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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Quick Look at Ben Curtis

I just want to take a quick look at something in Ben Curtis's swing that you may have missed during the coverage this week. This particular video is from a couple of years ago, but the move hasn't changed.

It appears that Ben only makes this move with his woods, btw. That's because it's a full swing. On shorter swings (like iron shots) he doesn't do it.

The section I want you to look at is between the :10 and :14 second marks. This is one of the YouTube videos that lets you look at each frame by merely hovering your mouse over the stripe at the bottom where the little "ball" moves as the video plays. (Start the video if you can't see the stripe, then stop it when the stripe appears.) Here's what I want you to do:
  1. Make sure the video is stopped. Any time during the video is fine.
  2. Put your mouse over the stripe so you can see the :09 frame and click once. That will move the video to the :10 frame. (Yeah, it sounds funny, but apparently there's a slight difference between the running video and the stopped video.)
  3. Place your mouse pointer over the butt end of the club that's sticking out of Ben's left hand.
  4. Click the mouse once to start the video, then click it again to stop it when Ben's hand is back level with the cursor. That'll be around the :14 mark.
See how far in front of the cursor his hands are when you stop the video? In my new book Stop Coming Over-the-Top I wrote about the difference between an over-the-top move and an out-to-in swing. I said you could play good golf with the second but not with the first. Ben is a really good example of this. He's one of the most accurate players but his swing isn't "perfect." He plays a fade most of the time -- this kind of swing works best that way -- but that's been good enough for 4 wins, one a major. (Remember, as I pointed out in yesterday's post, Ben said his putting was the main reason for his victory drought. He's always been very accurate.)

The lesson here is that you don't need to drive yourself nuts building a textbook swing. Even the pros aren't perfect but that doesn't stop them from competing and winning tournaments. And Ben won on the toughest course the Tour has played this year... even tougher than Augusta.

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