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Swing Analysis: In the Hunt at the Transitions Classic: Bae, Donald, Els, Garrigus

If you have been a member of waynedefrancesco.com you have probably noticed (unless you are incoherent when perusing the site) that there are certain things in the swing that I believe are important (you might say that they comprise part of my “method”) and that when I see players demonstrate those characteristics I like to make note of it and point it out in video form. The Transitions tour event at Innisbrook this past week was no exception. Here we take a look at 3 players who made it to the playoff and one who didn’t (Els, although he should have won without a playoff), and focus on their backswing triggers (how they start their swings) and also on their lowering during the swing.
As I continue to research and analyze the swings of the best players past and present I have come to a few different conclusions about what I teach as my preferred method in specific parts of the movement. A major change in my thinking has to do with the start of the swing. For almost my entire career as a player and teacher I was of the mind that the upper body started the swing almost like a putting stroke, and a quiet lower body was then pulled into the swing by that upper trunk movement. The more I watched Hogan, however, the more I began to see (it was always there, I just didn’t focus on it) that he triggered his swing with his entire pivot, and started the movement by pushing into the ground, which caused the legs and hips to move and which in turn moved the upper trunk and the arms. When the hands move the clubhead stays still, bending the shaft and causing an appearance of dragging the grip and delaying the clubhead movement. As I took this new (for me) insight to other swings I kept seeing the same type of thing (not always, of course, but often enough and in most of my favorite players). In this video we see Luke Donald demonstrate the pivot oriented takeaway in the most exaggerated sense, while Bae and Els are more subtle, and Garrigus utilizes a completely different method.
As for the lowering part, I figure that maybe, just maybe, if I keep showing this that the knuckleheads on TV might catch on and stop with the “keep the level” nonsense that pops up every single week. One can only hope.

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