Common questions I get is, "Who's a good role model for rotary swing on the tour?" Of course, as I've explained many times, almost every single tour player uses the rotary swing tour fundamentals. That's what makes them tour players. They all use the same core golf swing fundamentals and you're going to see the things that we call fundamentals and the things that we call variables in a swing in every tour player swing.
In this case, with Billy Horschel and his swing, he does just about everything spot on. Here's a couple little things I'm going to point out. We're going to focus primarily on the backswing, a couple of things I'm going to point out in the downswing that he does that are not necessarily exactly ideal but he's such a great player, such a great ball striker and has so many good fundamentals in a swing. He's a great example to look at.
First, we're just going to run through set-up real quick. Obviously, most tour pros get this one right and this is one of the most overlooked things that every single amateur gets wrong, that they don't seem to realize how much of an impact set-up has on your golf swing but in the case of Billy's set-up, just about everything here is spot on. All the things that I've talked about millions of millions of times in all the videos, draw a straight line down from his chin, whereas his right hand line literally right on his chin line. He tends to be a little bit more forward on the balls of his feet as do quite a few tour pros like Adam Scott as a good example, but as you'll notice, as they come back down in the impact, they won't be over the balls of their feet.
In his case, he's pretty much stacked over here, just about perfect. A little bit more forward, but again, because he moves really well, he gets back over that ankle when it really matters when you're putting a lot of stress on that knee.
The back, this is one of the things where I see so many average golfers, amateur golfers really get this wrong. They have a lot of curvature on their lower spine and then they make up for it by rounding their upper spine, and so you get into this really awful position that makes it virtually possible for you to make a full rotation.
As far as his golf setup goes, just about everything here is on the money and this is a great example for you to look at. Billy's set-up is really, really good.
Now, let's start looking at the things that most golfers look at and instructors look at, sort of looking at the golf swing plane and especially as it applies to the takeaway, what you'll notice is that as he takes the club back, everything here is all systems go. We're going to start walking back here, club goes right back on plane and then a little bit above, he has a little bit of early wrist set and you can see that here. When the club gets in line, with his hands, it gets a little bit above. It's just a little bit of early wrist set that causes this. Again, not a huge deal. Everything else is looking great here. The club's going right back through his ... above the plane line, right through his hands. So many amateur golfers start ripping the club back inside and it's just taking that right wrist and flexing it back this way, bending it back on itself as if you're twisting a motorcycle throttle. As soon as you do that, you shut the face and roll it to the inside and that's a death move.
The great thing you can see in Billy's right wrist here is that it's pretty nice and flat still and that's because he just simply hasn't done anything with it. Note how straight his right arm is here. It's not rigid and locked out but it's straight like we talk about all the time, and he's made a nice turn and hadn't smashed that left arm across his chest. You can still see there's space here versus so many golfers take that left arm and they just start pushing it across the chest. It forces the right arm to bend and then you see the left arm smashed up against the chest.
Everything here, spot on. He's starting to pull that right shoulder blade back, making a nice turn. His shoulders are turning perpendicular to his spine. Right knee flex, another big one that so many golfers goof up. He's maintaining that knee flex as he goes back. Now, as we keep walking it further back, everything here halfway back is great. Hands are right just behind the chest, right in front of the center of the chest, they will start to work behind a little bit here. That's what they need to do. He's maintaining that knee flex. Club's still on plane. Everything looking good and he's making a big turn here. You can still see his chest.
In so many other golfers, when they start swinging that left arm across the body, that their hands end up way over here and then, we're in big, big trouble trying to get back down from there. Keep walking all the way back. Everything here is absolutely spot on.
If you look at the "5 Minutes to the Perfect Backswing" video, one of the things that I do is I draw a line on the base of the right elbow and say, "It should be right about the base of the pec is a good average, for most golfers." You can see that his elevation is right on the money here. This is just about exactly where Tiger Woods or Trevor Immelman would be and everything here is spot on. Perfect rotary swing tour. All the drills you see me demonstrate in that "5 Minutes to the Perfect Backswing" video, he's demonstrating here perfectly. The angle of the wrist, angle of the club, club face, arms, it's all spot on and yes, he's still maintaining the knee flex. Everything here is perfect.
One other little thing I want to draw your attention to for those of you who have a tendency to over rotate your hips and get too active with your lower body, I can see a big space between your knees here and here, you can't. That's just because he hasn't over rotated his hips, of course. By maintaining that knee flex, it causes a restriction that makes it very difficult for you to over rotate your hips and get into that issue where you start having to spin your hips on the way down.
This is, again, everything here, spot on. Perfect RST fundamentals, keep walking him back. Now, one thing you'll notice as he gets a little bit long and across the line here at the top, there's just a little bit of extra wrist cock. He's just loading up here, right? He's got the big dog in his hands, he's having a little bit of extra wrist set in there, going to lead to some extra power if he can control it, which of course, he can. He gets a little bit long but you'll notice right away, he gets right back into the perfect RST fundamental position right there during the transition. That's as good as it gets folks.
Elbow's right back where it's supposed to be, club face and wrist angle and arm, all perfectly square. He's working on getting his weight back to his left. Everything here is on the money and as he keeps coming down, this is where he starts to deviate a little bit. Again, he's doing it just to add power.
My foot does the same thing when I'm really going after a drive. I don't really like that I do it because it does cause me to lose a little bit of control. But when I'm really going after a big hit, my hips will start to spin a little bit faster and that speeds everything up. As long as everything's synced up, I know where it's going, but when I get a little off, I do know where it's going. It's going right.
In this case, he's getting a little bit aggressive, getting the heel up in the air early. Again, most tour players, when they're going after it with a driver, you'll see this. You won't see that with the irons. That heel will stay down, but this is a power move when you're trying to speed everything up. His hips are going to get very, very open and amazingly, as such great flexibility and separation in fundamentals, that he's still able to keep his shoulders shut this late in the downswing where most amateurs are already wide open at this point, especially if they have this much hip rotation. But he does a great job maintaining everything and getting the club back down in front of his body, using his arms, the left arm pulling, the right arm throwing to get that club back out in front of the chest.
You can also note one other thing that I mentioned earlier, note how far his left hip is back behind his ankles. If we went back to the beginning, real quick here, you'll note that his left hip has actually moved further back this way, away from the target during the downswing and this is what I mentioned. Yes, he starts out a little bit more in the balls of his feet, but then he works very hard to get his hips back. Now, you can tell his weight has clearly moved back to the left over his ankle. He's definitely not on the ball of his foot here.
Again, a little bit of a change at set-up to be a little bit more on the balls of his feet, but like Adam Scott, he goes right back to his ankle at impact from the stress is the highest and one that really matters. As far as impact goes, everything's perfect. Straight right arm releasing the heck out of that club face. You can see his left knuckles have already rolled under. Talk about that and some of the impact and release videos of rolling those knuckles under to square up and release the club face. That's why the right arm is so extended and straightened out here. He's releasing the heck out of that club face and that's the best feeling in golf is when you can rotate and release that club as hard as you want and you never have to worry about the ball going way left on you.
As far as Billy Horschel's swing, it's a great one to copy. He's definitely going after this when you can see his left foot rolled over there. He went after it, but he has so many great fundamentals in his golf swing, so if you're looking for somebody to copy and to base your swing off, to learn RST, Billy Horschel's a great example.
-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