Monthly Archives: July 2018

Online Lesson: Tyler McAdams- Keys to Stop Lifting in the Backswing

By Wayne | Videos: Online Students

Tyler only had a down the line view for me to analyze but he wanted to see what I said anyway, so I gave it a shot. My suggestions here are to stand up taller at address with more weight toward the balls of the feet and less knee flex to feel like he would want to create space for the right arm in transition, which means he wouldn’t be losing angle in the mid-section as he moves from P2 to P4. Instead, he could try to create more hip flexion (mostly concentrating on the right hip, which would take the left hip with it) once the swing gets started and especially as he gets to the top of the swing. Also, I suggest that he try to open the face a bit more with forearm rotation almost immediately after the club starts moving so that the right arm might stay in front of him and take some of the stress out of his upper trunk turn. The feeling of adding hip flexion and tilting the pelvis more downward (anterior tilt) while changing direction against the brace of the right foot and leg should cause his head to lower a bit more as he starts down.

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Lesson of the Week: Will Levy- Stability and Perception of Swing Plane

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

Will is mostly a baseball player whose grandfather would like him to learn how to play golf, and since he’s very good at baseball you might figure golf would come easier to him than most. As it turns out for whatever reason instead of swinging the club around him in the forward swing he always drops it way inside and swings exaggeratedly in to out with his legs driving out from under him to the right. This is exactly unlike a sidearm throwing motion or even a batting motion. Will is a strong but gangly kid who doesn’t control his body very well, so my focus with him is to stabilize his right leg in the backswing so that he has a brace to move forward from, and then to do anything to get him to swing more out and around to the left. The difficulty for the brain (anyone’s) is to process how a left miss (Will tends to hook the ball wildly more so than blocking it to the right due to his strong grip) can be rectified by swinging more left. As much as he swings in to out you can be sure he has the face closing rapidly by impact, so we must make sure his grip is weaker so that the face will be more open as the clubhead approaches the ball on a more proper path. His hips need to learn how to stay deeper as he aims his hip drive way more to the left, another item for the next lessons. Unfortunately, you can only do so much in an hour, but I think this is a good start.

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Online Lesson: Corey Stepanek-Early Extension Due to Posture Issues and Lack of Mid-section Control

By Wayne | Videos: Online Students

In this video I explain to Corey how I believe his loss of posture during the swing is mostly due to his posture at address. It’s rare that I see a non-tour player set up back in the heels with a lot of knee flex and not move the pelvis toward the ball during the swing. I suggest to Corey that he set up more like Adam Scott (more out over the ball) and then work on keeping his pelvis deeper in transition. The good news is that Corey does a great job of keeping his head out over the ball all during the swing, so if he uses the stick between his feet to get feedback on his right leg thrusting out to the right in transition I think he could make some real quick progress on getting his right arm room to get more in front of him and further forward at impact.

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Tiger Woods Hand Path in Transition: 2000 to 2018

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

I’ve been accumulating Tiger swings since I’ve had a laptop and I can run through just about every year between 1994 to present. In Tiger’s recent years I noticed a significant change: about 2009 his hands and arms began to drop straight down from the top in transition, totally different than the “hands out” movement he had utilized for a decade. His right arm, instead of moving back out in front of his chest like it used to, began to move back more behind his right rib cage, not only jamming his arm but discouraging rotation in the upper body at the same time. With his arm more behind him and his entire body opening slower he began to make more and more swings that were “stuck”, with the club at P6 well behind his hands, leading to blocks and hooks. In these swings from the 2018 Memorial Tiger appears to have returned to his previous technique in which his hands move out toward the ball in transition, his upper body opens sooner, and his hips are encouraged by the overall motion to rotate more freely. Watch where his left arm is at P5: way more in front of him and less across his chest. This is very reminiscent of his older swings, although the backswing is not as “away” from him as it was in 2000. It looks more natural and fluid to me, more like an athletic hitting or sidearm throwing motion. I think he’s all the way back with this swing.

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Playing for Money: Willy Wilcox Part Two: Short game Simplification

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

When Willy and I first spoke, I was surprised to hear that what he thought he needed the most was to get a better idea of what to do with his short game, especially his short pitching and putting. I gave him my usual opinions on pitch shots, explaining that I view it as a mini full -swing and that most players that develop trouble are making the process too complicated. If you are a good ball striker, and every Tour player is, you should have no trouble hitting the ball short distances, unless you try to reinvent the wheel and make it a whole different exercise. In both Willy’s pitching and putting there was excess finish, and when I got him to finish more down and to hold it both improved greatly. There is a discipline to holding the finish on short shots that any good player can forget about, and if they do they need to be reminded.

