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Friday, February 1, 2019

Matthew Wolff's Swing (Video)

Since amateur Matthew Wolff is T11 (-4) with 15 other players at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and since I'm sure a number of you are unfamiliar with him, here's a slo-mo video of his swing.

Golf World did an article several months ago listing his sizable accomplishments at Oklahoma State University -- yes, Rickie Fowler's alma mater -- and after reading it you'll have a better understanding of why everybody is so excited about him.

But it's that unusual swing of his that has everybody buzzing. Wolff creates a lot of clubhead speed because he doesn't worry so much about positions. Rather, he just worries about smashing the ball with as much clubhead speed as he can generate and if it's not pretty... well, tough luck for you.

The fact is, while his swing is unusual, it's not as if we haven't seen other players with these moves before.
  • Wolff gets a huge shoulder turn because he lets his hips turn freely, even lifting his left heel high off the ground to get the maximum turn.
  • At the top of his swing he makes a big loop, rerouting the club so the shaft -- and consequently his downswing plane -- is much flatter than his backswing plane. That's why he hits a draw almost all of the time. But note that he can hit that draw really high, which many players can't, and that height allows him to stop the ball almost as fast as a fade would.
  • And like so many young players these days -- and most long drive hitters -- Wolff launches himself off the ground to create as much swing speed as he can.
What IS different is that he does ALL OF THESE THINGS AT ONCE while managing to keep some semblance of control over the ball. You generally don't see a swing with this many moves, simply because it's hard enough to find the ball when you use just one of these moves, let alone all of them!

Given his success as an amateur, it'll be interesting to see how he fares against the pros. TPC Scottsdale sets up well for his style of golf so, if he can keep the ball in play, Wolff could be a threat this week.

And if he's there Sunday afternoon with a chance to win, it'll be very interesting to see how the pros handle this lone Wolff.


  1. You dont "launch yourself off the ground" to create swing speed . If your feet are off the ground you can hardly create any club head speed at all. Try jumping up in the air and swinging. His feet react to the force of the downswing and push up to keep him in his posture.
    The feet /legs do not create power. They react to the power in the arms and shoulders to maintain postural stability. The legs and hips do not create club head speed/ They permit the upper body to move fast and create speed not cause the upper body to create speed.

    1. Will, I'm just using the images that are commonly used by instructors and the players themselves to describe what they do. They say they use the ground by pushing off so hard at impact that they become airborne. In my opinion, your description and theirs are simply different ways of expressing the same actions, albeit from different frames of reference.

      Many of the great scientific debates of the past have had their roots in the differences between how the laws of physics describe actions and how the actors themselves describe the feel of those actions. Thanks for taking time to include that other frame of reference!