Archive for the ‘A+Featured Swing Analysis’ Category

Nick Watney Swing Analysis!

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

I’ve played with Nick Watney during my junior golf years many times, it’s finally good to see Nick climbing up the PGA Tour leaderboard.  One thing I like about Nick is his personality, he has a pretty easy-going demeanor, perhaps why he kept going at it.

Anyways, let’s take a look at his swing and yes, it hasn’t changed much since I played with him like 15-16 years ago.

At address, Nick sets his spine angle slightly, like ever pro does, grip is a bit on the stronger side.

At takeaway, you can see that Nick extends his arms well, nicely rotated.  Perhaps his clubface is a bit closed, he might hit a bit of a draw here.

Nick looks really good here, nicely balanced.

Nice top of the backswing, everything well poised, the back facing the target.

At transition, you can see Nick moves well into his left side, a move reminiscent of Ben Hogan indeed.

At impact, Nick has squared his clubface pretty darn well, he seems to have dipped his body a bit, could be a bit more “up” but still, great impact position.

Nick extends both of his arms well after impact as seen here.

And nicely transferred weight to his left foot.

I know Nick Watney will be winning a few PGA Tour tournaments this year, don’t forget to root for him! WOOTWOOT!

Also see slow-motion video of Nick Watney’s golf swing:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Brian Davis Golf Swing Analysis

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Brian Davis is one of those players who’s been playing the PGA Tour for many years now but hasn’t won any tournaments.  Of course, I think he’s having the best year so far this year, putting himself into a playoff with Jim Furyk in a playoff earlier this year.

I think Brian Davis will do well the rest of the year.  What I am impressed most is his iron swing such as this one he used to force a playoff with Jim Furyk:

At address, Brian Davis looks nicely balanced for this “pressure”-type shot.

You can see a nice, connected takeaway here.

At the top, you can see that Brian Davis is in-line with his swing plane and note how well extended his arms are.   You can see that his hands, arms, and shoulders form a “triangle”.  I love this position.

At impact, Brian actually “drops” a lot of his body but still manages to hit the ball well.  Dipping at impact is okay as long as you don’t over do it.

I love how Brian Davis finishes almost straight up, this is not only good for your golf swing, it’s really great for your back so you can play golf longer than others who finish with a curve.

I bet you Brian Davis wins a PGA Tour by end of this year, go Brian!

Ernie Els Swing Analysis!

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Well, I haven’t done much swing analysis for years but let me start it up again, we can never learn enough from the pros.

Check out Ernie Els here.  Although he hasn’t been doing much lately with golf world, he has one of the best “big-man” swings in the world.

At address, you can see Ernie Els looks very comfortable, knees bent a bit, nicely balanced and hands freely hanging from his shoulders.

At take away, you can see that all Ernie did was rotate 90 degrees to the right with his triangle formed by the shoulders, arms, and hands.  Also notice that his clubface is perpendicular to the ground, perfect takeaway.  You will want to copy this exact move.

From takeaway, Ernie will take it up a bit upright to his true swing plane.  This is what David Leadbetter teaches (preachs).

At the top of his swing, you can see Earnie’s perfect in-align with his true swing plane and notice that his club is also parallel to his feet and target line.

From here, all Earnie can do is hit the ball straight and far.

Half way down, you see Earnie’s dropped his arms hands beneath the swing plane.  This is perfectly fine for an inside-out hit.

Right before takeaway, you see Ernie has delayed his wrist cock till the last minute and “notice” his clubface is still perpendicular to the ground.  This is an “ideal” position for just before impact.

Gotta love this position where, Ernie’s both arms are almost extended fully while matching his swing plane.  Did you know that on a full shot, your hands actually come up a bit due to centripetal force applied?  This is why the swing plane is matching the impact.

This is also important to see, after impact.  You see how Ernie’s clubs are slight outside the swing plane?  This means that Ernie just swung about 2-3 degrees inside-out, which is what you want to maximum accuracy and power.

Ernie Els finishes up his swing nicely on his left.  Indeed, Ernie has a couple majors to win soon, I am sure counting on him! :)

My New Golf Swing – The Weak Grip/Flat Plane Golf Swing!

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Well, I have finally built a new golf swing after tinkering and experimenting with different grips and swing planes.  This new golf swing is probably perfect for golfers who are similar build to mine (I am 5′ 9″ 190lbs with modest muscles in my upper body and rather muscular lower body) or you can try it if it works for you too.

Another quirk I have is that I have flat foot, meaning that if I try to swing like non-flat footed people, I simply can’t but I have found using a super, weak grip and a super, flat swing plane, I can hit the ball after ball consistently toward my target and also have a great control over my ball trajectory and distance.

So, here it goes for those of you who want to try a golf swing that I’ve created.

