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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mickey Wright Footage

Since the ladies are playing in Rio de Janeiro this week (and apparently will not be televised on GC) and we've all been fascinated by Jason Dufner's slightly retro swing, I thought this might be a good time to take a quick look at one of the most celebrated classic swings ever.

Ben Hogan once said Mickey Wright had the best swing he'd ever seen. So when I found this footage condensed from a 1964 Shell Wonderful World of Golf telecast, I knew I had to post it. The reason is that it shows Mickey hitting a wide variety of shots with different clubs and from different kinds of lies.

A couple of things stand out to me. (Besides the fact that she's playing for only $3000.) One is that her swing reminds me of Steve Stricker's move -- it's simple, smooth, and very balanced.

It's also very powerful. There's a driver swing at around the 2:30 mark that is slightly downwind but definitely uphill... and she hit it 260 yards. A woman hitting uphill with 1964 equipment. And Wikipedia lists her as a very average 5' 9' tall. That's up there with the best of the male pros at the time, and it's extremely impressive.

There's also a tip for increasing distance at the end. Just to give you a head start on it, you'll find it much easier to do if you use -- you guessed it -- a one-piece takeaway. You'll also find that her foot and legwork is similar to that of Ernie Els, as I discussed in yesterday's post.

Please spend the four-and-a-half minutes to watch this piece of video. While you do, try to imagine how this swing feels... then try to duplicate that feel with your own swing. Even after all these years Mickey Wright is still one of the best swing models you can imitate.

And that goes for you men as well as you women. Mickey Wright was just flat-out awesome!

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