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Four big leaguers show how baseball skills translate into big drives and low scores

Baseball, April 2010
Angus Murray
From left to right: Paul O'Neill, Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey Jr. and John Smoltz.

PAUL O'NEILL
Reds, Yankees
MLB seasons: 17
Career numbers: .288 avg., 281 home runs, 2,105 hits
All-Star teams: 5
Handicap: 9
Golf talk: "I won the long-drive competition at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe with a 357-yard bomb. It was fun."

Get it Right at the Top
The Fault
When I played baseball, I tried to make a level or slightly descending swing most of the time. That placed my left elbow (the right elbow for righties) in a high, flying position. I see this frequently in golfers I play with and it makes it hard to get the club in a good position on the downswing. The typical result is poor impact and weak shots.

The Fix
I always think "fold" at the top of the backswing to get my left elbow tucked into the proper position and keep it from flying too high. When I do this it's easy for me to make a confident downswing because I know the club will come down on the proper plane. Try it for yourself if you're not making solid contact.

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