Archive for January, 2016

Rickie’s Magic Golf Swing

What you can learn from Rickie Fowler – The Swing that won the 2016 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Rickie 1Rickie sets up to the ball in perfect posture, bent forward from the hips keeping his spine nice and straight and flexed at the knees. His arms are hanging freely down from his shoulders and away from his legs. Rickie’s set up is very athletic and dynamic and the other thing I really like here is how the clubhead is hovering just above the ground, this helps to reduce the tension in the hands, arms and shoulders which is key for longer distance. His body alignment is perfectly square with the feet, knees, hips, arms and shoulders all parallel to the target line.

Rickie 2As Rickie moves the club into the take away, notice how he does this in a one piece fashion, this is where the shoulders, arms, hands and club move away from the ball together. Hovering the club at the address promotes this and this really glues the rest of Rickie’s golf swing together. This is one thing that Rickie and his coach, Butch Harmon, have worked hard on. Rickie used to take the club away from the ball very closed and outside the target line and this forced Rickie to re route the club in the downswing which forced him to attack the ball too much from the inside causing a lot of inconsistency in his golf.

Rickie 3This is a perfect check point of the backswing – When the club reaches parallel to the ground it should also be parallel to the target line. Notice how the toe of the club points up towards the sky – this is a square clubface. Rickie’s old position when reaching this point would see the clubface in a very closed position with the clubface pointing more down towards the ground and the shaft of the club would be pointing left of target line.

Rickie 4Rickie shows a great example of an on plane golf swing. This is when on reaching the midway point of the backswing, the shaft of the club is pointing directly down at the target line.

Rickie 5At the top of the backswimg Rickie has fully turned his upper body over a very balanced and stable lower body. Notice how Rickie has let his right leg straighten a little which is perfectly fine as this allows the hips to rotate in the backswing which is so important as this works hand in hand with the upper body rotation. If you try to keep the right knee to flexed it will block your rotation in the backswing causing all kinds of inconsistencies.  Another thing I like about the top of Rickie’s backswing is how the clubface matches up to the left arm, this shows that the clubface is once again square to the arc of the swing.

Rickie 6Rickie starts his downswing perfectly with the weight transferring across from his right side to his left. This is achieved by the knees and hips moving across towards the target. Notice how Rickie keeps his back facing the target for as long as possible as this keeps the club moving down on plane.

Rickie 7Rickie is still unwinding from the ground up and is delaying the upper body from opening up to early. The swing is on plane, the shaft of the club once again points at the target line. This leads to a great swing path through the hitting zone and a lot of power.

Rickie 8The club is arcing in towards the golf ball really well, the body is still unwinding via the hips and legs and this chain reaction creates a lot of speed in the upper body which produces a ton of clubhead speed and therefore explosive distance.

Rickie 9Through impact Rickie’s arms are fully extended which releases the club in a free wheeling motion through the ball, this is something that should naturally happen. A lot of golfers I see collapse there arms through impact which robs them of clubhead speed and therefore distance.

Rickie 11Perfectly balanced in his finish position, this is a good trait among all the good players on tour these days and something that many amateurs could learn from.

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Simple Changes – Huge Improvements



Today I had a  client in for a lesson who had been struggling with his game for a couple of months. He had been putting off the lesson for a couple of reasons, one of which was the weather, I must admit it has not been to warm recently..

Within 5 minutes we had him hitting the ball so solid he said “I wish I had come to see you sooner. I have been struggling on for a few weeks now, trying to adjust things myself, but just could not put my finger on it”.

Let’s look at the improvements that we made.

Nev 1


As we look at the photo above we can see that my client was over reaching for the golf ball (left photo). His hands were to far away from his legs and this was encouraging his weight to be to much on his toes at the address. The ball position was to far forward in his stance (right photo) causing him to hit the ground before the ball, heavy contact and very little distance.  As he made his backswing the natural tendency was to lift his body up out of his posture. He did this to move his weight into the center’s of his feet to enable the body to turn in some kind of balance. With all this movement in the backswing the downswing resembled the same, with his body dropping down towards the ball in an aid to get back to his original set up position. The outcome of all of this was very weak strikes lacking distance.


Nev 2 (2)

We worked on a posture drill to get him standing closer to the ball. This allowed for the arms to hang down freely from the shoulders and the weight was nicely balanced in the feet 50/50. We also moved the ball back a fraction in the stance so that the angle of attack would be a lot more consistent and this would improve the consistency in the strike. Now as he made his swing the body stayed in shape as he turned his body in the backswing and forward swing. There was no lifting and dropping of the body during the swing and the nett result – much better contact on the ball and full distance was regained in a matter of minutes.

From Your Friends at Mark Wood Golf Academy

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Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

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