Jack Nicklaus tomorrow. In case you are all sick of me ripping the swings of players better than me, I love Jack’s swing…and if you are not sick of me ripping the swings of PGA Tour players, you probably will be at the bottom of this page. πŸ™‚

You are going to start to notice a trend today… if you hadn’t already. I have taken apart and trashed the golf swings of some great players and in between, toiled the merits of the swing of a 3 handicap. All of my criticisms of the great players have been perfectly legitimate…as well as my praise of the 3 handicap. I am hoping all of this will lead you all to a place where you won’t try and copy what some great player does or did. Neither will you try to perfect your swing according to “the standard.” I am going to continue to be redundant and talk about slow subtle changes to your swing in order to avoid things that are getting in your way.

The funny part is, sometimes those things that get in your way may be the “correct” thing…that you personally shouldn’t be trying to do because it doesn’t fit your body. Back to our regularly scheduled programming…Golf swings on the butcher’s table.

I had a hard time deciding how to approach this one. So here is what I decided. I would show my respect for anyone’s ability to play the game and not only make the PGA Tour, but win on the PGA Tour…then I would critique his swing as if I didn’t know who this was…and I can’t be anything but blatantly honest.

I am amazed at how good of a “golfer” this guy is. He quite literally may be the best “golfer” ever to live. I use the term “golfer” as ones ability to shoot low golf scores. I mean that as the ultimate complement because I am about to rip into his swing like a 2 year old baby on a cupcake. This is one of the worst golf swings I have ever seen on someone who wasn’t a terrible golfer or beginner. All kidding aside, I have seen 30 handicappers and people who have never played golf that have swings that are more fundamentally sound than this.

On the one hand I want to praise him for not having one of these cookie cutter method swings we are all told to take on, but I just can’t help but be appalled at how difficult he makes it on himself.

Seriously, I have no clue how he breaks 90 with this swing, never mind win on tour. I can only speculate. He must have the eye hand coordination that would make him a world class pool player and/or Olympic sharpshooter…he has little chance of using this swing past the age of 30 or 35 because his body won’t be able to produce these angles anymore. Not physically possible. I can’t comprehend how he even did it at 18 years old.

He has good posture to start, but that’s where it ends. As he takes it away, he whips it inside with his hands and increases his bend at the waist so his head gets closer to the ball during the back swing. His hands set in a good spot at the top if he had a square club face…however, he massively bows his left wrist and shuts the club to a point where he must play a hold on fade ala Trevino.

Inexplicably, he drops his hands a good 6-8 inches down underneath the plane to hit a draw, as he also drops his head even more during the first part of his downswing. Now his head is a good 12-18″ lower than it was at address.

His hips then massively clear to give him room to hit the ball. Even though he has this room, he is way underneath the plane just before impact and when you combine the giant head dive and massive hip rotation, that leads to what can only be described as the most rounded spine just before impact I have ever seen on a player at any skill level. If he didn’t come from underneath with all of the head dip, he would literally hit the ball with the shaft about 4-10 inches up the hozel.

Then his club exits extremely low and flat, leading me to believe he is an alien, because a human body shouldn’t be able work that way. Actually it’s the way he saves it from going 100 yards right by raking his hands through impact to the left and forcing the club to exit low…so it won’t exit too high and hit a 90 yard hook.

If he asked me to teach him, I would say he has two choices. To keep doing what he is doing because it works and if it ever stops working, he has to completely rebuild his swing, because small changes would throw off this perfect storm of a golf swing. It’s no changes or a complete overhaul. Nothing in between would work.

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12 Comments

  1. WIll

    No, really. Be honest…. πŸ™‚

    I think the fact that this guy is athletic enough to dunk in street shoes explains why he’s able to make his swing work. Isn’t that how it always is? Some awesome athlete gets by with faulty technique. Some of them realize this and eventually make technical changes so that their performance dosen’t fall off as time begins to rob them of that crazy athleticism. Dustin Johnson will have to come to the realization that his swing probably won’t age well, and that he’ll have to move more toward an action that you don’t have to be a freak to employ.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      As I said to Steve below, I was in that category. I almost got by with a major fault in my swing, but didn’t quite…and I also didn’t know what it was till this year because no one knew what to tell me.

      Reply
    • Dan dz

      I have been playing golf for 50 years and always had a significant wrist bow. I just recently started to force my backswing way back emphasizing a very straight left elbow before bowing the wrist. In doing so I noticed that my head and hands became closer to the ball. My ball striking became much more consistant. But even before reading this article on DJ, Iwas wondering how this this was physically happening, thinking that the club head should be coming down way to close to the ball? The only thing i can figure is that the hands end up way in front of the club head and there is a small uplift as the left leg straightens. No? I do have fairly strong legs.

      Reply
  2. steve lyons

    So what common element of these bad swings that produce good shots are you missing?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Me personally, I was taught to delay the release too long and that made me inconsistent…not just from day to day, but through the bag.

