Category Archives for "Videos: Swing Analysis"

Wayne D Looking for a Swing that’s Easier on the Back

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

Up until a few months ago my back was feeling OK and I was pleased with the progress I was making with my swing. However, the arthritis in my right big toe has gotten to the point where it is affecting the way I walk (every step hurts) and that, of course, is a very problematical thing for anyone, especially someone like me who already has serious back issues. I shot 80 in a one- day event about a month ago, and it was especially frustrating because my hips and lower back were so stiff and sore I simply couldn’t do what I wanted with my swing. I always like to prepare before I play in a tournament, so I’m going to be practicing and playing more than usual so I can feel ready to play, although over the years I have gotten much smarter about not overdoing it.

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Swings from the NCAA Championship Match: Oklahoma State and Alabama

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

It’s always interesting to look at the swings of the young players on the rise, so I recorded the NCAA finals and got at least one swing of the 10 players competing in match play. It’s not surprising that we see strength and athleticism in every player, as well as some variations in technique, although for the most part the swings are conventional in a good sense, with solid fundamentals and nice plane lines. The exceptions would be Matthew Wolfe and Victor Hovland, and if you watched the telecast at all you know how well these two hit the ball (Hovland is the 7th ranked amateur in the world). It’s cool to see a swing like Wolfe’s perform as it did, showing once again that if you’re good, you’re good, and it doesn’t really matter how you do it until it doesn’t work. When you see Wolfe’s swing I recommend you check out Jimmy Bruen and Eamonn Darcy, just to show you that there really isn’t anything new in the game of golf.

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Lateral Hip Movement in Transition: All the Great Players Have It

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

The idea that the forward swing should start with the hips squatting and that the pelvis shouldn’t slide (I would call that “Squat and Spin”) is gaining some traction with the popularity of California instructor George Gankas. I will do a video where he explains his ideas and has a “model” student hit balls on Trackman, but here my purpose is to ask why in the world would you want to do that when none of the greatest players in the history of the game have demonstrated that technique? Therefore, I have gone through my bank of model swings and taken the major champions of whom I have stable face on views to prove that in transition, with an iron or a driver, the pelvis slides forward as it changes direction from clockwise to counterclockwise, what Lee Trevino aptly called the “slide/turn”. To simplify the complex movement of the hips and pelvis for my students I have for years asked them to view the hip movement as driving 45 degrees left of the target as the swing changes direction. In reality the right side pelvic rotator muscles start the movement, but many players sense the left knee or hip initiating. It really doesn’t matter how you think about it, as long as the hips gain depth, open and move to the left, pulling the left arm against the chest as the chest stays relatively still. The movement should feel continuous, like a “hula” motion (I wasn’t very good at hula hoops), and the amount of lateral will be determined by the set -up position and the amount of pressure you want on the left side at impact.

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Wayne D’s Swing: May 2018

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

I’m still at it, this time getting ready for the 2018 competitive season by trying to improve my ball striking and hopefully pick up some distance off the tee. I played fairly well in the Middle Atlantic Match Play tournament, finishing T-10 in the qualifier (this is against all the section guys, not just the seniors) and then won two matches before losing on the 18th to a very good player I have taught in the past. Here I go back to some of the things that I still see in my 2001 victory at the National Club Pro, namely a brisker overall pace for the swing, especially the backswing, an earlier engagement of the hands and wrists in the takeaway, and a harder “catch” at the top to flatten the shaft more and more aggressively. I have also incorporated one of Hogan’s setup ideas, as I’m squeezing my knees toward each other at address to try to alleviate some of the problem I have with not being able to clear my left leg quickly enough in the forward swing. It’s an interesting feeling having my knees pressed toward each other (which gets me to the insides of both feet) while my elbows are bent away from each other (helping me flare my right arm so that it does not pinch in front of me in the backswing.

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Simpson, Reed and Watney: Cupped Left Wrist at the Top

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

Lately we have seen a lot of the top players utilize a flat or bowed left wrist at the top of their swings, namely Spieth, D. Johnson, Keopka and Rahm, but here I focus on 3 recently successful players in Patrick Reed, Nick Watney and Webb Simpson, all of whom get to the top with the left wrist definitely cupped. Some of this has to do with grip type, but in general cupping the left wrist keeps the clubface more open, and with the addition of forearm rotation tends to point the club either on plane or left of the plane at the top. Hogan stated that he liked to roll the face open and cup the left wrist right from the start of the swing all the way to the top and being a Hogan fan, I have always taught that it was a good idea to maintain the bend in the back of the left wrist to the top and starting down, which I think is a simple idea for students to understand. The cupping of the wrist helps my own swing by adding wrist cock, which enables me to increase my lag and produce more speed, something I am conscious of since I go 5’8” and 160 lbs. I also throw in here a couple swings of Bryson DeChambeau, who uses an extremely weak, palm grip and seems to be eliminating all forearm rotation in the backswing keeping the clubface constantly closed, the opposite of Hogan. DeChambeau is hitting the ball as well as anyone on Tour, while Reed just won the Masters, Watney finished second at the Wells Fargo, and Simpson is in control of the Players Championship.

