Category Archives for "Videos: Swing Analysis"

Swing Analysis: Denny McCarthy- Extra Deep Pelvic Movement Provides Space

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

You may not have heard of Denny McCarthy but after his dominating victory in the Web.Com Tour Championship there are real signs that he is ready to make his mark on the PGA Tour. Denny is local to the DC area (3-time Maryland State Open Champion as an amateur, played in college at Virginia) and qualified for the Web.Com Tour at the end of 2015. He spent two full years on the Web.com, finally achieving his PGA Tour card for 2018, where he made 13 of 22 cuts and just under $500.000. His victory gained him the #1 ranking for money earned in the Web.Com finals, which gives him fully exempt status on the PGA Tour for 2019. He is small at 5’9” and 165 lbs. but in great shape and very strong, which is readily observable when you watch his pivot movement. He planes the club nicely and gets away with a substantial upper body back up in his backswing by keeping his pelvis deep and firing his glutes late in the forward swing, giving him the appearance of jumping up into impact without early extending. He keeps his arms and shaft well out in front of him which keeps the club from getting stuck and makes a left to right shot pattern more likely. His stats show issues with driving accuracy, but he showed huge improvement in that regard in 2018.

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Swing Analysis: Tom Weiskopf- 14 Years of Brilliance

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

Between 1968 and 1982 Tom Weiskopf won 16 PGA Tour events including the British Open in 1973, a year in which he won 7 times world wide and was ranked #2 in the world. Weiskopf came close to being remembered as one of the all-time greats, but suffered 4 runner-up finishes in the Masters and a runner-up and 4 top 4s in the U.S. Open. Just as players in the 2000’s had to deal with Tiger Woods, Weiskopf played in the shadow of Nicklaus and Watson, and by the mid-80’s had all but ceased to compete, not returning to competition until turning 50 in 1992 and playing the Senior Tour, where he won 4 times including the U.S. Senior Open in 1995. Weiskopf looks like a prototype for todays average Tour star, tall (6’3”), and lanky strong, hitting the ball longer and higher than most while exhibiting great control with his shorter clubs. We also see comparisons to today’s players as he utilized a full wind up backswing with his driver while keeping his iron swing much shorter. What stands out as a huge difference between Weiskopf’s technique and today’s swings is his large amount of lateral movement, both off the ball in the backswing and with his lower body in the forward swing. He, along with Nicklaus, Watson, and Johnny Miller (among others) finished his swing in a pronounced “reverse-C”, as his leg drive continued well past impact while he kept his head and upper body behind the ball. Other items of interest in his swing are his right forearm takeaway, his flat or even bowed left wrist and the top of his swing, and his “hands out” move in transition which kept the club nicely in front of him in the downswing.

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Swing Analysis: Padraig Harrington- Putting Practice Techniques into Tournament Play

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

When you watch Harrington on the practice tee you would think he was doing drills, combining both stop and go swings to work on his takeaway with step-in swings that affect transition and impact. However, as the footage from the Czech Masters in August proves, he is not just doing drills, he is doing exactly what he is going to play with on the course. Padraig is not the first to incorporate a stop or prolonged pause in his swing (think Sandy Lyle using a full stop at the top), and certainly not the first to do odd things with his left foot, although I’d have to search for a player who lifted the entire foot off the ground before P 3. Doing both in the same swing and using that swing on the course in tournament play is testament to Harrington’s continued search for a better swing, an inclination that many believe derailed his major championship winning formula of 2007 and 2008 and has led to almost 10 years of struggle. He is a thoughtful, deep thinker who has no problem explaining what he is up to (I quote him from a recent interview regarding the stop in the takeaway), and he has excelled at the “Happy Gilmore” running start swing in the past. I just think it’s very cool to see him incorporate these things into his swing and to be successful with them (two top 5’s in the last 2 months on the European Tour). Another interesting tidbit here is the left leg movement after the foot is lifted (he simultaneously internally rotates his upper leg while externally rotating his lower leg), which I compare to an old video of Hogan making a rehearsal swing.

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The First Tee Sunday at the Ryder Cup: How the Best Use Routine to Combat Nerves

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

The Ryder Cup is one of the only events where we see some of the best players in the world get introduced and go through their full routine on the first tee. Here I look at how the following players take their turns teeing off in what is probably one of the most pressure packed shots in all of golf: Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Paul Casey, Webb Simpson, Justin Rose, Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm, Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood, Phil Mickelson, and Francesco Molinari. I focus on their every movement after they tee up the ball, including practice swings, target focus, number of steps and amount of time to get to the ball and set up, and then time over the ball before they pull the trigger. I think every golfer gets the first tee jitters and watching what these great players do to prepare for their opening tee shots is quite instructive.

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Swing Analysis: Abraham Ancer

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

Ancer came out of Oklahoma in 2013 and qualified for the Web.Com Tour in 2015. He finished 35th in the Web.Com Qualifying Final Stage and then finished 11th on the Web.Com money list to earn his PGA Tour card in 2016. He failed to keep his card, then played the Web.Com again in 2017, this time playing even better and finishing 3rd on the money list. This year he has 5 top 10’s on the PGA Tour and has won 1.65 million dollars. These swings are from the Dell Technologies Championship, the 2nd Fed Ex Cup tournament. His 7th place finish got him into the BMW Championship with a ranking of 56. He will need a stellar tournament to make it to the Tour Championship, but he has to be happy with his success this year. He has an interesting swing with a pronounced trigger and very high hands at the top of the swing, something which obviously works as he averages 296 off the tee while weighing in at 155 pounds at 5’7”. His putting stats are not the greatest, and he gains most of his stroke advantage off the tee and with his general ball striking. He has a truly sidearm motion with his hips staying deep in the box and his right arm coming in quite high with his right arm staying bent well past impact. If he gets the putter going he could be a force on the Tour going forward.

