Bubba Watson gets his next big swing victory at the HSBC world golf championship this past weekend. I'm gonna show you how he uses the wide-narrow-wide swing shape and a ton of lower body stability to build a lot of club head speed. Now let's go and get started.
Okay, so the tour's wild man and always fun to watch Bubba Watson gets his next victory at the next HSBC championship this past weekend. So congratulations to Bubba.
In this week, I want to talk to you about some of the critical areas of his golf swing that help him maintain a lot of width and also build a swing shape that's very calm and amongst all some of the best players in the world. And I also want to kinda get over a little bit of the myth about his lower body and how unstable it is, and actually show you what he does in his golf swing to stabilize and use it for a lot of effective and efficient power. And I'm gonna give you guys a list of checkpoints that are going to help you build a better swing shape that, in turn, is going to help you get over a lot of the mountains that you have been trying to progress through. And a lot of times in amateur golf, we see a different swing shape or we see a narrow-wide-narrow shape. And if we work on trying to establish this wide-narrow-wide, you're going to be able to maintain more lag. You're going to be able to make a lot more speed in the hitting area, where it counts. And then, in turn, you're going to be able to play a lot better golf.
So taking a look at Bubba, I flipped him around this week. We're going to look at him from a right-handed perspective. And this is no knock or no offense to you left-handed players. We just have more right-handed golfers on the website. So we're going to look at the takeaway position here. Bubba has a very textbook-like takeaway where he keeps both arms very very straight into his turn, and he's got a very loaded up right side. So his first move off the golf ball is to make a small shift of the hips, to feel that weight hit that right heel, right ankle. You'll actually hear Bubba talk quite a bit about that, making sure that he keeps his weight locked underneath the ankle area and making sure that he can feel the weight shift and push down into those heel areas, so he can stabilize his hips. So he's done that very well at this point. He's established a lot of width.
And for those golfers that have struggled for this particular area of the golf swing, you always want to make sure that we keep that right arm very straight into your turn. If you see your right arm breaking, chances are your lead side or your left arm is starting to push across your center, and when you push, the right arm will eventually break. Then in turn, you now narrow the arc, and then you're gonna run into that risk of throwing the club from the top part of the golf swing down or get the hands and arms into a deeper position.
Now from here, he actually maintains a ton of width. You're gonna see, he still continues to rotate, and his hands are right at about sternum height here. And he's kept both arms very very straight at this particular point. So if you've noticed in your golf swing, when you're doing some self analysis, that you see your right arm breaking or you see that you've shut down rotation at the top of your swing, we have a fantastic video on the website called the "keep the right arm straight to turn" video. That's the video that Chuck did that shows, number one, not only to establish a lot of width in your golf swing, but also make sure that you're using the right arm to focus back on making a big rotation or a big wide turn with the shoulders. Those two areas are going to be critical for us to have this wide-narrow-wide swing shape. So definitely check that video out. I'm going to attach that video here into the recommended videos to the right of the video player. And one of those will help you overcome two really big parts of the golf swing if you've been struggling with collapsing the right arm and then not rotating.
So as we start to work further into this golf swing, you're gonna notice, he gets the hands at about shoulder height. You're gonna see his right arm start to flex. And you're gonna see that he gets fully loaded up. You're gonna see his lead knee here, actually starting to kiss over into the trail knee. Okay, you can see how that lead knee's kissed over in there. Big wide turn, probably about 95, almost 100 degrees, of shoulder turn. But notice how he's kept his lead arm very very straight and only has roughly about 90 degrees or so of trail arm flexion. If you've noticed in your golf swing that your lead arm is starting to break at all, that's generally a sign that you've got too much right arm flexion or too much trail side flexion. So if you've seen that your left arm is starting to break, then check to make sure that you don't have too much flexion in there and that will help you maintain a lot of that straightness in that lead arm because that's absolutely pivotal for consistency sake.
So at this particular junction of the golf swing, this is where he does a lot of great things to motor his golf swing with the lower part of the body. Now a lot of misconceptions out there is that when we get to this top part of the golf swing, we want to start to pull our arms down really really quickly. And that's just not correct. We want to get things moving with the lower half. And if we sequence up our downswing by trying to work on getting the lower half to shift first, then the hands and arms will start to move into a good area to where you can start to release it and start to widen that arc back up and get a lot of max speed and impact.
So what I want you to take notice of here is he's externally rotating his lead hip quite a bit. He's getting his hips to unwind and he's also moved his lead knee back into a neutral position here. So he's got that left knee stacked right over top of the left ankle. And you're gonna see that the hands and arms look like they're moving quite a bit, but they're not because he's actually allowing gravity to pull them down and he's still maintaining that width, or that narrow width, by keeping that right arm flexed. So you can see, right at this particular point. So he's actually got his belt unwound here. He's almost back to a square position with the hips.
Now look at this lead side foot here, how stable it is on the ground. It's not rolled to the outer portion of the foot. He's very very stable at this junction of the golf swing. And what you'll notice here is that now that he's gotten fully seated over there, he's gonna start to push that left heel into the ground and he's gonna start to pull that left hip away from the target. Just as outlined in the "Straight left legged impact video". That's another good video for you guys to check out if you're wanting to really kind of learn how the lower body works in the downswing sequence or what you're supposed to be doing with that lead side.
So you start to push that left heel into the ground, you'll see that belt start to come back up. And as the belt starts to come back up, the hands are going down. So it's almost like a lever here. And as you see the hands are starting to approach in front of the right thigh, you can see that the hands are about pocket height at this particular point. That left leg is nearing a straighter position.
So let me show you from the next few angles here. We're gonna get the hands back down to about pocket height. This is right at the junction where he's gonna start to push that left heel into the ground. He's got kind of a signature move. You watch his golf swing, you know it all from face center down the line. You'll see him slam his left heel into the ground to start his downswing transition. We have a good video on the website on how the lower body works. We talk about the stomp drill, and we actually have you pick the left foot up and slam it down on the ground to make sure that the weight's fully over there and then also that you have the correct muscles activated to help stabilize.
So again, if you watch his hips at this particular junction of the golf swing, they're not gonna do very much at all 'cause he's controlled them by getting the glute muscles to activate. And then also notice that he's still got about 90 degrees of flexion in his right arm because he's allowed gravity in the rotation to pull him down into this partcular area of the swing. And then from this point, you're gonna see him stall the hips, and then release the angles and then go back to that wide swing shape, and maximize speed right at impact. It is awesome awesome stuff. Very textbook as far as wide-narrow-wide swing shape is concerned.
All right, so if you're looking to build a better swing shape that's going to be more effective and efficient, obviously check out the wide-narrow-wide video. That's a great video. Also, if you've had trouble with closing up your width and not rotating properly, then check out the "Keep the right arm straight to turn" video. And then also, work on not doing much with your hands and your arms in your downswing sequence. Let the lower body really drive the move. Give fully seated left, use those left glutes to help stabilize. Stall the hips and then go ahead and release that thing for max speed.
-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