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Bill Haas: Golf Swing Analysis

Back in 2002 I was fortunate enough to have my choice of 6 Tour events to play in as a result of my victory in the previous year’s National Club Pro Championship. I chose as one of my events The Greater Greensboro Open, which was somewhat of a homecoming as I had attended Wake Forest for two years in the 70’s. One of my teammates my freshman year was Jay Haas, and I had continued to run into Jay over the years as I would qualify for and odd Tour event or two. It was thus that I contacted Jay about the possibility of playing a practice round together, and luckily he was able to accommodate on Tuesday, although he said we would have to tee off later in the afternoon as he wanted to wait for his son, Bill, who had earned his own exemption into the tournament, to drive over from school (he was also attending Wake) and join us.
 
Billy showed up at about 3:30 and proceeded to tee it up without the benefit of a single practice ball. Jay teed off first, then I followed, and we both hit nice drives in the fairway to about the 150 marker, which on the 420 hole had us out there about 270. Billy took a couple of practice swings and then hit a liner down the left side of the fairway, nothing particularly special but oddly forceful. Jay and I got to our balls and I looked a bit up the fairway for Bills. I didn’t see anything right away so I kept scanning up toward the green until I saw a ball so far ahead of us my first thought was that it couldn’t possibly be Billy’s drive. I looked at Jay and said “Is that Billy’s drive?” He replied with a grin that yes, it was, and commented that “He hits it pretty far”. I paced it off from the 150 and walked up 70 yards until I got to his ball. My thought was “holy crap, are you kidding?” We played the round and Bill was syrupy smooth and incredibly long. I left thinking that he was a can’t miss Tour star, and his recent play has proven me right.
 

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2 Responses to Bill Haas: Golf Swing Analysis

  1. Clinton Stewart March 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Wayne: I was watching this and immediately thought of you — hoped you would post about this. Just hilarious! Or downright disturbing, I guess, depending on how much stock you put into these guys’ nonsense commentary (which, I’m with you, is ashame b/c there’s just a ton of people who take Miller/Chamblee/etc. as knowledgeable and try to go out and “do” the things they say on TV). What a buncha loons!

  2. Jack Gallagher January 29, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    Interesting day yesterday as my boss was in the foursome with Bill Haas at the Phoenix Open pro-am. They won the pro-am. Bill didn’t light it up as I’d hoped (shooting about even par) – perhaps just different greens than the ones he won on last week.

    But he kept the group from making any net bogeys on the front nine. I had to go back to work after the front nine (when they were still minus 6 as a group – and I thought they had no chance to win, as the winners historically have been 18 under or better). The foursome net-birdied every hole on the back nine except for the 17th, which they net-eagled, to finish at minus 16. The rough was higher than past years, and the new bunkering apparently made the course more difficult.

    With virtually no crowd and my boss letting me inside the ropes for a few holes I was able to watch Bill hit tee shots from very close up (no, I did NOT attempt to film any of his swings with my cell phone!). I got to ask his caddie about his hand, and he said that it still hurts when he moves it in certain ways, but not much at all when he strikes the ball. That said, he clearly is not back to hitting it 340 yet. My boss said that he went for the green in two on the par-5 15th hole (with the water on the left of the fairway and in front of the green) with some sort of fairway wood – finishing in the left greenside bunker and birdying in from there. The 15th now plays 553 yards.

    His swing still looks the same as in Wayne’s video on this thread. He hit is irons great and didn’t miss a green on the front nine that I watched. His good drives were either piped straight down the center or left-center (no perceivable right to left or left to right pattern). His missed drives were all missed to the left rough in a dead-pull fashion, with maybe a slight leftward curve at the end.

    His address position in person looks way more bent over than even Wayne’s video would seem to imply, but as I look at the video again, I can see what I saw on the course yesterday. If you were to draw a vertical line from his nose dowward, the line would intersect the clubshaft below his grip (when he’s hitting the driver). A line drawn from the bill of his cap would be below that. This gets much more pronounced when he hits any shorter club.

    I’ve never looked like this in my address position, and it’s something I’m going to do my best to try to implement. The trick will be to keep my head out toward the ball during the entire swing sequence.

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