Rickie Fowler - Swing Changes

Congratulations to Rickie Fowler for winning the 2015 Players Championship and claiming his second PGA Tour victory. In this video, I'll show you how one big change early on in Rickie's swing allows him to get into a more powerful position at the top and also a much better position to release the club for more speed. If you want more speed and more efficiency, then check out this awesome swing change now!

  • Rotation and elevation will move the club into a tour quality takeaway position. 
  • Get the hands in a more elevated position at the top of the swing to help increase clubhead speed 

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Loran
I see Fowler's takeaway hands in his new swing is farther away from his right thigh than the old swing? Is this the ideal position on the correct path to the backswing, absolutely? Or taking too far deep behind is his way of overdoing a good thing?
July 13, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. Fowler's hands in his new swing are in a more ideal location. It's allowing him to rotate better, but also tighten up his plane line. Bringing his hands in and deep was his sensation of trying to pull the club back better with the body, but required him to manipulate more to the top.
July 14, 2015
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Lloyd
Great analysis of Ricky's swing. It brings up a question regarding tempo in the rotary swing. Are there any videos that discuss swing tempo? Lloyd
May 13, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lloyd. RST Tempo Drill in the Introduction Section.
May 14, 2015
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Steven
oops!!! I meant over rotated not over rated ( I like the guy)
May 12, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
hahah we knew what you meant!
May 13, 2015
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Steven
Hey Chris I enjoy the analysis and appreciate how the change in taking the club back is helping Rickie to stay on plane . I am guessing however that Rickie does not have a model rotary swing ? To me he has his hips are overrated and he is pushing off his back foot ? Do you agree or am I just seeing things wrong or even worse not understanding rotary golf? Not to take anything away from Rickie , I realize that not everyone on tour has a rotary swing and that you profile the winner each week , Love his wedge play and he seems like a very nice guy .
May 12, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Steven -- Glad to hear you enjoyed the review. I agree on all accounts of your message. He does tend to get the hips a bit over rotated in the backswing. He does a good job fighting off a lot of trail side push with stabilizing in the lead side. Essentially he rotates the lower half hard and then gets on the brakes very quickly for the release to happen. Also, when a player gets the arms deeper like Rickie does at the top, he needs to rotate pretty hard to get them back out in front. He is a great player and a great kid to boot. Hope to see him keep playing well.
May 13, 2015
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David
I am so happy he won. He is young, good looking, an excellent player and that's why the overrated nonsense surfaced. I happen to think he is the best putter OUTSIDE of 6 feet. My question is how does he WHIP that club thru impact and beyond as it looks like his driver is pulling him along.
May 11, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey David, I am also excited to see him win again. He is a great ambassador for the game of golf and his is a hard worker with an awesome mindset. Thats a good formula for success for sure. That whip movement you see is proper prioritizing of a downswing sequence and using the body to pull the hands and arms down into the hitting area, which allows him to preserve a good amount of lag and then BAM...the release happens so he is at max speed at impact. Work on a good solid release and proper downswing sequence and you will get that same effect soon enough.
May 12, 2015
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David
Any video to suggest? I have been watching LADD and the downcock pump drill. I still have a huge problem with this. If my hands and arms are relaxed, especially my wrists, I hit bad shots. Is there a line where I can get "too relaxed".
May 12, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey David -- I would work on getting a good 9 to 3 drill going and then possibly add in the 9 to 3 lag building drills. You want the lead wrist to be extremely relaxed and most players think they are more relaxed than they really are. Train the release just as shown in 5 mins to a perfect release. Once you learn how to control the hitting area, then you can work back up to the top of the swing and work on sequencing.
May 12, 2015
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Trevor
Great video analysis as always - many thanks. I've got one observation - from the new Rickie Fowler video (LHS) he seems to be adressing the ball with the centre of the club head not adjacent to the centre of the ball. This may be due to the angle of the camera and or where the video starts. However, if this is what he is doing, can you tell us why please? Thanks Trev
May 11, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Trevor, glad to hear that you enjoyed the video. I noticed that he was setting the ball up more towards the heel of the club in the new swing. There is no real rhyme or reason is to why. Sometimes you will see players set up like that when they are trying to hit a cut. Each player is a bit different. Zach Johnson used to set up with the ball way out on the toe and then slide the center closer to the ball before taking it back. Everyone is just a bit different.
May 12, 2015
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Thomas
What a finish to the Players!! I loved it. Very interesting analysis. Would you say Rickie's swing is one plane swing? Looks pretty flat, wish I could hit it 330yrds. My hands tend to move more away from my right thigh, wish I had a little more of his move. Is Rickie's takeaway move due to a lot of rotation versus arm movement? Tom Spriggs
May 11, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Tom, Definitely a great finish to the tournament and really great to see Rickie win again. The move you are seeing Rickie make now is facilitated by rotation of the body and just a slight upward movement up the arms. This helps move the club into a consistent position every time. If your hands are moving out away from you from the start, then you need to shift the focus over to rotation. If you rotate, your arms will move and so will the club. Good luck.
May 12, 2015

