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Billy Casper: A Classic Swing

It should be apparent after watching so many of these swing analysis videos that there are similarities in the swings of the great players prior to 1970 that are so prevalent that we can call the end result “the classic swing”. The list is fairly short but all of the items are integral parts of the whole.

1. Deep right hip and leg movement in the backswing.
2. Takeaway either straight back or inward.
3. Hands move out toward the ball in transition.
4. The head is significantly lower at impact than it was at address.
5. Hips stay in the box (deep) in the forward swing.
6. There is an aggressive lateral drive of the hips in the forward swing as well as an aggressive rotation.
7. The right upper arm moves in front of the right hip in the forward swing (the sidearm throwing motion).
8. The body is well open at impact.
9. The hands, arms and club exit to the left

Billy Casper’s swing does all these things. It is no wonder that he hit the ball well enough to win 51 PGA Tour events and 3 majors. While Casper was renowned for his short game and putting, we know now that the great champions separated themselves from their competitors more through their approach shots and driving than from shots on and around the greens. From 1964-1970 Casper won 27 events, more than twice the number that Player and Palmer won combined. He won majors 11 years apart, and had 11 children while he was doing it! If you watch any interviews with him it is obvious that he was a sweetheart of a guy and surely he will be sorely missed.


9 Responses to Billy Casper: A Classic Swing

  1. mark smith February 18, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi Wayne

    Great as always, we got to get you over to the UK one day , the analysts we have on the BBC would be out of a job!! :)

    At 8 minutes , that position is just heaven.

  2. Scott Knoblach February 18, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

    Fabulous. instantly a top 5 favorite clip.

  3. John Neeson February 19, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

    Great to see some of these old swings. I am always fascinated as to how so many of the greats did similar things. (Mainly in the down-swing). Some seem to have been coached, others hardly at all. Nobody in their right mind would have ‘taught’ Brewer a back-swing like that so one can only assume it was self-taught. Yet his transition move is unbelievable and he planes the shaft at impact, lowers, stays in the box, etc.
    I’d be almost certain that they didn’t give one thought to parts 3, 4 and 5. In fact old instruction book almost universally tell you to keep your head still and that ‘dipping’ is bad.
    So, if they were not focussed on micro-moves that you can only see with high-speed film or video, what was the ‘glue’ or they key that held this all together and produced similar positions? What were coaches telling young players back then that produced downswing actions like Brewer? Or in the great players, are we just seeing a small sample of the few that instinctively stumbled on the side-arm action (and therefore became good), as opposed to the majority with their chopping, OTT action, most of whom were never able to break 80?

  4. john greyston February 20, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    Mark Smith
    The BBC , the few times they’re on the air these days rarely analyse players swings let alone criticise them like Miller or Chamblee. They only do the odd 30 second slow mo of Bubba or Rory and frankly I don’t think most viewers could bear to watch one of Waynes 12 minute videos. Many people do not want see any swing dissection at all.
    Peter Alliss has never been into the minutiae of technique. Hitting the ball well came naturally to him so his attitude was that golf was a simple game made unnecessarily complicated by overinstruction. When shots were missed right he would always say the player cleared the left hip too early, preventing the clubface from squaring.
    Alex Hay was the only one of their team who taught golf- always remember his take on the Swedish swings in the early 90s, that they were controlled by rotation of the upper body with no independent hand and arm action.

  5. ryanwl February 21, 2015 at 1:27 am #

    Good stuff!

  6. B MO February 22, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

    Wayne, I find the videos a tad low on volume as well. Well, at least on my iPad. Which is how I mostly view the videos. Kudos though for making the videos ios compatible from the early days.

  7. mark smith February 23, 2015 at 2:54 am #

    Hi Gents its a laptop issue , on my wife’s Sony I cannot hear a thing , on my own HP it works just fine.

    This makes my wife very happy :)

  8. Christian Mauer February 23, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    I was talking to a golfing friend of mine about his swing mechanics and how to get better. His view is that the best players just swing the club naturally well and different from the masses. I guess to an extent that is true because there are examples of self taught players like Furyk or Bubba Watson. At least their swings appear self taught. That said, if you don’t naturally do the key things well you gotta make changes if you believe in the fundamentals. I guess my point is I feel like some folks just don’t believe they can change or don’t have the desire to change. I wonder how much these guys talked, shared and watched each other practice because it seems unlikely that they all hit the ball in a similar way. Another possibility is they knew what was right when they felt it themselves and kept striving for it.

  9. Marcus Johnson February 25, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    There’s an issue with your sound Wayne. Normally, it’s fine and if I want it louder, I just turn it up with no distortion. This video is very bass heavy and thin with some phasing in your voice. harder to hear than normal. It might be an idea to buy a microphone that is suitable for blogging and use that. There are plenty of decent ones on the market. It would just make your vids more professional. (Minor issue, the content is brilliant)

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