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Swing Analysis: Babe Didrikson Zaharias- Greatest Woman Golfer Ever?

I confess I didn’t know a whole lot about the Babe until I read up on her, and I think anyone would admit that her story is pretty incredible. I forgot to mention it in the video, but she is the only woman ever to make a cut in a men’s Tour event, and she did it 3 straight times in 1945, and is also still the only woman to ever qualify for a PGA Tour event as opposed to receiving a sponsor’s exemption. Her record as an amateur includes winning 17 straight events, a feat never matched, and won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1946 and the British Women’s Amateur in 1947, this after winning the Women’s Western Open (a major 3 times from 1942 to She turned pro in 1948 and added to her 4 majors she won as an amateur by winning the U.S. Women’s Open. She would win 5 more majors and a total of 48 professional wins before succumbing to cancer in 1956 at age 45. She won the 1954 U.S. Women’s Open wearing a colostomy bag. Think about that for a moment.
 
Her swing is the most aggressive woman’s swing I’ve ever seen. Her sequencing is amazing, and her pelvic movement is unlike any other woman (other than Mickey Wright and Annika Sorenstam). She excelled at just about every sport including basketball and baseball, and her athleticism was showcased in the 1932 Olympics where she won 2 gold and 1 silver medal in the hurdles, high jump and javelin throw, which indicates she had strength, speed, and technique, all of which she applied to golf. I compare her to Hogan, who I think would have won more majors than even Nicklaus had he not been so badly injured and am sure she would have continued to win had her career not been ended by cancer.
 

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5 Responses to Swing Analysis: Babe Didrikson Zaharias- Greatest Woman Golfer Ever?

  1. John July 12, 2018 at 12:08 am #

    Nice. Again what always surprises me was that almost all of the good players from that era had this noticeable ‘hands-out / OTT’ move in transition. Some of this I think was due to the fact that most of them took the club back way inside compared to modern players so they had to get the hands back in front of their chests somehow.
    The inside takeaway was so common that it must have been taught. It even pre-dates Jones, who took it way inside.
    I have never seen any old golf books which advocated this seemingly OTT move in transition – yet nearly every good player did it. But unlike the duffer, they still kept the club coming from the inside into impact. Was this a consequence of the inside takeaway or did all good players just fluke it and this is what made them good?
    Also loved the clothing from those days. I guess golf was more elitist then, but by comparison 98% of us dress like hobos nowadays.

  2. Nils July 13, 2018 at 5:45 am #

    Great job Wayne, sometimes viewing a woman’s swing seems to provide even more insights.

  3. John July 13, 2018 at 7:30 am #

    Wayne,
    Excellent video. Instructive. Viewing the entire swing in slow motion reveals a uncomplicated swing based on rotation and superb coordination.

    A model Swing I shall try to copy.

    Thank you.

    John Dublin, Ireland.

  4. Everett July 13, 2018 at 8:40 am #

    Pat Summerall, the famous football player and announcer, grew up in the same neighborhood as the Babe. He said she was the best athlete, by far, in the area. And whomever got on her team for any kind of pick-up game was sure to win.

    In the early 70’s I caddied at some LPGA events. One player I caddied for was Penny Zavichas. She was Babe’s niece. Penny had a great swing. She stuck the ball nicely. But every interview she ever gave dealt with her relationship with the Babe. I felt sorry for her. But she handled it well.

    The Babe, like her namesake Babe Ruth, will forever be bigger than life…………

  5. Bm July 15, 2018 at 12:42 am #

    I love Brooke Henderson’s aggressive swing and playing style. Have you seen much of her Wayne?

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