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Mark Love Age: 44 Titles: President, Love Golf Design; executive director, McGladrey Classic; former caddie for older brother, PGA Tour player Davis Love III; former instructor, Sea Island Golf Learning Center; played at University of North Carolina and Valdosta (Ga.) State.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Reducing the number of long par putts in a round can help reduce stress. Here’s a simple drill for speed control: Kirk places a shaft about 2 feet behind the hole, perpendicular to his putting line. His goal is to make his ball stop between the hole and shaft. It ensures that he is hitting the putt with enough speed to reach the hole but leaving an easy second putt. Also, this helps avoid lipouts when the paceis too fast. Kirk hits putts of varying lengths, starting at 5 feet.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Yani Tseng swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Kirk usually has to flip at the ball because his body moves too quickly in transition from backswing to downswing, causing the club head to fall behind the hands on the downswing. To sync his body and arms, he hits balls while holding the club with just his left hand. Because it is more difficult to control the club when holding it with one hand, this drill forces the player to keep the club in a more neutral position on the downswing. If the club falls behind the hands, as it does when Kirk is swinging poorly, it is difficult to hit the ball properly. The easiest way to hit the ball cleanly is for the clubhead to work on the proper plane, where it falls to the outside of the hands as it approaches the ball.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Yani Tseng swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Kirk usually has to flip at the ball because his body moves too quickly in transition from backswing to downswing, causing the club head to fall behind the hands on the downswing. To sync his body and arms, he hits balls while holding the club with just his left hand. Because it is more difficult to control the club when holding it with one hand, this drill forces the player to keep the club in a more neutral position on the downswing. If the club falls behind the hands, as it does when Kirk is swinging poorly, it is difficult to hit the ball properly. The easiest way to hit the ball cleanly is for the clubhead to work on the proper plane, where it falls to the outside of the hands as it approaches the ball.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Yani Tseng swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Yani Tseng swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Kirk had played baseball growing up, which led to his swinging the golf club around his body, similar to a baseball swing. This has led to a closed clubface at the top of the backswing, which means Kirk doesn’t need to release the clubface much at impact to get it square to his target line. “His one tendency is to get a little too handsy,” Love said. It can lead to a hook. The drills that Love has given Kirk are aimed at fixing that problem. In one drill, Kirk addresses the ball, then lifts his left leg so that only his toes are touching the ground. He also moves his left foot slightly farther from the target line than his right foot. Because most of his weight is on one leg, it encourages him to turn around that axis and use his body, not hands, to deliver the club through impact. This results in his releasing the club later. Also, because he is balanced on one leg, it is more difficult to hit the ball solidly if he is too “handsy” through impact. “He has to release later in order to keep his balance,” Love said.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Kirk had played baseball growing up, which led to his swinging the golf club around his body, similar to a baseball swing. This has led to a closed clubface at the top of the backswing, which means Kirk doesn’t need to release the clubface much at impact to get it square to his target line. “His one tendency is to get a little too handsy,” Love said. It can lead to a hook. The drills that Love has given Kirk are aimed at fixing that problem. In one drill, Kirk addresses the ball, then lifts his left leg so that only his toes are touching the ground. He also moves his left foot slightly farther from the target line than his right foot. Because most of his weight is on one leg, it encourages him to turn around that axis and use his body, not hands, to deliver the club through impact. This results in his releasing the club later. Also, because he is balanced on one leg, it is more difficult to hit the ball solidly if he is too “handsy” through impact. “He has to release later in order to keep his balance,” Love said.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Yani Tseng swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Yani Tseng swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Kirk had played baseball growing up, which led to his swinging the golf club around his body, similar to a baseball swing. This has led to a closed clubface at the top of the backswing, which means Kirk doesn’t need to release the clubface much at impact to get it square to his target line. “His one tendency is to get a little too handsy,” Love said. It can lead to a hook. The drills that Love has given Kirk are aimed at fixing that problem. In one drill, Kirk addresses the ball, then lifts his left leg so that only his toes are touching the ground. He also moves his left foot slightly farther from the target line than his right foot. Because most of his weight is on one leg, it encourages him to turn around that axis and use his body, not hands, to deliver the club through impact. This results in his releasing the club later. Also, because he is balanced on one leg, it is more difficult to hit the ball solidly if he is too “handsy” through impact. “He has to release later in order to keep his balance,” Love said.

