At the age of 13, GOLF MAGAZINE Contributing Player Aaron Baddeley (who is fast becoming known as "Badds") put his cricket bat aside to dedicate himself to learning the art of golf. Chipping out of a home-made bunker in his backyard, the young Aussie became so passionate about the game that his parents had to enforce a weekly day off from golf. That dedication paid off, when he secured his Tour card at 21 years old.
View Badd's swing in its entirety, or frame by frame, below. Note: Flash plug-in required. Can't see the image? Download the latest version here.
The Stat Sheet • Born:March 17, 1981
• Height: 6' 1"
• Weight: 175 lbs.
• Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
• College: None
• Turned pro: November 2000
Quick shots: Won the 1999 and 2000 Australian Opens (the first as an amateur) and the 2001 Greg Norman Holden International, beating Sergio Garcia in a playoff.
Halfway Down: Stay Wide
A wide backswing arc doesn't do you any good if it's not matched by a wide arc coming down. The smaller (narrower) the arc on the downswing, the harder it is to extend the arms through impact and release the club. This reduces speed and power. As you swing down from the top, focus on the right hand: It should work away from the right shoulder (photo, right). This gradually straightens the right arm so both arms are fully extended at impact -- a position you see in all big hitters. Preserving the width in your downswing also promotes the club's release, which sets up a powerful draw.
To ingrain the proper right-arm motion, tee up several balls at driver height and try to make solid contact swinging a 7-iron with just your right arm. The only way to sweep the ball off the tee is to keep your right arm wide.