Hey, guys. This is RST instructor, Chris Tyler, and it is my great pleasure to bring you this week's Tour analysis. Because we have 51-year-old Davis Love III getting himself back in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour and really showing those young bucks out there that he's still it. So, congratulations to Davis.
We're going to be focusing in on how Davis still maintains a lot of his clubhead speed as he starts to get older. He's always been known as one of the longer players out there, even back in the 80's when he turned professional. And I'm going to show you guys one of the key ingredients. So, if you've been struggling with losing distance as you start to get older or if you're just looking for a solution to get more speed, then you want to pay close attention to what Davis does here. So, let's go ahead and get started.
All right, guys, so we saw the 51-year-old Davis Love III show those boys that he still has it out there on the PGA Tour this past weekend. So, congrats to Davis. He is a phenomenal swinger of the golf club, and it's always been really noted on how much speed he makes in his golf swing. And if you look at some of the videos back from the early 80's when he was turning professional into the 90's, a lot of his peers and a lot of the guys like Mark O'Meara and Greg Norman talk about exactly that: how insanely long he was.
And it's really attributed to one big factor in Davis' golf swing. Now, Davis is a tall guy. He's six-three. And he has the ability to make a ton of width, and he's able to turn that width into leverage in the downswing. And then that leverage is then turned into club head speed. And that's why he's averaging almost 300 yards in the PGA Tour and is 55th. That's awesome. So, he's 55th on the list. So, that's pounding it. So, if you've been looking for a way to get more speed in your swing, then we need to talk about getting you some more width early on.
So, let's look at Davis Love III here from a face-on perspective. All right, this is where our focus is going to be from a face-on at first, so you're going to see him load up into the right side. And here we are, this is the position of club at the completed part of the takeaway where we've got about 45 degrees of rotation from shoulders. Notice that both arms are very straight here. A lot of you this may sound a bit redundant to, but this is extremely important, all right? This is extremely important in the golf swing, because this helps us establish width and rotation early so we can, in turn, turn it into leverage.
So, if you've noticed that your arms are starting to collapse very early, what that can do is actually can shut your body down and not allow it to rotate fully. It can load up shoulder girdles and it can load up your arms very quickly. And, in turn, guess what? Your arc is going to be very narrow, and it's going to make you want to throw or use your arms and shoulders too much from the top of the swing down. Which, in turn, is going to cause you to throw the club, and you're not going to have lag that you're going to need for speed.
So, extremely important to get the golf swing started off on the right foot by staying as wide as possible. So, shift your weight into your trail side and get as wide as possible.
All right so now from here, we're going to focus on a down the line perspective. We're going to get up to the top of the swing. And I want to point out one area of Davis' golf swing that I'm sure a lot of you will comment on. But if you watch his right knee, he's got a lot of external rotation of his right knee here. Now, this has been one of his signature style moves that he's used for quite some time. And I think this has to do with a lot of the way he was brought up playing the game. And I'll get into that a little bit further here in just a minute. But what this external rotation of the knee does -- okay, you can see how the knee externally rotated -- it allows him to continue to have mobility in his hips. Which, in turn, has now allowed him to get a good full turn of his body.
Okay, so, it's okay for the hips to rotate. We want the hips to rotate, and we certainly want to create separation between the shoulder line and the hip line. The most important part is that your hips do not become unstable when they're rotating. That's the big difference, okay, is that they can rotate, just not unstable. And what I mean there is if you look at your golf swing on camera and you notice that your right hip is way up and your left hip is way down where there's a good tilt to your pelvis, then chances are your hips have become really unstable. So, you want to work on making sure that you're loading your trail side properly. Okay, so, we're going to get wide. We're going to load our trail side up, and then it's our job to do very little with the hands and the arms on the way down.
All right, so let's go ahead and clear out some of these lines here so we can see. So, we're going to clear these lines out, and then we're going to start to work and shift our body into our lead side here. I'm going to leave the width circle here.
