Pro Positions: Will MacKenzie
Willie Mac Attack!
I often long for the days when Slammin’ Sammy Snead and Gene Sarazan played the game, a couple of great sticks with personalities just as bright as their games. Well, fortunately for golf fans, there’s a new kid on the block and he’s brought a unique backstory and stellar game (albeit with a modern flair). His name is Will MacKenzie, or “Willie Mac,” as the 2006 Reno-Tahoe victor is sometimes called.
This extreme sportsman (MacKenzie surfs, climbs rocks and snowboards in his downtime) brings a powerful swing, cutting-edge style and go-for-it attitude to the Tour’s increasingly predictable lineup.
But what interests me the most about Will is his swing, in particular a few key elements he shares with two legends of the game, Ben Hogan and Slammin’ Sammy himself. Take a look at the following “pro positions,” and you’ll see why Willie Mac is separating himself from the field.
1. Posture Perfect. Will’s shaft angle at address is perpendicular to his spine angle. This relationship will be maintained throughout his swing.
2. Like Snead. Will’s body language is dead-on Snead. His left arm matches his shoulders, forming a One-Plane swing. His open clubface is a product of his weak left hand.
3. Spine Angle. A little loss in spin angle at the transition, I bet Will would like to be a little more bent over here.
4. Boom Time! Will’s arms and chest have worked hard to the left. Notice how his right arm matches his shoulder tilt, forming a mirror image of his backswing arm plane.
5. Wind Up. Notice the logo on the back of his shirt? That indicates a huge turn. He’s maintained a lot of space between his legs to build up positive resistance.
6. Hogan-esque. Players who swing on flatter planes need to stay more on top of the ball with very little weight or body shift to the right. He’s a dead ringer for Ben Hogan here.