It may come as a surprise, but Sergio Garcia's swing actually very much lines up with the Rotary Swing fundamentals. I'll show you in this video how Sergio follows the most important "job description" of your golf swing with a concept I use in my clinics to help boil down the golf swing to it's most important parts.
When it comes to creating, maintaining and releasing lag, Sergio is the master. As you'll see, this is the most important part of the golf swing because lag is where 2/3's of your clubhead speed comes from. However, most amateurs don't seem to understand its importance because they throw away all their lag right from the start of the downswing. Your primary focus should be on creating lag at the right point in the golf swing and Garcia does this primarily during the transition - when it should happen. If you've watched my video on the Downcock Drill, it teaches you this exact move. This move allows you to maintain lag later in the downswing when it's needed most.
From here, all you have to do is release the golf club which is covered in numerous videos on the site. One of my favorite concepts to understand how to properly release the club is the concept of throwing the clubhead at the ball and again, Sergio demonstrates this perfectly with his head moving back behind the ball for a more powerful release.
All in all, there is a TON of great RST principles you're going to learn from Sergio in this video, so enjoy and let the learning begin!
[00:00:00] Hey guys how is everyone? This is pretty cool. [3.4]
[00:00:04] Sergio Garcia's first ever major win. This is huge news for him in 73 attempts I believe it was. He finally pulled it off and won the 2017 Masters. [8.4]
[00:00:12] And so I'm pretty excited to go through his golf swing in this analysis and talk to you guys about one of the things I get asked all the time and that is what pros on tour most resemble the RotarySwing. And my answer was always the same. They all do to some degree or another they have to use the Rotary Golf Swing fundamentals. Where people tend to kind of get hung up on details is what the swing looks like in terms of the backswing. And even in the downswing a little bit but that stuff's happening so quick that to the naked eye unless you're studying it with slow motion video you can't really tell. But the backswing is happening slow enough and people kind of take a look at the backswing and say oh well that's a rotary swing or that isn't and really it's not really the most important part of the golf swing. I want to talk about what that means and what it is that you need look at and to approach swings that you can take out of it are following RST fundamentals because the simple reality is the RotarySwing golf fundamentals are based on science. They're based on your anatomy and based on mechanics and based on the physics of the swing. And so my answer is all tour pros use the RST fundamentals or they wouldn't be tour pros. That's what the difference is, the fundamentals apply to everyone because by definition they are fundamentals. [1:13.0]
[00:01:25] We don't deal in the grey area in little goofy tricks here and there to try and just bandaid fix ball flight issues. We talk about what the real fundamentals are and what Sergio believe it or not he is still following the RotarySwing golf fundamentals. Now there's a lot of things that he's making more difficult for himself that are difficult moves that can lead to all kinds of issues which I'm going to talk about first here and the first one I want to talk about is his axis tilt. [24.9]
[00:01:51] Now you hear me harp about axis tilt all the time and even though he roughly has some here it's not the amount we would advocate here even with an iron you can see I have more axis tilt than Sergio does with the driver. Now he's got a little bit of forward shaft lean with the driver here and so it looks kind of like he's kind of loaded up a little bit more to the left whereas I look a little bit more loaded up on the right. These are small amounts of difference but they start to add up really big in the backswing. And so this would be something where I would say this isn't necessarily ideal and it's going to lead to several other thing that I might talk about in just a minute but let's get moving here first. [43.1]
[00:02:34] Let's draw a line on the side of both of our heads here. And let's take a look at what happens as we go back during the backswing. One thing you'll notice is that he kind of tilts his head even though he's kind of started the reverse pivot here a little bit. [15.4]
[00:02:50] His head still moving away from the target. Now most amateurs at this point the huge problem that we see all the time is the reverse pivot where their head is actually moving in front of the line where it started and it gets worse and worse as they start down. Sergio's head even though it started a little bit forward almost right on the edge of the back the ball which is a bit forward for a driver to create a positive or shallow angle of attack which he does not have. But we're talking about that again in a second. Sergio's head actually moves away from the ball a little bit though he's starting to recover and get into a little bit of a better position but he's not quite there yet. And then I'm going to draw you another line here which represents a line here almost starting to kind of lean toward the target and looks like it's more so than it is because he's made a huge shoulder turn. So you see a lot of shoulder behind his head which makes him look like he's leaning really hard toward the target which again is a really big problem for golfers where we get this reverse pivot versus if we take my swing to the top you know as my head has also moved slightly off the ball not quite as much because I already started out in a better position but at the top of my swing it looks like I'm more decidedly leaned away from the target versus Sergio. [1:18.3]