The Grip

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The grip starts with my left hand.  The left hand grip is actually simply neutral.  Just hang your left hand down the shaft naturally, back of your left hand facing the target.

grip-2

You should see about 2 knuckles, the V formed by your thumb and index finger pointing to your chin or right shoulder.  I use the standard left hand grip but the right hand grip is where we make the weak grip. (and the secret sauce behind my swing)

grip-3

For the right hand, you will place your right hand grip “well weak”, meaning the V formed by the thumb and index finger should point to your left shoulder or slightly beyond.

This mechanism allows me to really prevent turning my right hand over after impact.  Rather, I can fully release my right hand at impact, thereby applying extra power to my overall swing speed yet be able to control the golf ball with super accuracy.

I find that traditional golf instruction only teaches the “wrong” way, where the right hand is vulnerable to turn the club over the quickly.  Why not set your right hand so it can never turn over so fast?  That’s my secret.

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Here’s the finished netural left/weak right grip.  Ben Hogan used something similar to this, I’ve exaggerated my weak right hand grip more because I hit the ball better that way.

When done right, both your arms should be straight instead of traditional golf instruction where your right elbow is slightly tucked into your body.

I find that you can feel more unison between your hands and arms when using this grip.

Address/Setup

address-1

At address, you should stand as tall as possible (like you are standing) and simply bend your knees a bit.  The shoulders here are “square” and “parallel” to your target line while the arms may be slightly open due to the super, weak right hand grip.

address-2

From the front, you should see that the hands are slightly ahead of the golf clubhead and you should “feel” the triangle formed by your shoulders, arms, and hands.  This is the most pivotal part, you need to feel that “triangle”, that is what you turn on the backswing and downswing. (or turning your body)

Backswing

backswing-1

For the backswing, you will simply turn your “triangle” formed at address in-plane.  You do not need to consciously cock your hands, they should naturally cock as the result of your body movement.  Also, you only need to go as far as your shoulders will turn about 90-100 degrees for control, there’s no need to swing to parallel, that’s only a made-up guideline, there’s no reason why you should swing so far, especially when you consider your elbow angles will go out of control and you will have to re-adjust to compensate on the downswing.   Also note, I am turning on a single axis of my upper body, that’s all I need to do.

backswing-2

For the backswing, you will need to imagine a plane formed by your shoulders and the ball and try to turn your “triangle” along that plane.  When you do that, you get what you see above.

I’ve intentionally also left out the takeaway, I believe golfers should not focus on the takeaway because it’s only result of the process of getting to the top of the backswing and it will hurt your rhythm if you try to manipulate the takeaway.  Rather, think of the backswing as one action from address to the backswing.

All throughout my swing, my hands feel “super” light, tension in your hands will kill your golf swing.  It might “look” like I am holding the club hard but in reality, I am holding it light as I can through my swing, even on my downswing.

Transition – The Hip Slide & Turn

downswing-1

Transition is the most important part of your backswing because if you don’t start the downswing with the hips, you will come over the shot, hitting a slice or a pull hook.

From the top of the backswing, I feel like simply “bumping” my hips back to the target, which starts a chain reaction of events like the shoulders, arms, and hands being pulled down to this position.  My hands still feel super light and I feel like I am ready to punch someone out.

downswing-2

Because of the super weak grip we’ve implemented here, you can really swing through as hard as you can from here without worry about hooking the ball.

Also, in this part of the swing, I “still” feel the triangle formed earlier at address.  (You should be able to feel the unison of your shoulders, arms, and hands throughout the golf swing.)

Impact!

impact-1

You shouldn’t really practice impact since it’s also result of process but at impact, this is what it should feel like, the hands still ahead of the club.

impact-2

Follow-Through

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After impact, you should really “feel” the triangle formed at address turning.  The result is that both of your arms are extended fully.

followthrough-2

And as you can see here, the clubhead should be in this position, meaning you are swinging inside-out.  Also note, the spine angle has been maintained.

My hand still feel super “light” though.  If you body (triangle) does the work, your hands will feel light.

The Finish

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After follow-through, feel free to let your body come up so you don’t hurt your back.  Although I have seen some golf instruction that teach you to maintain spine angle even through finish, I disagree for longer golfing life.

There’s absolutely no reason for you to maintain spine angle AFTER your follow-through because that will only hurt your back.

Notice how straight my right arm is, this means I’ve extended my right arm as fully as possible through impact and follow-through, this mean full-power and accuracy too.

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Players like Annika Sorenstam does this well, even turning their heads at impact.

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At the end of your finish, your boday should be balancing nicely on your left foot.  I’ve actually “exaggerated” my right arm to be straight but you can actually relax at this point.

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See how my body is very upright?  This is really great for hitting thousands of golf balls on the range and never hurt your back.  I believe the best and simple golf swing is also the one that doesn’t harm your back.  With this finish position, I can literally hit 300 golf balls per day without any lower back problems.

Another important thing you can check at the finish is to check how “stable” your right hand grip is.

Another reason why I changed my right hand grip to be super weak is because at finish, my right hand grip still feels super “stable”, whereas a my old neutral right hand grip was slightly “shaky” at best.

