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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Swing That Tamed Congressional

Everybody and their brother (and I suppose some sisters are involved too, just to be politically correct) has been analyzing Rory McIlroy's swing, including Michael Breed on The Golf Fix Monday night. It's been covered pretty well, and most of them used footage from the U.S. Open while I'm stuck with older footage from YouTube.

For all these reasons, I'll keep this brief.

Part of the reason everybody's so interested in Rory's swing is because he's a "normal guy," by which I mean he's only 5'9" tall -- unlike the bombers who are typically at least 6' tall. Nevertheless, he moves it out there around 295 without any great difficulty.

Michael Breed covered the "secrets" of his swing pretty well, but I'd like to point out one of the things that I've pointed out so often in players' swings that it's almost become a running joke around here. I'm talking about the one-piece takeaway, where a player turns his or her shoulders very early in the swing. This results in the arms staying straight for a long time into the backswing, providing a lot of width and power.

The following video provides a great angle to see just how long Rory maintains those straight arms, which will give you an idea of just how much shoulder turn he gets. If you don't care for the soundtrack this uploader added -- I believe it's Evanescence -- just click the mute button (second from the left):

Rory's hands are well above his waist before his right elbow starts to bend.

You can also see how much he dips on his downswing -- see how much his head drops below the treeline? While this isn't necessarily a good thing, in Rory's case it helps him keep his wrist cock for a longer period of time on the way down. It could cause a lot of trouble if Rory wasn't so stable horizontally -- he doesn't move off the ball on the backswing, nor forward on the downswing until after the ball is gone. I would guess this move is natural to Rory, much like Jim Furyk's wild figure-8 backswing, and not something you would normally teach someone. You're going to move down a bit, but it shouldn't be this much.

The quickest way to add power and accuracy to your swing is to use a solid one-piece takeaway. I've written several posts about it -- you can search "one-piece takeaway" in the search box, and you can also check out the "Dexter's Coming Over the Top" series on my Some Useful Post Series page. It's a simple move that's easy to learn and gives good results quickly.

It certainly helped Rory.

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