Swing Analysis: Jimmy Bruen

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

If you want to talk about “natural” swings you have to start with Jimmy Bruen. There is no way anyone would teach such a backswing, and you would have to think that if Jimmy didn’t already hit the ball well before a more conventional teacher got a hold of him the motion would never have been allowed to stay that way. That’s good news for us, because we can now study one of the most interesting swings of all time. It’s too bad that Jimmy didn’t have a chance to play more against the best players as a professional, but my guess is that he would have had a fine career, as evidenced by the fact that he is only one of two men (Jose Maria Olazabal being the other) who won the British Boys, the British Amateur, and was low amateur in the British Open.
His swing is really defined by the lack of right arm, hand and wrist rotation in the backswing, which caused the right forearm to point directly away from his head at the top of the swing with the shaft pointing almost sideways across the line, setting up a massive “helicopter” move where the clubhead wheels around to find the downswing plane while Jimmy’s pivot stays in continuous motion. If you look at the swing from left arm parallel in the downswing to the finish you would never guess that his form in the backswing was anything but conventional. The additional stretching of the muscles in the upper trunk caused by this action is no doubt part of the reason he hit the ball so far. It may have required exquisite timing (golf always does) but when you see it in action you might wish you could swing like that, as it does not look like it required any conscious thought to build the technique. I compare the swing to Eamon Darcy and Jim Furyk, but the more I think about it I see it as a less conventional Fred Couples, where the club floats to the top any old way then is led down by the body with a side arm throwing motion right out of Hogan.

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(5) comments

Sean September 14, 2015

If were making requests for swings can we do (all available on YT)

The good:

Olin Browne
Frank Phillips- some new zealand pro from the 60s. sweet action.

The bad:
Rocco Mediate.

The strange:
early Pat Perez.

Chuck September 15, 2015

I think he broke the pane of glass…but he was saved by his MAGIC MOVE! This is genius, thank you for sharing.

Jack September 28, 2015

Now that I look at this again, I’m reminded of Miller Barber, but with not so much chicken winging of the trail elbow in the backswing.

John September 29, 2015

Jimmy Bruen = pretty ugly backswing, great transition and impact. Me = reasonable backswing to 3/4, then a lift, (but nowhere near as wild as Bruen), then an early extension, steep approach, slight chicken-wing at impact and slappy strike.
Difference = pure talent. I have to admit it.
I thought I had a nice swing. Everyone told me so. But it’s not as effective as Bruen. Not even close. And I had trouble trying to change it. Some days I am resigned to becoming a mature guy who can shoot par on a good day but only with my consistently slappy strikes and a reasonable all-round game. The bad days feel terrible. I feel like an old man when the timing is off. The ball doesn’t stay in the air like it used to but I still go on trying. Hoping one day I will stumble upon the moves that Bruen found before the days of filming, Trackman and endless analysis. Those lucky few who discovered how to strike a golf ball properly without caring where the club was or what it looked like.

John October 1, 2015

As it happens we have been in Scotland for 2 week but fly back to Australia Saturday. Moved back to Oz 2 years ago.

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