Of course, all these swing tips might not help you because you are probably not built like me.  I am just demonstrating what has worked for me and a lot of stuff I’ve implemented are those I’ve learned through golf books, instructors, and finally customizing them to my body.

Remember, there IS no perfect golf swing, the perfect golf swing is the one you can hit the ball consistently and easily without breaking your lower back.

I just hope you don’t be scared to try new grips, swing planes, just because your golf instructor tells you otherwise.

Too many golf instructors teach you one golf swing, which is completely wrong and won’t work on everyone.

I’ve found my golf swing and should be refining it soon.  And yes, definitely take it for a test drive next year at some mini-tour events.

Happy golfing, and remember, practice makes perfect.

P.S. I should have a video of this new swing soon, see my last video just before I found my new golf swing, which is pretty much the same thing.

Here’s some practice swings:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

How to Take Slow Motion Golf Swing Videos!

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I’ve actually noticed bunch of YouTube videos online of these awesome slow motion golf swing videos and noticed that everyone was using selective Casio Exilim series, which can do like up to 6,000 frames per second.

I found that these cameras below will let you take super slow motion golf swing videos:

  • Casio Exilim EX-FC100 – These go for about $219.95 on Amazon, really good deal for capturing up to 1000 frames per second, which beats most other digital cameras for the price and purpose of taking slow motion golf swing videos.
  • Casio Exilim FH20 – This is the higher end version that can cost about $550.  If you want to use it more than a slow-motion golf swing camera, this might be a good way to invest more and get more out of it.

Here’s some videos showing the capabilities of these Casio Exlim digital cameras:

Slow-motion golf swing with Casio Exilim EX-FC100:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Slow-motion golf swing with Casio Exilim FH20:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Of course, I don’t really advice to you analyze your own swing unless you are at least an 8 handicap and have some experience tinkering with your own swing.   Otherwise, you might be better off getting a real golf pro to look at your swing.

Also, you can use V1 swing software to analyze your swing.

I should be getting the cheaper EX-FC100 to test it out soon, I need one really bad, technology has gotten so good, it’s unbelievable!

UPDATE: I also found that Casio Exilim EX-FS10 does slow motion golf swing videos too, the cheapest of all at $179.

Ben Hogan’s Swing Plane, Tiger Wood’s Swing Plane – What you should Really Know about Swing Planes!

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Here’s something that could be helpful for those of you who think there’s a perfect plane to a golf swing.

The simple answer, is that there is no perfect plane in a golf swing.  For one, Hogan claims in his book that the reason he used the swing plane concept was to get his backswing in a “consistent slot” but not an effort to say there’s such thing as a perfect plane.

Also, as you can notice in the pictures below, depending on your height and build, your swing plane may be flatter or more upright than the standard so there’s no use in trying to copy your favorite pro’s swing plane unless you are exactly the same height and build.

plane

plane-2

You can easily see that Tiger’s legs are noticeably longer than his upper body length compared to Ben Hogan.  Because of this, Tiger’s swing is naturally more upright than Ben Hogan’s.  Also, Tiger is 6′ 2″ while Ben Hogan is 5′ 8″.

These vast difference in physical makeup prove that there’s no such thing as a perfect plane for any golfer.

The swing plane I used in swing analysis was to simply have a reference point of how the golfer is swinging but in the recent months, I’ve began to realize that it’s not the most important factor in a good golf swing.

I’ve seen a ton of great swings that are far from golf norms, some way too flat or some way too upright.

The bottom line is, you need to build a consistent golf swing, not a swing that depends on lines drawn on the computer.

If you can hit a 200 yard target with a 4-iron 10 out of 10 times and you have what I think the worst swing in golf, I will not tell you to change your swing.

However, you can’t do that and your head is filled with swing mechanics garbage, perhaps I will tell you to focus on golf swing basics.

Golf swing basics consist of your grip, body action, and starting your downswing with your hips followed by your upper body.  In simpler terms, the more you can build a “consistent” swing, however you do it, it will work.  But you can’t really get consistency by building a perfect swing, there is no such thing.  Everyone has their own quirks and personal touch.

I’ve fiddled with a high-speed digital camera for about 10 years, trying to perfect my swing.  Sometimes I try to copy Tiger’s or Ben’s but none of those things ever seemed to bring consistency.  I threw my high-speed camera away and started building a golf swing I felt was more natural and right to me and I think I am on my way to a more consistent golf swing.

Don’t copy but learn and apply the basic fundamentals, that’s what they did too.

Lastly, a “swing plane” does help me “visualize” a consistent path for my backswing and that is really its real purpose so I can get consistent results.   If you keep drawing lines on your golf swing video/photos, it ain’t gonna help you with your golf swing.  Your swing might look “great” but underlying performance probably won’t improve at all.

Find a swing plane that works for you, find the one that you hit the best, crisp shots with both irons and woods.  Then stick with that swing plane.  It’s that simple. And I could really care less if you swung like Jim Furyk or Ben Hogan if you can hit the ball good.