Congratulations to Rickie Fowler for winning the 2015 Players Championship and claiming his second PGA Tour victory. Rickie decided at the end of the 2013 season that he wanted to make some changes in his swing to help pick up more speed and also help him save his lower back. Here we are in coming up to the middle point of 2015 and Fowler's swing changes are really starting to take shape. 

In the past, Ricky has battled with ripping the hands way to the inside and holding the clubhead shut and outside his hands in the takeaway. This position would normally cause players to have very steep shoulder rotation and make the golf club cross the line at the top. However, Rickie did a great job fighting the across the line move off and worked to a very flat position at the top of the swing, resulting in a very flat downswing and club path working drastically from the inside. 

In order to fix this problem, Fowler added what we call at RST "shoulder elevation". Shoulder elevation (arm elevation) is just a slight gradual upward movement of the arms that happens during the takeaway. By adding elevation to the swing, Rickie was able to keep the club moving on a good plane and more in line with his hands at a completed takeaway. 

Once the elevation was added to the early part of the swing, fowler could now work to a more vertical position at the top of the swing. Having the arms in a more elevated position equates to a really important factor in the golf swing...speed! Fowler's new elevated position now allows him to get the arms more out in front of the body in the downswing and coming down on almost a perfect plane and not drastically from the inside. More importantly, because the arms are not so flat at the top of the swing, he does not have to rotate his body nearly as hard in the downswing, thus allowing him to preserve his back so he can play this wonderful game for years to come. 

If you struggle with a poor takeaway, then you need to check out one of our most popular videos called "Move 1 - Takeaway". To better understand shoulder elevation and set yourself up some checkpoints for practice, check out the "Pool noodle shoulder elevation video". These 2 videos will get you well on your way to moving into a perfect and consistent takeaway position every single time you pick up a golf club. 

If you have struggled with getting the golf club stuck or coming too far from the inside, check out a great drill known as "trace the plane line". This drill will show you how to get the club coming down on a perfect plane just like you saw Rickie Fowler do in this video. 

It is important that you understand the cause and effects of swing change, so that you have a clear picture of "how" and "why" you are making the changes and "where" you are going to ultimately end up. 

We are back with this week's tour analysis on Rickie Fowler, who was able to win the 2015 Player's Championship in an awesome, awesome playoff, and one of the richest purses in golf, so $1.8 million awarded to Rickie Fowler for his phenomenal play over the weekend. We're going to be focusing in on a couple of the swing changes that he's been able to make and how it's been able to, with him correcting things early on in the golf swing, it's ultimately allowed him to get into a better spot at the top, which in turn has allowed him to pick up a little bit more speed. Also, he's now protecting his body a little bit more down in the hitting area. Let's go ahead and take a look at this.

