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Swing Analysis: Kevin Na

This swing utilizes almost all the preferences I have come up with over time, which makes it, in my opinion, one of the best swings on the Tour. About the only thing I would change or work on would be the backing up of the head, but that is probably something that he has done since he was a kid. My guess is that he would see that as something to get better at and probably spends some time on fixing it, then leaves it alone when it comes to playing. Other than that, you see just about everything performed like a model swing, from the on plane takeaway to the gorgeous wrist and arm position at the top, excellent sequence with a nice out movement of the hands and shaft kick back in transition, along with great pivot movement keeping his hips in the box and clearing plenty of space for his right arm to travel in front of his body and release around to the left. Usually with a back- up move there is a bit less left movement in the release, and you see that here, but it is not enough to be overly concerned about, although again it would be something to work on. All in all this is one of my favorites, and if he figures out how to project confidence and control his mind under pressure he should start showing up more often in the big events.


6 Responses to Swing Analysis: Kevin Na

  1. Clint March 28, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    Yes, Na’s got to have a solid swing to play as well as he does despite the frequent balks. It proves that golf is more physical at the highest level than many people suggest. In watching him just prior to, and during, impact, it’s clear that he uses the ground to thrust upward. I believe this upward thrust causes a bit of a pause in the hip rotation. McIlroy, Fowler, and others seem to do the same thing, where the hips unwind to a point, pause momentarily, and then continue unwinding to the finish.

  2. RTT April 22, 2014 at 1:40 am #

    Interesting to compare your teaching with his teachers (I took lessons from the same teachers for years at Harbor Park Golf Practice Center in Wilmington, they also taught Anthony Kim and Angela Park, even Adam Scott stopped by in 01 once).

    Its a lot easier to learn the swing for me from your videos explaining everything in minute detail, then I can look at myself on ipad and see it and learn it for myself. I just needed the info and a way to check it myself. At Harbor Park it was a quick video lesson and to try a move, but no real context, no list of 10 things to do and how exactly to do them. And no way for me to check my own work later. (ie copy Hogan and Tiger)

    I think this swing framework of yours is just brilliant for and analytical learner like me. I’m not able to just mentally process a move unless I understand the big picture. And even then it still takes me a week on ipad videoing myself through trial and error to actually get it. It never worked for me to have a quick lesson on video and then a quick few pointers. What actually am I working towards, what are the subgoals, why isnt there a book to give me what to work on, there are a hundred things to understand… But on this site I have it all there to work through at my pace.

    Golf is so complicated it is truly amazing Hogan figured this out on his own, without video tools (or didnt he watch slow motion baseball swings?), its truly a miracle.

    The lowering thought actually was the thing that got me to learn the correct ‘sit down’ move. Also the idea of the 45 degree shift is brilliant, it really cleared it up for me because I never had the forward motion or the stand up. Sure I had read it many times, in many books, but no one described it exactly in minute detail so I could do it.

    Check out Angela Park’s swing on youtube, it was really mint. Was there anything in Anthony Kims swing that got him injured? I am trying to swing like him as a model so I dont want to get injured either.

    They were really into copying Hogan too and I think they might have been influenced by Mac O grady or at least knew of what he was doing, I’m not sure. They liked Elkington a lot. Some differences they had were they didnt have the forearm pointed to the ball idea. You notice many videos of Na or Anthony Kim where he has the higher than shaft plane release. But sometimes he has his forearm inline with the ball.

    It was all about getting the club pointed at the ball half way back and then half way down with the shaft through the right bicep. They definitely taught me how to get the correct wrist angle at the top and 1/4 of the way back. There was a ‘sit down’ and then everything goes left. There was also talk of a ‘bump’. But no 45 degree shift idea. I still have the golf digest article from the 90s you wrote I had saved in my file on the 45 shift. There was no lowering idea, but there was the ‘sit down’ idea for sure.

    Then the club was supposed to go through the left shoulder (you see it in Na here) not through the left bicep. I dont know why they thought the left shoulder was the correct exit plane because that is not what Tiger or Hogan do. Its what I did and I had a pretty inside out swing! I have to really think about my hips rotating/reorienting my hands around like Hogan to get the club to come out of my left shoulder.

    There was no mention to stand tall, then get lower going back.

    Anyway, I dont know if this info is interesting to you, I would think it would be. I thought I would share it just as an example of how your teaching worked for me.

  3. RTT June 6, 2014 at 12:23 am #

    wow, the more I know after a month learning, I wish I had a ‘delete’ button for my old comments!

