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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sara Gets Her Big Break After All

As I mentioned yesterday, Big Break's Sara Brown made it through LPGA Q-School and got her card. She nearly broke down crying in an interview with Golf Channel, simply because she had been ready to quit the game when she first tried out for the show, and now... well, I don't think anybody's betting against her.

And I was fortunate enough to find a video with some slo-mo footage of her swing. (Three swings, actually.) I thought it would be interesting to see how a small woman like Sara pounds it so long and straight. Here, just take a look at it:

Sara doesn't do it by the book... but she accepts what she has and makes the most of it.

The first thing that stands out about her -- even when watching her swing at full speed -- is her balance. Sara never looks like she's the slightest bit off balance! On her backswing, on her downswing, in her followthrough, in her finish... she is rock solid. That's a great foundation for a swing.

Sara has an extrememly flat swing. She gets a huge shoulder turn -- which is where part of her power comes from -- but if you watch that first slo-mo swing carefully, you'll see that she also bows her back at the top of her swing. (You can see her left shoulder lift slightly as she does.) It causes her clubhead to dip down behind her -- see how the entire club shaft is hidden behind her left arm and the clubhead is visible beneath her left arm? This isn't something you see very much. It causes her to lay the club off, but it's not a manipulation of the club. She starts her downswing by straightening her back, which drops her hands onto the club's new plane.

Otherwise she just holds on to the club and unwinds. She doesn't slide her hips or flip her hands. She carries a huge amount of wrist cock down into the hitting area, which flashes by so fast in the full-speed front view that I can't even stop it between waist-high and the hit, and she finishes high so she doesn't hit a big hook. Just take a look at this swing sequence:

Sara Brown swing sequence

Now that's balance! You can see how her back arches in the third photo, and look at how much wrist cock she still has at waist-high in the fourth photo!

Get used to this swing, folks, because it may be making some big noise on the LPGA next season. Say what you like about Golf Channel shows... but Sara Brown is for real.


  1. Is that a back arch or an overswing at the top ? She even pulls her head back with the left shoulder.

    Her name is still on the entry list for the LET Q-school this week. She flew over there 2 weeks ago for the pre-quali and got through - then flew back to the states and got her LPGA Tour card. You have to think that she had already bought her plane tickets for the LET Q-school this week. This could be a really good story if she gets 2 cards in two weeks, plus has 3 international round trips in three weeks to get them.

    And don't forget, she looks great in short shorts, too ! :-)

    I'll be pulling for Sara and Danah Ford-Bordner this year after meeting them both at a DFT tournament here a few years ago...along with Jenny Suh and Paola Moreno.

    Now,if you want to see a unique setup, see if you can find something for Paola. She starts out looking normal, then she somehow flattens out the bottom 6 inches or so of her spine while keeping the rest of her back on the regular slant. Strangest thing I've ever seen.

  2. No luck on Moreno -- all I could find were music videos. As for Sara, I think it's safe to say it's an overswing that she makes it by arching her back. But she overswings without messing up her fundamentals... and that's what I think makes her so exceptional as a golfer. Most players' fundamentals collapse if they overswing, but Sara turns it into a source of extra power without losing accuracy. That's just amazing!

    Like you, I'm wondering about Sara and LET-Q. So many players are taking dual membership these days, what with so few LPGA events... and most of those being overseas. I suppose it's just a question of how many times she wants to play.

    I saw TGC talking to Danah, but I'm not familiar with her. Want a drop a little background in a comment?

  3. Danah's an absolute doll. She and Jenny Suh are good buds. Danah is an Indiana girl from Indianapolis and played her college golf at IU. She just got married a year ago to one of the pros at The Country Club in Cleveland, OH.

    Last time I saw her, her swing was kind of a stack and tilt looking. Not overly long, but accurate - and since she's finally gotten the tour card, I'm assuming she's been working pretty hard on the short game.

    Just as well that you couldn't find any video of Paola. Made my back hurt just watching.

    Could be very interesting if Sara gets the LET card, too. She's the crazy and adventurous kind and would make a good show on xxx Golf Channel.