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Swing Analysis: Aaron Baddeley

Aaron has changed his swing dramatically since his Stack and Tilt days, going from a backswing that moved well inward and across his chest to one much more out in front of him. He is known much more for his short game and putting than for his ball striking, which has been statistically poor in relation to the rest of the Tour. A few weeks ago at the Travelers he almost put it together for a win, but a wayward drive deprived him of a chance to birdie the 18th and a tie with Kevin Streelman, who stole the title by birdieing the last 7 holes. His swing is one of the most aesthetically pleasing on Tour, but as we have seen with a majority of the greatest players past and present the athletic use of the ground is one of their hallmarks, and Aaron prefers to stay at the height he starts with during the swing by holding his right leg almost stationary during the backswing. His control of the shaft is exemplary, but his arms and hands approach from a considerably higher position than he starts with because of the lack of depth in his midsection. This presents a more complicated wrist release at impact, and could account for a part of his ball striking struggles. He has great rhythm, however, and as I mentioned the shaft is never stuck behind him, giving him a good chance to deal with the release area. He is in great physical shape and it would seem that he would be capable of doing just about whatever he wanted to with his pivot, and my suggestion would be to try to add some movement backwards with the right leg without straightening the knee. I believe that would create more space for his arms and hands in the forward swing, which would allow him to pass through the impact area closer to his body, un-complicating the wrist release and making is easier to square the face consistently. As good as the rest of his game is, Baddeley could easily become one of the best out there with continued improvement.
 

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4 Responses to Swing Analysis: Aaron Baddeley

  1. RTT July 11, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    The bending over in the downswing gets the right forearm pointed at the ball. I can do it if I really think bend over with left hip and lower left shoulder coming down.

    I know, Tiger, Palmer, Westwood ( I think Hogan, Sergio, Player and Trevino as well?) really get bent over too.

    But Baddeley and Na dont seem to do this, they are wiry and dont bend their backs over much coming down and they dont get down to the shaft plane, but still hit it pretty good (haha, they are on tour, they hit it damn good). They both do the following: not stuck, hands go to ball from the top, stand up into ball. Are these the first priorities to work on as opposed to getting down to shaft plane?

    I do know its best to copy the great players who do it, just wondering the priorities.

  2. butch pieratt July 12, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

    Setting here studying Wayne D with the “Channel” on John Deere Classic. A slow motion analysis was showing and unfortunately with commentary. Commentator states “yes got to keep those knees driving through impact” I look up expecting to see a Byron type move. No, what I saw was an excellent compression move with lead leg snapping back through impact. Those guys just talk to fill the air waves with precious little thought to accuracy. Golf is difficult enough. A lot of golfers watch enthusiastically those spots expecting help. I once did.

  3. John Neeson July 13, 2014 at 4:44 am #

    Believe it or not, my old club scratch team in Melbourne came up against Badds one season when he was about 15 and he rather strangely decided to play for the lowly ranked Croydon Golf Club instead of representing one of the top clubs. Quite a loyal gesture but 99% of the young stars wanted to compete with the best. He was about a +3 at that early age and we played on a neutral course each week. In that division, the handicaps were roughly SCR to about 3. He finished his match each week by around the 12th or 13th hole and didn’t raise a sweat.
    He was just a machine in those days and won back-to-back Australian Opens before he was 21, as I recall. He was a student of Dale Lynch in Melbourne and recently went back to him after trying other methods. God knows why but the golf word is littered with stars who tried to change a proven swing while most of us struggle our whole life to keep on top of the loops and kinks in our swings. Badds had one of the best and was able to recover his original action almost perfectly under Lynch.
    But one wonders if the trust is still there after messing around for so many years trying to find something he already had. A lot of people in Australia were amazed at the S&T stuff. Safe to say that Badds has always been a touch on the strange side. You can see here a pretty flawless action compared to most of his peers, but what you can’t see is what is going on in his head. With a swing like this and his putting skills, he could have achieved a lot more. He was another heir to the Norman throne. Maybe he didn’t want it. Maybe there is still some of Croydon GC in him. But there’s more to life than golf and he’s so far had a pretty nice life and living.

  4. John Neeson July 15, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

    Yes – golf continues to leave me in wonder and amazement. That’s why I can’t wait to get out there each week. I went through a period recently when I came back from overseas and was playing twice a week for the first time in 20 yrs. I was like a kid again and dropped from 4.4 to 0.9 in a couple of months. Then I got stale and blew back out to 3.5. So I started going to the gym and taking a look at my old WD lessons. I decided it was best for me to work on one thing at a time. (I know you don’t prefer this but I find that if I try to work on 5 things at once, I eventually get distracted).
    So I am in process of fixing my flat takeaway position, which I never liked. Getting the club more upright at the halfway back position seems to make me turn better and helps flatten it in transition. The other way I was lifting to complete the BS and then steepening coming down.
    Lo and behold, five weeks later I am striping a lot of shots and hit 12 GIR the last 3 times out, for 73, 78 (in a storm), 71.
    So form comes and goes – and I have probably cursed myself to speak of things that should best be left in the stillness of a quiet mind. But I just wanted to say thanks again for putting me on the right path to understanding what I am doing. It’s somewhat of another curse to start thinking about your swing. But once that demon is loosed, you might as well have the best teacher to help you control him.

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