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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hyo Joo Kim's Major-Winning Swing

This past weekend, in her first major appearance, Hyo Joo Kim shot the lowest score ever (male or female) in a major -- 61. Then she finished the week by winning the Evian Championship in a head-to-head match-up against Karrie Webb.

Matthew Rudy at Golf Digest posted an article that included the following YouTube video and a brief breakdown of H.K.'s swing.

At only 5'3" tall, she averaged 250 yards off the tee yet missed only 9 fairways total during all 4 rounds.. (A lot of you taller men out there can't do that!) And she does it with a swing that seems very relaxed. PGA instructor Michael Jacobs gives an explanation of the main mechanics of her swing:
"It's because of how her arms travel 'up' in the backswing and the way she uses her lower body to turn her hips on the downswing."
Obviously there's more to it than that -- there's more detail in the article -- but the basic idea is that she has a fairly upright swing and strong leg action. The combination gives her a lot of room to swing her arms and generate a lot of clubhead speed.

Read the article and make sure you watch that video a few times. This is a simple swing with strong fundamentals... and let me repeat that she obviously stays as relaxed as possible throughout her swing. She's not concerned about hitting positions; she's just concerned about swinging that club. That's the real key.

If you try making practice swings (you know how relaxed you feel when you make those!) and just try to clip tees out of the ground, you might find that this is a fairly simple motion to learn. Don't worry about her flexibility; if you stay relaxed, you'll get your most flexible swing naturally.