    All I know is the coach (former UCLA all american himself too!) taught a

    1. push weight forward (bump/squat) to get hands in center of chest with club pointing at ball then

    2. everything goes left with shaft coming out under right shoulder

    I’m sure this was how Na was taught.

    Looks like Na does (1) with pushing right knee to regain flex and left knee is doing nothing (?)

    And then it looks like Na does (2) by snapping his left knee left from center of chest

    So my questions is this right?
    1st; The squat to left arm 9 o’clock and parallel is from pushing right knee forward and regaining its flex (and left knee just floating around retaining flex for power move )? It really looks like Na’s right leg is fully spent by pushing the body forward at the 8 o’clock arms position so there is no power left from the right knee at the 8 o’clock position.

    So, (2nd) then does power move start much higher than 8 oclock does it really start at 9 o’clock?(in your video on the downswing you say power stand up move starts at 8 o’clock
    after full forward progress of left leg in Hogan video).

    And (3rd) does the power move from 9 0’clock on really look more like the left knee flex is what snaps the club around, not really so much the right knee?

    I hope this comment makes sense and I hope in another month when my understanding is even greater it still makes sense!

    Greatest site ever, at least someone finally understands the swing in such detail for me to make progress, the key is having Tiger and Hogan so similar, it really convinced me to get working on the video step by step, day by day with a teacher who finally seriously knows what they are doing and has a way because of video to teach all the minutiae in such detail its starting to take shape. Much thanks

  4. RTT June 6, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

    Argh everything I wrote already obsolete. I tried the drill from Mathew Latham swing where you preposition impact with weight 45 left and club parallel to ground and its clear this is the position you want to focus on, it was a great drill. There just isnt time in the downswing to think of two parts, best to just focus on getting the weight all the way over with left leg in front of left foot with club parallel to ball.

  5. RTT August 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Ok I talked to Na’s coach (and also Angela Park, both from 8 yo) and got the whole explanation. Its all derived from Hogan

    1. stand tall, hands close
    2. left hand club along base of fingers and on first digit of index finger (facing target)
    3. right hand middle two fingers first digit UNDER club

    1. first move back is left arm and hands straight back like a putting motion
    2. left arm stays close and connected staying over foot up to left arm parallel
    3. (My Problem) right elbow never goes under left elbow going back. 3 parts to swing: body rotates, elbows break up and down, wrists break up and down. Nothing else to do
    4. left shoulder rotates and left arm stays tight and connected to top (note right elbow doesnt get too connected to get under left elbow, which is my problem)
    5. left arm through left shoulder at top
    6. clubface and left arm stay together, (no laying off, my problem)

    7. First move down is: left shoulder, left hip and left knee go left like you are stepping to swing a bat. This is all left side muscles. Whole swing controlled by left knee.
    8. At same time, hands drop down to thigh (think this is actively done, I will ask?)
    9. Faldo had good stuff in his book. think left shoulder goes back to original position while right shoulder stays back.
    10. Move forward is not a huge move yet. Just too outside of left foot.

    11. At hands thigh high, then right leg/side muscles get involved. And left leg keeps snapping left. Move Forward is not that far, too the outside of left foot.

    I was hitting it different than I ever had. Very strange feelings, I felt way low and flat. I felt a big shift and a big dropping of my hands that I had to think actively about to do it. Then firing left seemed very small move, not very physically taxing or hard to do for how much power I was creating. It didnt feel like I was swinging hard at all, just kind of stepping into it with timing, droping the hands down to my side then going left.

    For whats its worth!! He did teach Angela Park and Kevin Na from age 8, something I think is harder than getting on tour, one could be luck, not two. Im not sure how much he did for AK, I think he did him too.

  6. RTT August 27, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

    I really feel like I’m using a ton of Wayne D, I feel like its the same swing being taught. I needed Wayne D’s dissection of where the body should be combined with this other version to get it.

    For instance, I tend to take it back by thinking Wayne D’s ‘left shoulder rotates perpendicular to spine angle.” Not the putting stroke + left arm tight – much easier to do it Wayne’s way. I notice I really compress and get low going back doing this, especially thinking getting the left arm lower and through my left shoulder.

    But what was missing was I wasnt turning sharp enough, I didnt get my left arm as tight to my chest. The real key is to feel turning so flat, but still get the left arm through the left shoulder at the top.

    Then coming down, I mainly shift the hips straight forward, which pulls my hands down to 8 o’clock and gets my left knee bent and weight forward. Then I just rip it all left.

    I think the main difference is the emphasis on proper swing plane, Its really crucial to get the hands in at 1/2 and then at top left arm through left shoulder. Then shifting hips, knees and left shoulder forward pulls the left arm down on plane without getting stuck.

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