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Swing Analysis: Stewart Cink

One of the benefits of teaching a Tour player is that I am able to sneak videos of other Tour players with my Casio camera and tripod, and since it is me taking the vids, the angles are correct for a real Wayne D. analysis. Stewart, who famously beat Tom Watson to win the British Open in 2009, has seen his performance drop substantially since then, missing 10 of 20 cuts in and notching only 2 top 20’s in majors while not qualifying for a WGC event since 2011. When we look at the face on view of Stewart’s swing it is not at all apparent why he is not hitting the ball as well as he used to. His impact position would be a model for anyone, with the hands nicely forward and perfect sustain through the ball. When you look at the down the line view, however, it becomes clearer, at least in my opinion, why Stewart has struggled as of late. It boils down to the complexity of the release action when the lower body moves forward toward the ball and the hands approach impact from much higher than the original setup position. There are times when a player sets up with low hands and comes into impact well above the shaft angle at address, but in this case Stewart’s set up is spot on with his shaft at 55 degrees, pointing right above his belt buckle. He impacts the ball at 64 degrees, a full 9 degrees more vertical. You can see his right leg driving toward the ball and out of the “box”, while his hips level out substantially, producing what I have famously termed “humping the goat” (The TPI guys call it a more politically correct “early extension”). Whatever you want to call it, the need to bend the wrists down to find the ball while they are also busy squaring the clubface is a difficult task. Nicklaus certainly did fine with that technique but most players struggle with consistency using this type of release pattern. It would not be that difficult for Stewart to keep his hips deeper and make more room for his right arm to get in front of him while approaching from closer to his body, thus simplifying the job of the hands in delivering the clubface to the ball.
 

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2 Responses to Swing Analysis: Stewart Cink

  1. Sean Ledonne April 25, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    not for nothing but he is leading the tour in GIR. Driving stats suck though.

  2. Christian Mauer April 27, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    I have not yet understood what is enabled/allowed to happen when the flattening of the shaft from the top combined with the proper pivot occurs. Does it allow the club/hands to approach impact on the shaft plane?

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