      Reply
  3. Nigel

    Not even close to the worst swing of someone who was successful on tour. In this case, this was the European Tour, but Eamon Darcy was a really, really good golfer on that tour for many years. Be careful watching this, as it might make your eyes bleed πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      I remember Eamon Darcey and I think Dustin’s is worse…Dustin is a better athlete than Darcey was and that’s how he gets away with it.

      Reply
      • Nigel

        First of all, I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one. Sure, Dustin has a unique swing that does not conform to the standard, but I do not think it is even close to the worst swing I`ve ever seen from a good Pro.

        He initiates the backswing by a slight forward press and pre-rotating the clubface open, then he takes it back one-piece like most good players do. I do not see him whipping it back inside. At 15s into the video you can clearly see the club shaft is pointing down the target line. The club then goes back on a slightly more upright plane than I`d like to see and he bows his wrist at the top the opposite way most players do (supinate rather than pronate), leading to a very closed clubface at the top. His intial takeaway leads to his head moving away from the ball laterally – check the peak of his cap at 15s and compare to address using the tree in the distance as a reference point. As he initiates the down swing his head then moves back towards the ball laterally, almost back to the address position, and down. I`d estimate around 6” down compared to address, not 12-18”. He drops his hands down inside mainly because he jams his right elbow into his side, something that has been taught for years by many people – I don`t agree with teaching it, but that`s another story. The club is now traveling on a flatter plane than the backswing and he is a little underneath. Halfway down the butt of the shaft is pointing at the ball and at impact the shaft angle is essentially on the same plane as halfway down, so not too badly underneath. I`m sure that with this move he gets stuck and either blocks it or, more likely, hooks it, every once in a while. His head drops as he compresses his lower spine/butt and essentially jams his legs into the ground while clearing his hips very quickly, which is a huge power move and one of the reasons he is so long. I think that the reason his follow through looks so flat and rounded is that he swings his arms really hard down the target line to prevent the pull hook. If you look at the follow through the arms easily outpace the chest because of the momentum of swinging the arms really hard. To me it looks like this is more of a case of swinging the arms hard than ripping the hands through impact, although you could argue the hands rip through impact with either scenario. I see it as him not being handsy, but as a very hard arm swing. Just post-impact the shaft is pointing down the target line and initially the club exits along a parallel plane to that made by his shoulders, which isn`t flat at all to me. Then the arms outpace the body and pull the club around and flat.

        If I were teaching him I`d have him working on his tempo and maintaining his posture better to reduce how his head moves all over the place throughout the swing. I`d also want to work on improving his wrist action in the backswing to try to get a flat left wrist at the top. In addition to that I`d prefer to see his hands not quite so high at the top and the right elbow slightly closer to the torso, leading to the left arm being flatter. This would stop the club being so shut and allow him to return the club on a better plane. Hopefully those changes would allow him to work on developing a better and more controlled release that did not rely on a fast arm swing. If he still maintained such an aggressive hip turn through impact I suspect he`d lose everything right, so working on coordinating his hip turn through the ball with his shoulder turn would also be an issue to work on.

        Here is a video from the front view.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          There are going to be different opinions about golf…you and I can’t agree on everything. πŸ™‚

          Like I told Carerra, how ever big his head is how much he dives. I drew a circle around his head at address and it almost completely left the circle.

          I hate huge spine angle changes…as you have seen when I go off on Tiger.

          Reply
  4. Carrera

    “Inexplicably, he drops his hands a good 6-8 inches down underneath the plane to hit a draw, as he also drops his head even more during the first part of his downswing. Now his head is a good 12-18β€³ lower than it was at address. His hips then massively clear to give him room to hit the ball. Even though he has this room, he is way underneath the plane just before impact…”

    I’m not seeing the same thing on either his swing plane before impact or the amount of his head drop. Look at his hands at impact (compare them to the rough line on the hole)…his hands are higher at impact than at address. His head has dropped, but not anything close to what you thought.

    http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a168/carrera993/Picture3.png

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      When the club is underneath just before impact, the hands will end up higher at impact then at address. That is the only place they can go. I think that is why he wants to rake it into a really low and flat exit.

      Maybe my number of inches were too high, tell me how big Dustin’s head is and that is how much it dropped from address to impact. I have a program and I put his head in a circle at address and his head almost completely gets outside the circle by impact. His head actually comes up a few inches through impact when his hips clear.

      When his left arm is parallel to the ground on the down swing, his head is almost completely out of the circle I drew around it at address. We can argue the semantics of how many inches that is, but there is no debate that is a MASSIVE change in spine angle and head position.

      Reply
  5. Nigel

    There is no question Dustin makes it harder than it need be to be consistent at the PGA Tour level. Then again he is at the PGA Tour level, has won and should probably tell me to shut the hell up, which is a fair point πŸ™‚

    Any data set can be interpreted in different ways and I can learn a great deal by looking at how others interpret things. Of course, my interpretation is always right………………. well, I am if I interpret “always” to mean “never”

    Reply

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