Published on June 7, 2011

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You’ll need a friend to perform this drill, but it’s another good one to keep players from “flipping” their hands at impact. Love grips a club by the hosel and points the grip at Kirk’s hands. The grip is only a couple of inches from Kirk’s hands. If Kirk swings too far in-to-out through impact, or turns his hands too much, his hands will hit the grip. Kirk must keep his hands “dead”and use his body to deliver the club through impact to avoid hitting the grip with his hands. “He just instinctively uses less hands and swings a little more down the line than in-to-out,” Love said.

Published on June 7, 2011

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You’ll need a friend to perform this drill, but it’s another good one to keep players from “flipping” their hands at impact. Love grips a club by the hosel and points the grip at Kirk’s hands. The grip is only a couple of inches from Kirk’s hands. If Kirk swings too far in-to-out through impact, or turns his hands too much, his hands will hit the grip. Kirk must keep his hands “dead”and use his body to deliver the club through impact to avoid hitting the grip with his hands. “He just instinctively uses less hands and swings a little more down the line than in-to-out,” Love said.

Published on June 7, 2011

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You’ll need a friend to perform this drill, but it’s another good one to keep players from “flipping” their hands at impact. Love grips a club by the hosel and points the grip at Kirk’s hands. The grip is only a couple of inches from Kirk’s hands. If Kirk swings too far in-to-out through impact, or turns his hands too much, his hands will hit the grip. Kirk must keep his hands “dead”and use his body to deliver the club through impact to avoid hitting the grip with his hands. “He just instinctively uses less hands and swings a little more down the line than in-to-out,” Love said.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Yani Tseng swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Yani Tseng swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Kirk keeps it simple with his short game, hitting most of his chip shots with a 60-degree wedge. “I tend to use a lot of wrists,” Kirk said. “I hinge (my wrists) quickly, and then maintain the wrist angle through impact to trap the ball and create spin.” He changes his setup and backswing to control trajectory. Kirk places the ball in the middle of his stance for a standard chip shot. For a low shot, he aligns the ball off his right foot. He also sets his hands farther ahead of the ball at address, increases his wrist hinge and bows his left wrist more on the backswing to hit a low shot. “I really bow the left wrist to deloft the clubface,” Kirk said.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Yani Tseng swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Yani Tseng swing instructional.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Kirk keeps it simple with his short game, hitting most of his chip shots with a 60-degree wedge. “I tend to use a lot of wrists,” Kirk said. “I hinge (my wrists) quickly, and then maintain the wrist angle through impact to trap the ball and create spin.” He changes his setup and backswing to control trajectory. Kirk places the ball in the middle of his stance for a standard chip shot. For a low shot, he aligns the ball off his right foot. He also sets his hands farther ahead of the ball at address, increases his wrist hinge and bows his left wrist more on the backswing to hit a low shot. “I really bow the left wrist to deloft the clubface,” Kirk said.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Tseng used to stand too far from the ball. She started her swing by taking the clubface outside the target line and shut. To compensate, she would swing the club more around her body as she hinged her wrists. The club was laid off at the top of the swing, which pulled her weight back to her left side, instead of allowing it to load properly on her right side. “The face started shut, then got open,” Gilchrist said. The weight would return to her right side during the downswing as she “backed out” of the shot. To fix this, Gilchrist has Tseng make practice swings while holding a soccer ball. This drill helps players feel their arms and body staying connected throughout the swing. To get Tseng to properly shift her weight in the downswing, Gilchrist would stand down Tseng’s target line and have her release the soccer ball at impact. Her weight must be properly shifting to her left side for her to throw the ball straight at Gilchrist..

