Another of the young super-talents, Kyle Stanley showed some real class in coming back to win in Scottsdale just a week after suffering a heinous defeat in San Diego. Much of what Stanley does in his swing is allowed for by his lanky, sinewy strong body. His technique is odd to say the least, but, as I show in the video’s first still picture, his approach to impact with the driver looks a lot like Ben Hogan’s. Much of what Stanley does is counter to what you might find me teaching a less talented player, but as I always say, talent outweighs technique, and indeed sometimes redefines what is possible.
Stanley’s entire backswing is unconventional, starting with the outward push of his hands and his decidedly un-steep shoulder turn. He does manage to maintain control of the shaft, and the combination of his arm and shoulder movement with his lack of backswing hip rotation (he may get 20 degrees) and his flattening left wrist cause him to lay the club off about as much as any tour pro this side of Tommy Gainey. The club kicks almost sideways in transition, but instead of the hand moving outward like you might think they would, they instead drop straight down. It looks as though he will be hopelessly “stuck” with the shaft way behind his hands, buy in another Hogan-like move he steepens the shaft all the way to the ball and keeps it up on his right forearm. His right arm is not as “hooked” in front of him as Keegan Bradley’s, but it is definitely welded to his side and he manages to have it pass in front of him even without creating the kind of severe spine angle that Bradley, Dustin Johnson, and others do. It almost appears that the combination of his leanness and strength allow him to do things that look different than almost any other swing. One thing is for sure, and that is that he is a powerful player who goes after the ball 100%. I used to think that swinging extra hard wasn’t such a great idea, but a comparison between Stanley’s arm speed through the ball with Hogan’s will show a startling similarity. I think we will be seeing a lot of Kyle Stanley.