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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ian Poulter in Stop Motion

Ian at top of backswingThis new swing series on catches the irrepressible IJP in a quick series of photos with commentary by PGA pro John Stahlschmidt. The article is simply called Ian Poulter: Classic Swing, Modern Day Result and it points out a few major points in Ian's swing.

Yeah, I know John points out that Ian keeps a lot of wrist cock well into the hitting area but doesn't tell you how to do it. You can find out how to do that in my More Golf Swing Speed Quick Guide, and you can also get some of the basics here on my site, starting with this post.

The primary points made in the article are about Ian's weight shift going back and coming through, hitting down on the ball, and finishing in a balanced position. Studying these positions and imagining what it feels like to swing through them can help you learn to make good swings quicker. (That's a scientifically proven fact, and I think I've written about it somewhere here on the blog... but I can't remember how long ago it was.)

The main thing I'd like to point out is that Ian has a mixture of classic and modern techniques in his swing, and that's why his swing looks a bit more "loosey-goosey" than some players. John points out that he uses a more restricted hip move on his backswing (photo 1), which is a modern idea. But if you look at photo 6, you'll see that his lead foot has rolled onto its outer edge. That means his lead hip has moved out past the outside of his lead foot, which is a more classic move.

Modern techniques tend to restrict how much your lead hip moves toward the target. The more that hip moves forward, the more chance there is for it to travel a different distance each time, resulting in the occasionally wayward shots that Ian gets. (That inconsistency will be worse on those days when his rhythm is a bit off, btw.) Don't misunderstand me -- the move isn't wrong, it's just one of those decisions you as a player have to make. Ian trades a little consistency for a more fluid swing. Colin Montgomerie has a very exaggerated version of this, both on the backswing and the downswing.

But the best lesson you can learn is this: If you get where you look anything like photos 4 and 5 at impact, you'll have learned a lot of seriously good technique from Ian James Poulter.

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