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Swing Analysis: Padraig Harrington- Putting Practice Techniques into Tournament Play

When you watch Harrington on the practice tee you would think he was doing drills, combining both stop and go swings to work on his takeaway with step-in swings that affect transition and impact. However, as the footage from the Czech Masters in August proves, he is not just doing drills, he is doing exactly what he is going to play with on the course. Padraig is not the first to incorporate a stop or prolonged pause in his swing (think Sandy Lyle using a full stop at the top), and certainly not the first to do odd things with his left foot, although I’d have to search for a player who lifted the entire foot off the ground before P 3. Doing both in the same swing and using that swing on the course in tournament play is testament to Harrington’s continued search for a better swing, an inclination that many believe derailed his major championship winning formula of 2007 and 2008 and has led to almost 10 years of struggle. He is a thoughtful, deep thinker who has no problem explaining what he is up to (I quote him from a recent interview regarding the stop in the takeaway), and he has excelled at the “Happy Gilmore” running start swing in the past. I just think it’s very cool to see him incorporate these things into his swing and to be successful with them (two top 5’s in the last 2 months on the European Tour). Another interesting tidbit here is the left leg movement after the foot is lifted (he simultaneously internally rotates his upper leg while externally rotating his lower leg), which I compare to an old video of Hogan making a rehearsal swing.
 

 

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