Lexi Thompson Golf Swing

Golf Sage - Monday, December 19, 2011

Lexi Thompson is the youngest member of the LPGA Tour at age 16, and her swing has some mistakes:
  1. Lexi’s grip is very strong, with both hands turned a little clockwise as she grips the club.  This grip produces more power when you strike the ball, but often leads to more inconsistency in delivering a square clubface at impact.  Lexi may be losing consistent accuracy because it is difficult to release her wrists the same way through the ball every swing when she grips the club with both hands turned a bit clockwise.
  2. At address, Lexi stands a bit too stiff-legged.  It is better to put a little more flex in your knees, so the leg muscles are less tense and better able to deliver maximum power at impact.  She could be sacrificing some distance on her shots because of this flaw in her stance.
  3. At address, Lexi’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, which 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, Lexi make not be delivering her most powerful swing to the ball at impact.
  4. During the backswing, her left knee pops out away from her body instead of working toward the 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.  Lexi may be sacrificing some distance on her shots because of her left knee movement on the backswing.
  5. Near the top of the backswing, Lexi’s right elbow flies away from her right side, 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.
  6. At the top of the backswing, Lexi’s hips have turned too much to the right.  A restricted hip turn is key to generating maximum power at impact.  To deliver your most powerful strike at the ball, 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.  Lexi is not hitting the ball as far as she could be.
  7. To start the downswing, Lexi’s legs do not drive hard enough to dramatically shift her body weight back to her left side.  Her lower body is not strongly pulling her upper body throughout the downswing, so she hits the ball with her shoulders, arms, and hands against a stiff, immobile left side.  This cannot generate as much power as a strong, fast leg drive shifting your body weight all the way to your left side and pulling a coiled upper body through the ball at impact.
Lexi Thompson executes some fundamentals very well, which makes her competitive on the professional level:
  1. At address, Lexi’s left arm and 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.
  2. Throughout the backswing, Lexi’s right leg retains its address position and her right knee stays pointed in.  So her upper body and shoulders turn around a stable lower body base, stretching the coil tight in her upper body.  This produces more distance when the legs lead a highly-coiled upper body through impact.
  3. Lexi keeps her left arm straight throughout the backswing.  This ensures the longest possible swing arc, which produces your longest possible shots.
  4. During the first half of the downswing, Lexi brings her flying right elbow back to her right rib cage.  This puts her on the proper downswing plane, allowing her to swing from the inside and deliver a square clubface at impact, rather than 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.
  5. On the downswing, Lexi does a great job preserving the angle of her cocked wrists until close to impact.  The later in the downswing the wrists release, the more leverage your swing has, and the more power you deliver to the ball at impact.
  6. Lexi really stays down and through impact, ensuring the clubface strikes the ball squarely and solidly.
  7. To complete her swing, Lexi has a high finish with the hands and stands in perfect balance.  Her body weight has completely shifted to her left foot, and her 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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