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Bryson DeChambeau: One-Plane No More

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

In this video I focus on the swing changes of Bryson DeChambeau which have moved him away from the truly single plane swing he incorporated 3 years ago. I doubt that he would change anything unless he thought there was a better way to do it, so I find it extremely interesting that he would introduce more shifting into his swing instead of keeping it more aesthetically pleasing. You would have to ask him why he has changed it so radically, but I think it’s fairly obvious how he has changed it. I see him setting up with his weight more out over the balls of his feet than before, and the new swing is definitely more bent over at impact than the one from 2015. The backswing is pretty much the same to P3, and it’s from P3 to P4 that we see the biggest differences. It appears to me that he in incorporating less forearm rotation and rotating his upper thoracic more than he used to, which turns his upper right arm and shoulder area more behind him and points the shaft off the original plane to one that is much more across the line. That requires him to make a more dynamic transition move to get the upper right arm back in front of him (which gives him more secondary stretch between the upper and lower trunks and thus more potential for power) while the less rotated forearms eventually require less left forearm supination to square the clubface. He excels at returning the shaft to the original shaft plane at impact, so I’m guessing that he dispensed with the obsession to swing on one plane and decided to see what worked better. I’m sure we will see more changes in the future, all of them well thought out and more than likely effective, which is scary.

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Swing Analysis: David Lingmerth

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

These swings were filmed at the Ohio State Scarlet Course the practice round Tuesday before the first of the final four Web.Com Tour events. I was out with Willy Wilcox and we were joined by Lingmerth and David Hearn for 9 holes in the afternoon. It was a windy day on a long and difficult course, and as I like to do for practice rounds I took my camera and tripod, taking film of Willy to look at after the round (I will sneak a peek during) and taking advantage of the opportunity to film the group. David has had a nice career but has slipped since his best year in 2015, going from 2.7 million to 1.7 in 2016, one million in 2017, and just over $600,000 in 2018, which left him 142nd on the money list and a spot in the Web.Com finals to secure a Tour card for next season. David is a strong, stocky guy, which might partially explain his trigger motion and the flatness of his shoulder turn, which to me gets his right arm well behind him at the top. It is obvious that David pulls his upper body back away from the ball, making him immediately more erect and flattening his shoulder turn angle significantly. His right arm is low at P3 with a lot of wrist cock, and by the time he gets into transition the upper right arm is snug to his body and well behind him. He does a great job sequencing his body movement and with his hip and pelvic action in the downswing, but his backswing trigger and upper body pull- back inevitably trap his right arm behind him in transition. He brings the hands back out in front of him as best he can from the top, but I don’t think he can quite get the quality strike he is looking for with his arm as behind him as it is. If I were working with him I would certainly try to get him to quiet down his trigger and get wider at the top so that the upper right arm could move more in front of him in the forward swing.

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Swing Analysis: Francesco Molinari-A Picture of Consistency

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

Francesco Molinari has been around a long time (turned pro in 2004) and has been one of the most consistently successful players in the last 14 years, compiling over 30 million dollars in earnings and playing on two Ryder Cups. Recently he has been on an incredible roll, with 3 wins and 2 seconds in the last two months, topped off by his stirring victory in the Open Championship. His ball striking stats are uniformly good, and as his short game and putting have gelled recently he is practically unbeatable. As we look at his swing we see a solid, unremarkable action that has picked up 20 yards in distance off the tee in the last 3 years. Interesting items in his motion are the small lift in his trigger, the lifted left heel in the backswing, and the compressing move he makes in transition. He exhibits a neutral grip, neutral left wrist at the top, a slight shallowing of the shaft in transition, and saves all his lowering for the early downswing, after which he uses the ground for added force through impact.

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Swing Analysis: Xander Schauffele

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

Last year’s Rookie of the Year is having another excellent year with high finishes in three of the season’s biggest events, the U.S. Open (6th), the Players (3rd), and the British Open (2nd). He has a solid all-around game and is quite long off the tee for his size (5’ 10”, 175 lbs.) with a simple looking swing that is interesting to look at more closely. Xander sets up with more knee flex than most and his balance more in the middle of his feet than on the front, but he manages to lower in both the backswing and forward swing in spite of the fact that he is well bent over at address. Usually this kind of set up leads normal players into all sorts of problems with early extension and general loss of posture, but Schauffele is a strong kid who creates more space while staying nicely out over the ball. He has a neutral to weak grip that gives his left wrist a solid, flat look at the top, and when he transitions with aggressive lateral and rotational pelvic movement he bends the wrist down almost immediately. He looks great on the approach and it is obvious that he is squaring the face with the left hand, wrist and forearm, and he exits nicely to the left on every shot. The face on view of his driver swing reminds one of Tiger, Fowler, DJ, Koepka and several other longer hitters as his sequencing produces a large amount of secondary stretch in the left side lat and oblique muscles. While his play has been somewhat hit and miss he appears to save his best for the big events, always a plus for any player.

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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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