                Okay, guys. As I said in the opener, we're going to be focusing in on some of the changes that Rickie Fowler's been able to make over the last couple years. Ultimately it's been able to get him a little bit more distance and also protect his back, because late in the 2013 season I know Rickie was struggling a little bit with some back pain. Hopefully these changes have got him into an area where he's protecting his body. He's obviously swinging much more efficiently here, picking up a good seven yards on average from where he was back in 2013. We're just going to spend some time going through some of these changes, just so you can see how the cause and effect relationship works with some of these moves that he's been able to overcome and make much better.

                Just taking a look here, over on the right hand side of the screen I have the golf swing of old. I've got an elbow plane line drawn. This is where it's up from the golf club up through the base of the elbow. You'll see us use these lines very frequently around the website. You're going to go ahead and see a very big difference here as we start to get into a completed takeaway position here. Okay. Notice how his hands have worked down towards his trail thigh here. All right? You can see how that worked really. He's been noted for dragging his hands to the inside, trying to hold the club out in front of him, where this is one of the newer changes that we see out of his golf swing here, so getting into it. Completed takeaway position here. You can see that his hands are much higher up in relationship to the plane line here. The hands are not working inside towards the thigh. The club head's more in line with the hands here.

                In turn what this little bit of elevation has done for him, it's going to allow him to work his hands and arms more into the vertical plane and get into a little bit more of a vertical position at the top of the swing. I'll get further into that in just a moment. If you've noticed that your hands are getting pulled too inside, you might be lacking a little bit of shoulder elevation. We've got a good video on the website called  The Pool Noodle Shoulder Elevation video. All that is is just a slight upward movement of the arms coupled with some rotation. That in turn will get you into a very textbook looking position here, which will make it much easier for you to get things into a vertical position at the top of the backswing.

                All right. From here, on the right hand side of the screen you're gong to see that hands are inside, and then up into the top of the swing notice how low his lead arm is in relationship to his shoulder line. This is a much flatter position. Then now that he's got a little bit more elevation from the earlier on part of the golf swing, now you can see that his arm, his lead arm, is much higher in relationship to the shoulder line. Now, it might not look like a big, drastic change to you at home, but this is a pretty good sized change for a golf professional. Now, with having the hands and arms into a little bit more of a vertical position up here, this is in turn going to allow him ... he tends to allow the club to get really flat coming down, or used to allow the club to get very flat coming down.

                You're going to see over here, as his hands and arms start to drop, his club comes in very shallow. You can see where his hands are. They're approaching the trail thigh. This is where the club head is. You can see how quite a bit low it is in relationship to the plane now here. Now, with this new move, a little bit more of a vertical position, you can see that this club gets on the plane line very early. Hands are approaching in front of that. Trail thigh stays on the plane line here and delivering the golf club from a much, much better able of attack here, a much better path. This is a great change that he's made in his golf swing. In turn he's been able to pick up more distance with it and also been able to protect his back. It's great news for Rickie and his future within the game of club. He's just going to continue to get better, better, and better.

                All right, guys. Just a couple of things that I want you to take notice of or work on. If you notice, like I said, that your hands are getting a little bit flat and to the inside, you want to work on making sure that you add a little bit of elevation to the mix. If you've had a really difficult time with creating a very consistent takeaway, then one of our best videos on the website is Move One, The Takeaway. We just talk about a slight two inch movement of the shoulder blade in towards your center. That helps create some very consistent movement. You can couple that with the shoulder elevation there, the pool noodle video, and in turn you'll have a very good position to start to work up to the top part of your backswing.

                Then for those of you players that have been noted to get the club a little bit stuck and a little bit flat on the way down, we have anther great video that's called Trace The Plane Line. That's a video that we talk about how to get the club a little bit more out in front of us on the way down and ultimately get into a better angle of attack and a better path. Check those videos out, guys. That's going to be to the right of the video players. There's a tab that says recommended videos. Just click that tab. You'll see those video populate, and you'll be well on your way to making some great golf swings. All right, guys. I wish you all the best. Now let's make it a great day. 

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