Tips From The Tour, 2009

The best players in the world aren’t just fun to watch. There’s a lot to learn about their swings that you can incorporate into your game.

Labels: Full Swing

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Mike Weir
Pound for pound, Weir is a longer hitter than most think. His strength has a lot to do with a right leg that acts as a pillar for his body to rotate against and build torque.


Check out Mike Weir’s tremendous ability to load and pivot against his right leg (which would be our left leg for righties). This sometimes is referred to as “posting up” the forward leg and building a strong pivot point to snap the club through at impact. If his forward leg were to buckle, slide or overstraighten, Weir will lose stability and, as a result, lose both a lot of distance and consistency.

Also notice how much Weir’s hips have cleared through impact while still staying behind the ball. (He could hit a home run over the Green Monster at Fenway with this swing.) Practice bracing your forward leg so it’s a strong lever to rotate your body around and release the club. Think of a home-run hitter knocking one out of the park
—Rick Sessinghaus, PGA

Hunter Mahan
Check out his finish. Mahan has made such a full rotation that his left foot has rolled onto its side like Nicklaus used to do—proof of a full rotation and a strong left side.

Nick Watney
Watney can crush it, averaging 306 yards per drive. His shoulders have turned past his hips, and his left side is in perfect alignment— the ideal finish pose.

If you watch any crime scene show on TV, you’ll notice that most mysteries are solved by going backward from the end of the crime first. In the golf swing, a similar approach can be taken, first by looking at the finish. In these two photos, Hunter Mahan and Nick Watney show a lot of similarities, even though one player has hit an iron and the other a wood.

To ingrain a solid turn through the hit, try this: Put your right hand in your pocket (thumb out), and while keeping your right elbow behind and close to your body, pull your pocket through to the finish.

Notice how both players finish solidly on a firm left side. This indicates they have fully turned and bumped their weight to their left side. Also, look at their shoulders. They’re both facing left of the target, also indicating a full turn. Point is, the golf swing requires you to turn all the way through and not stop at the ball like many amateurs do. Practice your finish position, and use these two guys as models. You’ll see better results.
—Hank Gardner, PGA GT


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