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Tiger 2018: Best it’s Been in 12 Years

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

Tiger is back with a swing that I think rivals any he has ever made. I like everything about it, but the biggest difference I see and the one thing I was hoping he would change was his hand path in transition. Looking at swings up to 2006 Tiger’s hands always worked out toward the ball as his left arm responded more passively to his trunk rotation. For the next 12 years his hands would start the downswing by dropping straight down, sometimes even pulling back behind him, jamming his right arm and making it difficult for him to rotate and “get around” on the ball, leading to too many off line drives. It would appear now that he has gone back to a more natural transition, one that reminds me of the starting motion for baseball hitting or throwing. He now has way more freedom for his right arm, with the added bonus of the fact that aiming the hands out toward or above the ball in transition encourages aggressive lower body rotation and makes it easier to accomplish. By moving the hands and arms downward in transition the rotation of the body is slowed by a fraction while the right arm attaches to the side too soon, enough to cause major problems at high speed. It doesn’t look like that anymore. I think he can get back to #1 with this action.
 

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Playing for Money: Willy Wilcox- Part One, Full Swing

By Wayne | Videos: Playing For Money

When I first saw Willy’s swing on television in 2015 I was happy that I was recording the tournament. They showed him several times and I did a video analysis of his swing. I loved it. It was certainly unconventional with the ultra-open stance and whippy-fast action, but it just looked like (without the aid of slow motion) it was producing an extra high-level strike on the ball. When I did slow it down it looked even better. He kind of disappeared for a few years and from out of the blue he contacted me through Messenger and expressed interest in chatting about his swing and his game and perhaps coming up to Baltimore to see me since he was going to be fairly close by anyway. The first lesson was 95% short game (I did a video on that as well), but in the second we had twice as much time so after another round of short game work we went out onto the course where I filmed him hitting various shots. With his conventional (square) set up he wasn’t opening his upper body enough to keep his hard flattening action from getting the club stuck behind him, so I suggested that he go back to opening his stance, which agreed with him as it was quite familiar. He went away from it while searching for answers to his suddenly erratic ball striking, while at the same time making his backswing far less deep. I suggested he also go back to pulling his arms across him in the backswing, and he had no problem with that either. I really wasn’t doing anything except having him go back to what at one point hit the ball as well as anyone in the world. If you look at his stats for that period (11 events) it might as well be Henrik Stenson, it was that good. He has played well since I saw him, and I look for great things in the future.

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Swing Analysis: Babe Didrikson Zaharias- Greatest Woman Golfer Ever?

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

I confess I didn’t know a whole lot about the Babe until I read up on her, and I think anyone would admit that her story is pretty incredible. I forgot to mention it in the video, but she is the only woman ever to make a cut in a men’s Tour event, and she did it 3 straight times in 1945, and is also still the only woman to ever qualify for a PGA Tour event as opposed to receiving a sponsor’s exemption. Her record as an amateur includes winning 17 straight events, a feat never matched, and won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1946 and the British Women’s Amateur in 1947, this after winning the Women’s Western Open (a major 3 times from 1942 to She turned pro in 1948 and added to her 4 majors she won as an amateur by winning the U.S. Women’s Open. She would win 5 more majors and a total of 48 professional wins before succumbing to cancer in 1956 at age 45. She won the 1954 U.S. Women’s Open wearing a colostomy bag. Think about that for a moment.

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Lesson of the Week: Scott Wingrat- Laid Off Backswing Leads to Steepening Shaft

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

Scott has a nice athletic move, but his flawed takeaway has the shaft extremely behind him at P2 and laid off at P3 and P4, which he can only fix by steepening the shaft in transition. As we have seen before, the tendency when the shaft tips steeper is for the lower body to try to help the shaft lay back later in the downswing by pushing out toward the ball. Scott had a good grasp of what was going on in our first lesson, but when he came back for the second we found that his takeaway had not changed much at all, another example of how difficult it is to execute a change no matter how simple it seems. Scott can correct this with practice as he shows in his stop and go, which gives him the time to think about and feel the takeaway keeping the shaft more on plane. His sequencing is good, and he demonstrates that when he does the backswing better he has a chance to shallow the club in transition, which, along with work toward keeping his hips deeper, will make him a more consistent ball striker.

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