[00:04:08] You'll notice his right knee is starting to kind of bow out he's pushing it into the outside of his right foot starting to roll over here a little bit of a minor hip slide that's caused his upper body to look like it's leaning toward the target. And this is definitely not a RotarySwing fundamental. Why is it so important. Well because your spine angle is going to dictate swing plane. But now we both know that Sergio doesn't swing over the up coming down like so many amateurs do and would from this position. So how on earth does he keep from swinging over the top with this really steep swing spine learning toward the target versus having a little bit more shallower spine where the spine is leaned away from the target which makes it much much easier for me to come down from the inside and on plane. And this is how we want to look at the top of rotary swing because it makes things so much simpler to shallow the swing plane. [1:00.2]
[00:05:10] This is where things are going to separate the pros from everybody else and that is. Notice how his head actually starts to move back away from the line where he was at the top. Also he's nowhere near where he started at the top of his setup and now he's even moving further away as he starts down. [21.0]
[00:05:31] Most amateur golfers do the exact opposite in that as they push from the right side of their body their right arm their right shoulder and they start moving further in front of the golf ball or front of the line where they started that address. [13.7]
[00:05:45] All tour pros will have to get back behind the ball at impact or they won't have any power because when you go to release the golf club that's where your release comes from. If you release and your body's out in front of it the release happens what we call late. And so you lose a ton of club head speed. So your head has got to be behind that ball at impact in the golf swing. And Sergio just happens to do it at a really different time. [23.7]
[00:06:09] This is a really tricky move that you're not going to try and teach a bunch amateur golfers and there's no need to because it's much more efficient to do it the way that I'm showing you here which is to start with some axis tilt at address, move back behind a little bit. Most tour pros will do this with their head start to move a just hair in front of it at impact as they start down that then as you get back an impact is right back where it started rather than having my head move six inches all over the place back and forth which was pretty tricky to try and if somebody had to do that and had to time all of that and is an unnecessary wasted movement I simply kind of start in a better golf setup position. [36.8]
[00:06:46] Move back a little bit move forward a little bit and then everything's much much simpler in your golf swing. And that's really the goal of rotary golf swing is to make the movements as simple and minimal as humanly possible and that's exactly what we're doing here. [13.1]
[00:07:00] Now Sergio Garcia makes a great recovery from basically a reverse pivot. It's not a severe reverse pivot like we see all the time in amateur golfers but effectively his spine is leaning roughly a little bit towards the target. Definitely too much for a driver. And so what this tends to lead to is a really steep angle of attack and that is Sergio's kind of misery he has to deal with here even though he's a great ball striker and a great driver of the ball. [28.0]
[00:07:28] He's also one of the most inefficient drivers of the ball on the PGA Tour. And how do we know this. [5.5]
[00:07:34] Well we look at the Trackman stats. If you look at his Trackman stats he was ranked 180 out of 185 last year in launch angle off the tee and this is especially critical for amateur golfers who don't have a 120 plus mile per hour clubhead speed like Sergio does is critical for optimizing distance. Most every single amateur on the planet needs more distance off the tee and you can't get it with a driver hitting down on it sharply with the driver because the ball simply doesn't have enough time in the air to carry very far. So Sergio can afford to hit it low. I think he averages a 7.76 degree launch angle last year in 2016. Now this year for 2017 he's moved up the rankings from 188 to 138 and is launching an average of 10.5* so even he has changed his launch angle three degrees this year which is a huge huge change which gives him a much higher ball flight which is critical and could even be possibly an influential factor in his win this year at the Masters. But part of the reason he was able to win the Masters this year is because at Augusta the landing areas are so small four shots into the greens that you needed the ball very high so that it can start very quickly especially with the longer clubs when you're launching it at seven and a half seven and three quarters agrees with the driver. You know it's going to roll a little bit. [1:25.9]
[00:09:00] Augusta is not that difficult off the tee but when you're hitting a three iron into a green and you're hitting down on it that sharply the ball simply is going to have a really hard time holding because it's just flying too low. So this part of the swing is absolutely critical and again it comes back to axis tilt. Ideally for an amateur we want to have axis tilt at setup where you are leaned away from the target slightly and then as you get into impact you're leaned further away. Now I have more axis tilt than I had at address the first yellow line here is where I was at address. Now this is where I am at impact because my hips move further forward at impact which causes my spine to lean back further and allows me to create a shallow angle of attack which is critical for distance off the tee. [47.6]
[00:09:48] So Sergio starts with his head and way far forward. [5.5]
