Swing Analysis: Calvin Peete

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

We all know that Calvin Peete was one of the most accurate drivers of the golf ball who ever played the game. We probably have some memory of Peete’s swing, a bit odd looking due to a poorly set broken arm as a youth, but the main memory is of a ball rolling down the fairway. Peete was the Tour’s leader in percentage of fairways hit for 10 consecutive years, and won 11 Tour events in 5 years from 1983-88 before Tourette ’Syndrome drove him off the Tour and eventually out of competitive golf.
Peete’s swing is built around his misshapen arm, and his routing of the club combined with his exotic wrist action in transition and through impact is nothing short of phenomenal. Again, we watch the swing with the knowledge of how good it worked. It would be impossible to predict that kind of success with these swing mechanics. In other words, you can’t really put your finger on anything in particular here to present as a reason or reasons that this swing was one of the most effective and repetitive in history. It really doesn’t seem possible, but it was, and that makes Calvin Peete a total genius.

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John Neeson April 30, 2015

There used to be a lot of good players with idiosyncratic swings. Gay Brewer had a similar helicopter move. I guess one thing they all had in common was they went from upright and crossed to flat, on plane and around. I have still never seen any insights into how these guys learned this move in the days before everyone was video-crazy. The ones that did the opposite: flat and inside, then up, steeply down and out to the right probably never became really good. Know how that feels. I know, I am living in the past, etc but I really love these old swingers. I read somewhere that having a dramatic change in planes like this actually helps you to feel the slot positions better. Anyway, Venturi is still my favourite.

Ron May 1, 2015

“sitting down” the butt a few inches and driving the right leg behind the left so the hands go to the ball will solve a ton of problems!

Michael May 1, 2015

Peete is on record as saying that his poorly set left arm break is the reason behind his phenomenal accuracy. (I play with a poorly set right elbow break but nothing phenomenal about my directional accuracy, unfortunately)

I suspect that the break has limited his left forename rotation, hence the crazy crossed at the top and wrist manipulation. It’s my opinion that limiting (fixing it in fact) forearm rotation through impact is a critical accuracy factor. Left arm rotation controls club face orientation, having that orientation fixed through every swing is an advantage,

I reckon that the reason Peete’s head moves so far forward at impact is also due to the bent left arm. Try swinging through impact with a bent left arm and you will see the difficulty getting down to the ball.


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