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Swing Sequence: Steve Stricker

August 2010
Swing Sequence: Steve Stricker

Quietly getting it done

Most golfers would kill to have Ernie Els' easy rhythm or Phil Mickelson's hand-eye coordination, but you rarely hear anyone say they want to swing like Steve Stricker.

"Ha! I guess not. But they should," says Dennis Tiziani, Stricker's father-in-law and swing coach. "I can't think of a swing of a world-class player that's easier to copy."

The key to Stricker's swing is, it has fewer moving parts: It's a stiff-wristed action controlled by a big body turn. Most better players maximize wrist hinge on the backswing to gain leverage at impact -- like cracking a whip -- but Stricker's wrists are fairly quiet. That's why his swing is shorter, and why he's among the top 30 on tour in hitting fairways.

"When you hinge, you need good timing to hit the ball where you want," Stricker says. "By trying to eliminate wrist cock, my swing's more under control."

If you think J.B. Holmes' and Bubba Watson's swings look violent and powerful, you'd probably say Stricker's is slow and graceful. But he generates power by turning his body and rotating his forearms back and through, compared to the last-second snap of the wrists you see in many top players. Tiziani says Stricker's armsy action is more reliable under pressure.

"I try to make it simple. I take the left arm, rotate it to the top and don't worry about the wrist set," Stricker says. "I try to be as firm with my wrists as I can, and just turn through. I feel like that's a more consistent way."
--Ron Kaspriske
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AGE: 43 | HEIGHT: 6-feet | DRIVER: Titleist 909 D3, 8.5 deg. | BALL: Titleist Pro V1 (2007) | DRIVING DISTANCE (RANK): 278.8 yards (124th) | DRIVING ACCURACY (RANK): 67.7 percent of fairways (26th)

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