Keegan Bradley Golf Swing

Golf Sage - Thursday, January 26, 2012

Keegan Bradley won the 2011 PGA Tournament, but his swing has these mistakes: 
  1. At address, Keegan bends over the ball too much at the waist.  It is better to keep your upper body more erect and stand taller.  This more erect upper body posture makes it easier to keep perfect balance throughout your swing.  You will hit the ball farther because good balance is an important source of power in the golf swing.
  2. At address, Keegan’s right foot is not perfectly square to the target line; it is slightly turned out.  This makes it harder to keep your weight on the inside of the right foot as the backswing proceeds.  If your weight transfers to the outside of the right foot, it is difficult to keep your right leg in position and your right knee pointed in throughout the backswing.  These two factors enable you to restrict the hip turn and maximize the shoulder turn, which creates maximum coil in the upper body at the top of the backswing, so you can deliver your maximum power at impact.  If your weight transfers to the outside of your right foot instead of to the inside of your right foot, it is harder to stay balanced at the end of your backswing.  This makes it more difficult to smoothly start your downswing move with the legs and quickly start transferring your body weight back to the left side to generate maximum power at impact.  Thus, Keegan make not be delivering his most powerful swing to the ball at impact.
  3. During the backswing, Keegan’s left knee pops out, away from his body, instead of working toward his right knee.  This affects perfect balance at the top of the backswing, as your weight is likely transferred to the right heel and outside of the right foot instead of where it should be—the inside of the right foot.  Perfect balance is a key factor in the player’s ability to smoothly and quickly start the downswing back to the left side with a hard leg drive; thereby delivering maximum power at impact.  Keegan may be sacrificing some distance on his shots because of his left knee movement on the backswing.
  4. As his backswing nears the top, his right elbow flies away from his body, making it more difficult to get on the proper downswing plane, one that is flat enough.  When your right elbow flies away from the right side of your rib cage at the top of the backswing, there is a tendency to swing on too upright of a downswing plane, from outside-to-inside, cutting across the ball and causing a slice.  It is very difficult to consistently return the right elbow to your right side on the first half of the downswing to return to the proper, flatter downswing plane and deliver a square clubface to the ball at impact.
  5. Keegan hits against a stiff left leg at impact, which means his legs quit driving at the target just before impact, and he is making an upper body swing at the ball.  A strong, fast, smooth leg drive through the ball naturally pulls the coiled upper body and produces maximum clubhead acceleration through impact.  Keegan is losing power in his golf swing by not driving the legs to smoothly and fully transfer his body weight back to his left side through impact.
Keegan Bradley is an excellent young player, and he executes many fundamentals perfectly:
  1. At address, Keegan stands with a good flex in his knees.  This is important because the legs are free from muscular tension, so he can drive his legs hard and smooth through impact and utilize all the power from the large muscles of the legs.
  2. At address, Keegan’s left arm and the club shaft form a straight line down to the ball.  This address position previews the impact position on the downswing.  When the left arm and club shaft form a straight line at impact, you deliver maximum power to the ball strike.
  3. On the takeaway, his upper body pulls the clubhead back away from the ball straight, low, and slow for 18.”  This creates a wide and long swing arc.  The longer your swing arc, the farther you can hit the ball.
  4. Throughout the backswing, Keegan’s right leg retains its address position and his right knee stays pointed in.  So his upper body and shoulders turn around a stable lower body base, stretching the coil tight in his upper body.  This produces more distance when the legs lead a highly-coiled upper body through impact.
  5. At the top of the backswing, Keegan has restricted the hip turn because he kept his right leg in the address position and kept his right knee pointed in throughout the backswing.  To deliver your most powerful strike at impact, it is critical to combine a restricted hip turn with big shoulder turn, creating the strongest possible coil in your upper body, which your legs lead through impact.  
  6. At the top of the backswing, he swings the club shaft back nearly parallel to the ground.  This makes it easy to control the club on the downswing, smoothly accelerating the clubhead to a square impact position.
  7. Keegan starts his downswing with a powerful, smooth, lateral leg drive.  This great weight transfer back to his left side starts this sequence of motion—legs lead shoulders, shoulders lead arms, arms lead hands, and hands lead the clubhead through impact.  This sequence of motion creates maximum leverage in your swing, so you can hit the ball as far as possible.
  8. On the downswing, Keegan returns his flying right elbow back to the right side of the rib cage, which puts him on the proper downswing plane.  This allows him to swing from the inside and deliver a square clubface at impact instead of executing the downswing on too steep a plane, resulting in the clubhead traveling on a left-to-right path and causing a sliced ball flight.
  9. On the downswing, he preserves the angle of his cocked wrists as long as possible.  It is not until the second half of the downswing that his wrists release.  The later in the downswing the wrists release, the more leverage your swing has, and the more power you can deliver at impact.
  10. Keegan’s right leg and right knee powerfully drive at the ball, pulled quickly by the left hip and left leg on the second half of the downswing.  This generates very powerful shots.
  11. On the follow-through, Keegan keeps his head down until well after impact.  This means his head remained still during impact, ensuring the downswing stayed on the proper plane and the clubhead stayed square at the moment of impact.  Keeping his head down until well after impact also allows Keegan to extend his swing down the target line, ensuring a square clubface at impact and producing very accurate shots.
  12. To complete the swing, Keegan has a high finish with the hands and stands in perfect balance.  His body weight has completely shifted to his left foot, and his right toe points into the turf.  Perfect balance at the completion of your swing indicates you have efficiently delivered all of your power through impact.

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