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Swing Analysis: Andrew Landry- Making the Strong Grip Work with Great Pivot Motion and Right Arm Movement

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

Chalk this one up to the “little guys” on Tour, as 5’7” Andrew Landry plays solid golf down the stretch to win the Texas Open. The most distinctive things about Landry’s swing are his strong grip (a la Zach Johnson) and his extremely left exit. Landry’s right arm stays bent well past impact, even with his driver, and when his body is as open as it is by the time he gets to impact you know the hands, arms, and club are going to exit well to the left and come out under the left shoulder. Landry uses an early wrist set to make sure the left wrist stays cupped, and if he had a neutral grip the face would probably be almost toe up. With the grip being so strong, however, the face still appears closed, and it becomes imperative that he keep his wrist cupped and his right arm in front of his chest. He does have a habit of leaning back away from the ball in the backswing, but balances things out perfectly by leaning back toward the ball in the forward swing, the opposite of what so many struggling golfers do. It is notable how open his gets his entire body at impact while keeping the right arm bent and against him through impact, as this allows him to achieve minimal face rotation through the strike. Another thing of interest is the difference between the driver swing face on and the 5 -wood swing. He is way more behind the ball with his driver to hit up on it and moves everything more forward and the ball more back to hit the 5 wood off the ground. Another item of interest is the slow tempo of the backswing and the extreme acceleration of the downswing, not the standard 3:1 ratio that you see in most Tour players.

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Swing Analysis: Joaquin Niemann

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

This 19-year-old was the #1 amateur in the world before he turned pro last week at the Texas Open, where he finished 6th, shooting 12 under and birdieing the last 3 holes. I find his set up and backswing pretty standard for a Tour caliber player, but his swing really gets interesting in the downswing and into impact. He demonstrates a lot of what I like to teach, compressing hard into the ground by adding hip flexion in transition and radically flattening the shaft from P4 to P5. He keeps his right arm bent well past impact (I compare him to the great Byron Nelson) and produces and extreme amount of right side bend in the follow through. I guess 19-year-old bodies can handle this, and since he has gotten so good so quickly I wouldn’t expect him to change anything until something starts to hurt. Whatever the case, it will be fun to watch him as he tries to secure a Tour card without going through Q-School.

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Wayne D Working on Bunker Technique

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

I hadn’t been in the bunker with the camera for a while and since I am changing my technique a bit from an out to in path with an open stance and open face to a more square stance and a shallower approach I thought it would be a good idea to see if I were really doing what I was thinking about. As you will see in the first attempt I am still keeping the shaft in front of me and coming from quite a bit out to in.

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Set Up Routine: Rose, DeChambeau and Woods

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

I didn’t pick these players for any particular reason other than the TV coverage caught their entire set up routine, and I like to look at and time what they do before each shot. Routine is an especially important concept for young players to learn, but it can help anyone who is serious about the game by standardizing their movements prior to starting the swing. Having a routine helps in several ways, the most important of which is having a way to quickly go through a checklist (grip, alignment, distance from the ball, balance front to back and side to side, ball position, foot placement, etc.), making sure that you are not dooming yourself before the hard part starts.

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Swing Analysis: Alex Norén- What’s Up with that Rehearsal?

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

Alex Norén has been playing some great golf recently and should have won the Match Play Championship or at least made it to the finals had his putter not gone ice cold against Kisner in the semis. His ball striking is phenomenal and obviously superior to just about anyone else out there, and one of my best golf nut friends reported in from the range at the Honda Classic that he hadn’t seen or heard the ball struck like that since he watched Hogan. What I concentrate on here is Norén’s pre-swing rehearsal, where he purposefully drives his upper right arm and elbow in front of his ribcage while squeezing the left arm against his chest and opening his hips to a maximum degree prior to the clubhead reaching impact. This comes directly from Hogan, who demonstrated many times his idea of the importance of the hips leading the downswing with the right elbow pitching in in a combination underhand, sidearm throwing motion. In his rehearsal Noren’s hands move outward, but in his actual swing they move more straight down, something that most players who are as vertical with the left arm at the top will do. Norén’s move with his right arm ensures him that it won’t get stuck behind him, and as his hands get well in front of the ball at impact with his left arm being pulled by his trunk his release is well around to the left. Interesting stuff that has proven results, and something I’ve been teaching forever, although not with this level of exaggeration. If you try to emulate his rehearsal you will see and feel how physically demanding it is.

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