Swing Sequence: Padraig Harrington

September 2008

• View 2008 U.S. Open Champion Padraig Harrington's rebuilt swing in full-motion.
• View his swing in motion (Nov. 2003): Face-on | Upline

Padraig Harrington

AGE: 37
HEIGHT: 6-feet-1
DRIVER: Wilson Staff Dd6+, 9 degrees
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x
DRIVING DISTANCE (rank): 294.2 Yards (33rd)
BIRDIES PER ROUND (rank): 3.97 (tied first)

My swing keys have long been the same: rotation and connection. Those are my basics, the places I look if my body and arms are out of sync, especially on the downswing.

One major focus on my backswing is my right knee. I want to maintain its position from address to the top of the swing. Then, my downswing thought is a feeling of rotation in my hips rather than any lateral slide.

When I'm swinging well, my bad shot is a slight push. That can lead to a hook if I get afraid of the ball going right. But I actually play my best when I fear the left side.

But guarding against going left can cause problems. Take the 72nd hole when I won the British Open at Carnoustie. In a slight left-to-right wind, I aimed down the middle. But then I chickened out and let the ball go on the wind -- and into the burn. Maybe I was overconfident in my ability to hold it in the breeze. I certainly felt no fear until my downswing. I think I'd have hit a better drive if I hadn't been as confident.

Subscribe to Golf Digest
Subscribe to Golf Digest
Subscribe today