Published on June 7, 2011

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Chris Kirk at Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, with swing coach, Mark Love.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Chris Kirk at Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, with swing coach, Mark Love.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Chris Kirk at Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, with swing coach, Mark Love.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Chris Kirk at Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, with swing coach, Mark Love.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Tseng used to stand too far from the ball. She started her swing by taking the clubface outside the target line and shut. To compensate, she would swing the club more around her body as she hinged her wrists. The club was laid off at the top of the swing, which pulled her weight back to her left side, instead of allowing it to load properly on her right side. “The face started shut, then got open,” Gilchrist said. The weight would return to her right side during the downswing as she “backed out” of the shot. To fix this, Gilchrist has Tseng make practice swings while holding a soccer ball. This drill helps players feel their arms and body staying connected throughout the swing. To get Tseng to properly shift her weight in the downswing, Gilchrist would stand down Tseng’s target line and have her release the soccer ball at impact. Her weight must be properly shifting to her left side for her to throw the ball straight at Gilchrist.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Tseng used to stand too far from the ball. She started her swing by taking the clubface outside the target line and shut. To compensate, she would swing the club more around her body as she hinged her wrists. The club was laid off at the top of the swing, which pulled her weight back to her left side, instead of allowing it to load properly on her right side. “The face started shut, then got open,” Gilchrist said. The weight would return to her right side during the downswing as she “backed out” of the shot. To fix this, Gilchrist has Tseng make practice swings while holding a soccer ball. This drill helps players feel their arms and body staying connected throughout the swing. To get Tseng to properly shift her weight in the downswing, Gilchrist would stand down Tseng’s target line and have her release the soccer ball at impact. Her weight must be properly shifting to her left side for her to throw the ball straight at Gilchrist.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Chris Kirk at Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, with swing coach, Mark Love.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Chris Kirk at Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, with swing coach, Mark Love.

Published on June 7, 2011

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To help teach Tseng the proper takeaway and wrist hinge, Gilchrist had her make practice swings while holding a club in each hand. It is important to hover both clubs above the ground before starting the swing. This forces the player to keep the club in a balanced position throughout the swing. Controlling a club with one arm makes it difficult to make many of the mistakes typical of amateurs. “If you take it back incorrectly, it’s going to feel terrible,” Gilchrist said. “It helps you get the club more in balance. The clubs should feel nice and light.” Having the club in balance helps naturally flatten it in the transition between the backswing and downswing, Gilchrist said. In Tseng’s case, this drill kept her from taking the club back outside and with a closed clubface, and kept her from getting the club laid off when she hinged her wrists. Gilchrist also had Tseng make swings with her right index finger running down the shaft. This increased her sensitivity to the clubface’s position, allowing her to feel it properly rotate throughout the swing.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Chris Kirk at Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, with swing coach, Mark Love.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Chris Kirk at Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, with swing coach, Mark Love.

Published on June 7, 2011

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To help teach Tseng the proper takeaway and wrist hinge, Gilchrist had her make practice swings while holding a club in each hand. It is important to hover both clubs above the ground before starting the swing. This forces the player to keep the club in a balanced position throughout the swing. Controlling a club with one arm makes it difficult to make many of the mistakes typical of amateurs. “If you take it back incorrectly, it’s going to feel terrible,” Gilchrist said. “It helps you get the club more in balance. The clubs should feel nice and light.” Having the club in balance helps naturally flatten it in the transition between the backswing and downswing, Gilchrist said. In Tseng’s case, this drill kept her from taking the club back outside and with a closed clubface, and kept her from getting the club laid off when she hinged her wrists. Gilchrist also had Tseng make swings with her right index finger running down the shaft. This increased her sensitivity to the clubface’s position, allowing her to feel it properly rotate throughout the swing.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Chris Kirk at Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, with swing coach, Mark Love.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Chris Kirk at Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, with swing coach, Mark Love.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym with trainer Dave Herman for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym with trainer Dave Herman for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym with trainer Dave Herman for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym with trainer Dave Herman for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym with trainer Dave Herman for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym with trainer Dave Herman for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym for Golfweek Style Issue

Published on June 7, 2011

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Suzann Pettersen demonstrating fitness in her home gym for Golfweek Style Issue.

Published on June 7, 2011

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