Swing Analysis: Peter Thomson

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

One of the most underrated players in history (behind Gary Player), Thomson won 5 British Opens, including one in 1965 against Americans Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tony Lema. He won 28 times on the European Tour, 33 times on the Australasian Tour, and to prove a point came over to the States to play on the Senior Tour in 1985 and won 9 times. The swings you see here are evidence of Thomson’s stellar technique. Starting with a strong grip, especially in the right hand, Thomson planed the club beautifully and transitioned with perfect sequence. As did most players of his era he employed a slightly lifted left heel and a significant amount of lateral movement in transition and into the forward swing while keeping his hips deep and perfectly “in the box”. One interesting note is his tendency to move his hips to the right in the backswing, what would be called a “sway” by most of today’s instructors (including me) but made up for it by maintaining a braced right foot and by recovering immediately by planting the left heel and sliding laterally to the left while turning the pelvis counter-clockwise. Thomson’s footwork is exemplary, and the overall rhythm and efficiency of his swing would be great for anyone to try to emulate.

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(5) comments

David W June 25, 2018

Good video and analysis Wayne.

Good video and analysis Wayne

Peter June 25, 2018

Great tribute, great swing. Thank you.

Keith June 25, 2018

Wayne, who else has advanced golf swing theory by 50 years by looking at swings from 50 years ago? If there is ever a teachers’ hall of fame, you should be the first admitted.

John June 26, 2018

They asked Thomson later in life why he almost never hit range balls, preferring instead to play a few holes. He replied that firstly, golf is about scoring not pounding balls and secondly that when he was young, he never owned more than 2 or 3 balls at once.

Jack June 26, 2018

The D-T-L swings remind me of Duval’s 1999 swing. Low hands at address, shaft dumping over the trail shoulder in transition, strong grip, and hands/shaft coming into impact at a higher, but midway, position compared to address (the same plane line as establshed when the arms are parallel to the ground in the D-T-L view). I say “midway position” because the high hands at impact are not so high as the highest progression swing plane line (when the grip is at the top of the swing).

I’m always amazed at the superior golf swings on the tour seem to have the top-of-backswing commonality of refusing to allow the right elbow and upper arm to get behind the player’s neck/back (they don’t over swing the right arm to the top of backswing).

Wayne, are you able to time his swing tempo? Looks at least 24/8 if not 21/7.

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