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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beat That Snake!

Tommy Gainey said somebody described his swing as "trying to beat a snake with a garden hose." Well, although you're unlikely to find any instructor who teaches this swing, it's still pretty effective. And while this was Tommy's first PGA Tour win, he does have a couple of Tour wins and several mini-tour wins. Here's a quick look at his swing:

As you may know by now, the "Two Gloves" swing is based on his old baseball swing. It's actually a very flat swing that he makes from a very bent over address position -- that's why it has a good angle of attack when he plays from the rough. (I don't know how his back will hold up as he gets older, though.)

Note that his hands don't get that high. At the top of his backswing his left arm makes no more than a 45-degree angle to the ground, and he gets most of his wrist cock during his downswing. (Yep, that's a baseball swing alright.) And look how high above his head that left shoulder gets after he hits the ball! He has to do the old Arnold Palmer "helicopter" finish to keep from hitting himself in the head as he straightens up after the ball is gone.

Tommy has it right when he says "all that matters is impact." However, most weekend players wouldn't get away with a swing like this because they don't have the skill, ability, and experience to get their hands in the right position to get that good contact repeatedly. But players like Tommy are the reason I teach a very simple swing with a minimum of moves. I've tried to isolate the most basic moves needed to get power and consistency. You can learn those few moves and integrate them into your own personal way of swinging. It's that personal approach that makes Tommy so dangerous on the course.

Remember: Tommy Gainey was the first male player from Big Break to get his PGA Tour card and now he's the first to get a PGA Tour win. That's because, to use a hackneyed cliche, he owns this swing.

And Sunday he owned the field at the McGladrey Classic. I think he can win a major with his game, as long as he gets more consistent with his putting.

I don't predict nearly as rosy a future for any snakes that get in his way. ;-)

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