[00:09:55] Moves back a little bit and by the time he gets back to impact he is way back behind the ball. Now you can imagine that as you're trying to learn the golf swing and try to become a better ball striker that your head moving in these three different stages is probably not going to be the easiest thing in the world for you to learn. And again completely unnecessary to change all these angles. Notice our spine angle is in a completely different position. These are very dynamic things that he's achieving in his golf swing that are completely extraneous movements that you don't need to bother with. So axis tilt at setup is huge. [32.7]
[00:10:28] Now one thing that Sergio does extremely well is that. He has a ton of lag in his downswing. For those who don't understand this lag is a confusing term for a lot of people and it's a bit misleading in some ways. But basically if you look at the angle between the forearm and the shaft how far the clubhead is lagging behind the hands is a simple way to define it and understand it. But the reason that this is important is because about two thirds of your clubhead speed comes from the release of this wrist angle. Without this wrist angle which most amateurs don't look anything like this they look more like this. At this stage the club way out over here and they start throwing lag away because this is about two thirds of your club it's just the release of this wrist angle. [49.1]
[00:11:17] I always tell people in the clinics that your job your thesis statement your job description for your golf swing if you've never thought about it this way it's three things. You have three primary tasks you have to create maintain and release lag. Now most people try to create lag by setting a risk really early in the backswing. Sergio is a great example of an exaggerated move with the wrists he what we talk about we don't want to set our wrist very aggressively during the backswing because it really activates the forarm muscles extensor muscles in the forearm which makes them want to release too early in the downswing. So a rotaryswing fundamental on the backswing is to set your wrists very late and really set the most during the downswing. Sergio Garcia personifies that to the nth degree and then exaggerates it quite a bit. He really doesn't have much wrist set at all here. But now as he starts down starts to pull down with that left arm and his right wrist is relaxed that allows this wrist angle to be created that it's now doing the second part of his job description allowing him to maintain lag late into the downswing and that is the key. It doesn't do you any good to have a lot of lag at the top of your backswing unless you can maintain it late in the downswing. So we need to move forward. Notice right before impact Sergio still has almost a 90 degree angle between his right forearm and the club shaft and the club and now at this point needs to be releasing because that lag doesn't do us any good unless we get rid of it. [1:30.9]
[00:12:49] And so Sergio's creating lag and maintaining it by setting his wrists during the downswing by having soft wrists and using the pulling motion of the left arm rather than the pushing from the right wrist which causes you to do the exact opposite and cast the golf club. That causes you to release lag which is the opposite of your job description your job is to create maintain and release lag not to create lag really early and then throw it away right from the top of the backswing. So we want to create maintain late in the downswing and now we need to get rid of it. That doesn't do us any good to hold onto it any longer. Sergio does a great job like every other tour pro although they are the fundamentals of what in those wrist turnover. How do we know that. Well into the release point. Notice how I can see the knuckles on his hand here right hands completely crossed over the left. His head is stayed way back behind the ball in fact it's moved back even further. Put yet another line on here. [55.3]
[00:13:45] Then it was at him that his head has moved back almost a foot from where it was and this allows him to stay behind the ball release the clubhead fully. [13.3]
[00:13:59] Most amateurs do the exact opposite of almost all of this. [3.6]
[00:14:02] They set their wrist very early in the backswing they throw it from the top. They reverse pivot and then they push from the right side of their body that causes them to throw the club because you're creating too much force too early. That backs in the downswing you can't maintain that lag so you're losing the purpose of your job which is again to create maintain and really lack. Now all of this movement is pretty tricky to try master again. We can make it much much simpler if we just focus on doing the arist the fundamentals which are covered in the Web site right. So my swing doesn't have all these extra movements and I don't have a hundred crazy lag because you don't need that much lag because typically the byproduct of having that much lag in the swing and that it's difficult to get rid of in time. And so if my head wasn't way back here I'd have a really hard time getting rid of all of that lag because I don't want my head trying to move all over the place in the backswing and the downswing. I don't try and maintain that much leg I can have a moderate amount of lag and so have the same effect the same amount of power. But without having to try and have my head move all over the place so Sergio swing he has all kind of great honesty fundamentals in it. [1:10.7]
[00:15:14] He releases the club will notice go back a couple of frames here see my forearms are fully crossed over here. [9.9]
[00:15:25] Because again my job is it my job description states that I need to release that lag which means my form must cross over blurry there but you can see the same themes in the knuckles on my hand here. All of that my hands are released my head has stayed back my chest has stayed back. And again most amateurs do the opposite. So now I'm going to walk you through this stuff a little bit more in detail showing you exactly what Sergio is doing and what typical amateurs do and how to fix it. [29.2]