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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Little Moore Help for Your Swing

It's time for a quick look at Ryan Moore's swing. While you probably won't copy his swing precisely, you can certainly learn a few things from it.

First, here's a down-the-line slo-mo of Ryan with a driver:

And here's a down-the-line slo-mo of Ryan with an iron:

One thing you'll notice immediately is that Ryan sets up with his hands very close to his legs, just like Jim Furyk. This does have an effect on his downswing; you'll note that he has to turn his hips really early in the downswing to make room for his hands (otherwise he'd shank his shots) and he also "jumps" a bit as he nears impact. That's partially a matter of swinging hard, but also of making room for his hands.

Some instructors will say he's cocking his wrists early. I'm not so sure. With his hands so close to his legs, he has a lot of wrist cock at setup, and I think he just keeps that angle most of the way through his backswing.

You'll also note that he uses a one-piece takeaway until his hands are well above waist level on his backswing. This gives him a wide arc on his backswing, so he gets about as much distance as he can hope for. And see how it looks like the club shaft is almost vertical as he goes to the top? That's because he doesn't rotate his forearms on the way back. In a good one-piece takeaway, you don't rotate your forearms. It puts him in a good position at the top and, if you don't rotate your forearms on the way back, you don't have to "unrotate" them on the way down. That's where part of his accuracy comes from.

One thing Ryan has in common with both Furyk and Sergio is that little "lay off" move at the top. See how the club shaft moves around at the top? It looks like the clubhead moves backward before it starts down. This move is a classic method of keeping the club from coming over the top. (There are easier ways to get the same result -- and I usually recommend them on this blog and in my books -- but this is a very traditional technique for doing the same thing. It does encourage a draw -- an in-to-out swing path -- because it flattens your swing; the version I recommend is a bit more upright but gives you more flexibility in choosing your swing path.) But Ryan's method is very natural for him, and there's certainly nothing wrong with it if it's natural to you.

There's also a slight pause at the top of his swing. That's because the lay-off move takes time and Ryan doesn't start down until the club's in the proper position.

That lay-off move at the top is the only really "odd" thing about the Moore swing. Everything that happens after that is a natural response to what happened before. Again, this is part of his accuracy; he isn't making extra compensations on the way down, so the swing repeats consistently... and that gives him consistent results.

I also wanted to add this tips video from Golf Digest about Ryan's swing. It's not about making his backswing move, but about keeping your arms and wrists relaxed -- an important thing that Ryan strives for in his swing. The two checks this video suggests should help you create a smoother swing.

Staying relaxed can really help you get a good balanced finish like Ryan... and if you're in balance, you're Moore likely to hit accurate shots. ;-)

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