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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Swing of the Most Interesting Golfer in the World

Yes, Miguel Angel Jimenez is often likened to the Dos Equis guy. He alternately gets called "The Most Interesting Golfer in the World" or "The Most Interesting Man in the World," depending on who you hear. And since winning the UBS Hong Kong Open this past weekend made him the oldest winner on the ET, I thought it worth taking another look at his swing. (Yes, I've posted about the Mechanic's swing before.)

The reason is because, perhaps more than any other golfer on any tour, Miguel is a normal guy. He likes fine wines, cigars, and fast cars -- the latter being the source of the Mechanic nickname. He clearly doesn't spend hours in the gym -- he's just a normal guy of average height and weight (roughly 5'10" and 183 lbs). Yet he hits the ball around 277 yards off the tee, which is about 10 yards short of the PGA Tour average. (I don't know the ET average, but he's ranked 204 there.) I know that doesn't sound impressive in this day and age... but do you consistently average over 275?

Here's a video of his swing, both face-on and down-the-line:

The big thing I want you to notice here is how much his hips turn during his swing, which makes it look like he's moving around much more than he is. Most instructors want you to restrict your hips movement, to develop more power by getting a big shoulder turn without a lot of hip turn. Jim McLean calls this "the X-Factor," and I've mentioned it in several past posts if you want to use the search box to find them.

But the Mechanic proves that this restricted hip move isn't necessary to good golf. As long as you don't move off the ball during the backswing, you can still get good distance and accuracy. I want you to note how Miguel achieves this. If, while watching the face-on view, you place the tip of your mouse pointer on his right hip, you'll see that his hip never moves to the left of the pointer. (You'll see the same thing if you place the pointer on his trailing knee.) But he keeps that trailing knee flexed all the way through his swing.

We call that "keeping a firm trailing knee," and you can practice it by putting something under the outside of your trailing foot -- a golf ball is commonly recommended for this drill -- to teach you how to keep your weight on the inside of your trailing foot, to stabilize your trailing knee.

This is a natural move, and it's certainly helpful for those of us who aren't as flexible as those flatbellies who spend every spare moment in the gym. I can't promise it will make you the most interesting golfer in your foursome, but it sure might help you score better... and that's what it's all about, isn't it?

It sure works for the Most Interesting Golfer in the World.

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