Ian Poulter finished up his year quite well, battling Henrik Stenson down to the wire in the Race to Dubai. While he came up short with Stenson playing better than anyone in the world he demonstrated upgraded ball striking and an overall solid game. This was not a random occurrence, as you will see in this video where I point out the fairly major change Poulter has made in his takeaway and the resulting changes in his backswing as it progresses to left arm parallel and to the top. I think we are seeing a general trend amongst the best players away from an initial move back from the ball with the hands moving away from the body to a more inward direction, much like the change Tiger made after leaving Butch Harmon some 11 years ago. Haney was always a champion of moving the left arm across the chest in the backswing a la Ben Hogan, and along with the grip change moving the arms more inward was the biggest change in Tiger’s technique after 2003.
The inward moving hands and arms serve to steepen Poulter’s shoulder turn, get his arms and hands deeper at left arm parallel, and helps achieve a top of the swing position that is less lifted and laid off. All of these I feel are improvements, and I look for Poulter to have a great year coming up.