Yani Tseng Golf Swing

Golf Sage - Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yani Tseng has a nearly perfect golf swing, but she makes one mistake during the backswing:
  1. At the top of the backswing, Yani has swung the club shaft slightly past parallel to the ground, making too long of a backswing.  This makes it harder to control the club on the downswing and consistently deliver a square clubface at impact, producing straight shots.
Yani Tseng has won 5 major tournaments by age 22 because she executes so many fundamentals perfectly:
  1. At address, Yani stands with a good flex in her knees.  This is important because the legs are free from muscular tension, so she can drive her legs hard and smooth through impact and utilize all the power from the large muscles of the legs.
  2. At address, her right foot is set perfectly square to the target line.  This makes it easy to keep your weight on the inside of the right foot as the backswing proceeds.  When you do this, you naturally keep your right leg in address 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.  When your weight stays on the inside of your right foot, it is easy to stay balanced at the top of your backswing, which makes it simple 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.
  3. At address, Yani’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.
  4. On the takeaway, she takes the club back straight, low, and slow for 12” to 18.”  She brings it back straight a long way, which creates a wide and long swing arc.  The longer your swing arc, the farther you can hit the ball.
  5. On the backswing, Yani’s left knee works back toward her right knee; it does not pop out away from the body.  This keeps her in perfect balance at the top of the backswing, with her weight shifted to the inside of the right foot.  This makes it easy to start the downswing with a hard, smooth leg drive and deliver your most powerful swing to the ball.
  6. Throughout the backswing, she keeps her right leg and right knee in perfect position.  The right leg stays at the same angle it has at address, and the right knee stays pointed in.  This gives her a very stable and balanced lower body and restricts her hip turn around to the right.  Thus, the upper body and shoulders can rotate around to the right and create maximum coil in the upper body.  The tighter this coil is stretched, the farther you can hit the ball when the coil unwinds through impact.
  7. Yani keeps her left arm straight throughout the backswing.  This produces the longest possible swing arc and allows the player to hit the ball as far as possible.
  8. Yani keeps her right elbow tucked against her right rib cage throughout the backswing and downswing. This ensures she stays on the proper backswing and downswing planes—making it easy to swing from the inside during the downswing and deliver a square clubface to the ball at impact.  Tucking your right elbow against your body is critical because it causes your upper body to rotate around your stable lower body base during the backswing, rather than rise up toward the sky, on too upright a swing plane.  Once you are on too steep a swing plane at the top of the backswing, you tend to swing the club on an outside-to-inside path back to the ball on the downswing, causing the slice which afflicts many players’ games.
  9. At the top of the backswing, Yani has restricted the hip turn because she kept her right leg in the address position and kept her 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.  
  10. Yani starts the downswing with a very powerful and smooth leg drive, quickly transferring her weight back to the left side.  Her legs are clearly pulling a fully-coiled upper body throughout the downswing.
  11. On the downswing, she preserves the angle of her cocked wrists as long as possible.  It is not until the second half of the downswing that her 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.
  12. On the follow-through, Yani keeps her head down until well after impact.  This means her head remained still during impact, ensuring the downswing stayed on the proper plane and the clubhead stayed square at the moment of impact.  Keeping her head down until well after impact also allows Yani to extend her swing down the target line, ensuring a square clubface at impact and producing very accurate shots.  
  13. Yani completes the swing with a full, high hands finish.  Her weight has fully shifted to the left leg, and she stands in perfect balance.  This indicates she efficiently delivered all of her power to striking the ball.  Keeping your balance throughout the golf swing allows you to deliver your maximum power at impact.

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