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Monday, September 3, 2012

Swing Thoughts from the Third Round

Since the Limerick Summary is delayed a day by the Monday finish at Deutsche Bank, I thought I'd pull out a few swing tidbits from Sunday's round that some of you might find helpful.

Tiger's Fade: You may have heard (yet again) some of the commentators who are a bit concerned about Tiger's fade. Not just that he's playing a fade most of the time, but that he's aiming so far left all the time. That means he's playing from a very open stance.

Having watched it for a while -- and watching Tiger's progress with his swing -- I'm pretty sure now that his stance is less about the shot shape and more about his left knee. It's possible to play a fade without opening your stance a whole lot, but by opening his stance so much he takes a lot of the twisting stress off of his lead knee. It lets him turn his hips very fast without straining it so much.

Rory's "Heavy Hit": When they say Rory has a "heavy hit" they simply mean that he hits the ball right in the middle of the clubface every time, with the clubface square. That's just a matter of good balance and rhythm... and a little practice. The steadier you are during your swing, the easier it is to hit the ball solidly and therefore the "heavier" you can hit it.

Dufner's Short Backswing: Johnny Miller was joking that Jason Dufner may have the shortest backswing on Tour. However, if you check his stats, you'll find he's "average" length just like most of the other golfers out there.

How does he do it? The shorter backswing (which I've mentioned several times and made it a focal point of this post) is very lever-oriented. His right elbow stays extremely close to his side during his backswing, and he makes serious use of the "swoosh" as a result (check The Swoosh at the Bottom: The Power Move That Adds Distance series on The Route 67 Posts page). The shorter backswing also makes it easier for him to keep his balance and get a "heavy hit" of his own.

Louis and Rory's Long Swings: Just the opposite of Dufner, Rory and Oosthuizen are both very flexible and allow their swings to be long. But unlike Dufner, who's shorter swing is more lever-oriented, their swings are very rhythm-oriented. They have to make sure they have plenty of time for the backswing to finish and change direction. If you watch them carefully, you'll see that Jason has a very quick change of direction while Rory and Louis look much more leisurely and relaxed. Otherwise, Louis and Rory would lose their balance and mis-hit too many shots.

So there are a few quick tips that may help you improve your game.

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