Okay, so, you're going to see Davis start to really unwind and shift. He doesn't really shift as much as a lot of golfers nowadays, where we'd see him make a big old shift over the lead side. And this has a lot to do with the balance in his golf swing. That was what I was kind of talking about. The way he was brought up to learn how to play the game is that his dad said, "Get out there and hit it as hard as you want, Davis. But just stay in balance." So, a lot of times you'll see people that have these little nuances in their golf swing. Not bad things, just not something from an instructional standpoint that we would teach.
Here we go getting down into the impact area. You're going to see this arc has now narrowed quite a bit, so you can see how his hands have now worked down in front of his body. Now, this is where a lot of amateur golfers really start to screw things up. I'm saying that in a nice way. But the movement from the hands and the arms here, all this movement that I'm showing you, is being facilitated by rotation and shift of the body. So, all that downward movement of the arms here is being facilitated by the shift and the rotation of the body. This is where amateur golfers tend to do too much with their arms on the way down, and, in turn, you start to throw the club out away from you. And you're going to lose lag, and you're going to get yourself into a much more scoopy-like position in the hitting area. And then after impact, you'll see that your arc starts to narrow, and you can run the risk of having that dreaded chicken wing look.
All right, so, from a down the line perspective, I wanted to show you guys a couple of big points here. So, you can see, I'm going to get him into about the same spot here from a down the line perspective as I have him on face-on.
This is pretty much where he's about three feet prior to the golf ball. Let me get one more frame. So, this club head is about three feet prior to the golf ball. Let me get this one over here, as well. So, very similar positions here. Now, what I want you to pay very close attention to is watch this right foot and watch this logo on his pants here when he starts to release the club. So, we're about, you know, three feet prior to the golf ball. Let me go ahead and focus down the line. Now, watch right here. So, the club is releasing. Now, watch the right foot, and watch the logo on his pants. Keep watching the club here. It's going to continue to move. It's continuing to move. It's crazy how still he can keep his body while he releases the club, so he's going to get a ton of extension through the hitting area. And that is the big time release. That's a great club release. That's a great way to get speed in it.
So, my point here is that in order for you to be able to get a lot of speed, you've got to be able to have a lot of width early on. And then in your downward move, you need to do very little with your arms until they get down to the release point. Once you get down to the release point, then just go ahead and let it go. And that is a big, big difficult thing for a lot of amateur golfers or a lot of new students to the game even. It's because releasing the club feels like you're going to lose control. And that's one of the things that you're just going to have to start to train yourself, and it's really important to do if from a very controlled environment.
Down in the hitting area, working from hip-high to hip-high, working on a drill like the nine to three drill, then working on five minutes to a perfect release. Then, when you start to work back up into full swing speed, you want to go into a lose the right hand drill. That's going to teach you how to not try to push the club through the right hand. And, in turn, you're going to be able to start to get a lot more full extension and a lot more club head speed.
All right, guys, so that's our game plan. To work on getting width early on in the golf swing. If you've been struggling with width, you want to definitely check out Five Minutes to a Perfect Backswing. This will help you get into a really sound position at the top. There's also checkpoints for Five Minutes to a Perfect Backswing. There's also some elevation videos. All these videos that I'm going to be talking about will be over here to the right hand side of the video player under the Recommended Videos tab. So, I'll put out a little game plan of videos for you guys to watch if you've been struggling with getting some width.
Also, make sure that you take a look at the release videos. Take a look at the Lose the Right Hand video. That's a great video to start to teach you how to release the club, let go, and you'll be well on your way to getting a lot of extension here like Davis.
So, game plan, guys. Get width early on. Make sure you have a good wide takeaway, a good load in the right side. Make sure that your hips are stable at the top of your swing so you don't see them on this tilted angle, okay? You can allow them to rotate, just don't allow them to become unstable. And then try to do very little with your arms on the way down until you get to the release point, and you'll be bashing it just like Davis for a long, long time.
All right, guys. So, I wish you guys the best. Now, get out there and play some great golf.
-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee
-Hub Orr - Happy PREMIUM MEMBER of RotarySwing.com
-Sam Jarman, PGA Golf Instructor in the UK