Lesson Tee

Swing Sequences: The Molinari Brothers

Francesco and Edoardo get it done in different ways

July 2011
Swing Sequences: The Molinaris

5-feet-8, 170 pounds
Lives in: London
Driver: Nike VR Pro STR8-FIT
Ball: Nike 20XI-X

5-feet-11, 170 pounds
Lives in: Turin, Italy
Driver: TaylorMade R11
Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP


Francesco and Edoardo Molinari share the same blood, the same athletic DNA and the same passion for the game. What the two brothers from Italy don't share is the same approach to delivering a golf club to a ball. "We're very different," says Francesco, 28, pausing to find a way to explain the difference. "Different backswings, different downswings."

Adds Edoardo, 30: "He's technically very sound, and it's more feel for me."

At this stage in their professional careers—both have won multiple times and broken into the top 25 in the World Golf Ranking (Francesco is currently 15th, and Edoardo 28th)—those differences aren't likely to change much. Their success formulas are proven. Edoardo, the 2005 U.S. Amateur champion, has won two events in Europe. Francesco also has won twice on the European Tour and finished third at the PGA Tour's WGC-Cadillac Championship in March. Both played for the 2010 European Ryder Cup team.

One of the few similarities they have when it comes to the swing is seeing the same coach, Denis Pugh, who has worked with Colin Montgomerie. Also, both are trying to play the same ball flight.

For years, Edoardo hit a draw, which sometimes turned into a hook, so his accuracy would suffer. Now he's going with a more reliable fade, like his brother. Edoardo says for him it's about maintaining the radius of the swing arc.

"Denis has been working with me on staying wide. I also feel like I'm delaying the release of the club a little longer with less hand action. Now I'm hitting many, many more fairways."

Francesco, meanwhile, has relied on a controlled fade for years and is one of the most accurate drivers on the European Tour, hitting more than 70 percent of fairways for the past three seasons. The key to his accuracy, Francesco says, is visualizing a straight shot and then trying to keep everything moving together, especially on the downswing. If he's firm with his wrists at the top, he says, his downswing can be "as hard as I want."

The best part about having a brother out on tour? "I try to take something from his swing, and he tries to take something from me," Edoardo says. "Each one of us knows what to do, but if sometimes I want to know how to play a particular shot, I'll just ask him." -- Ron Kaspriske

Francesco and Edoardo Molinari
Francesco (on left) has a tendency to set his wrists early; we're trying to quiet his takeaway.

Analysis by Denis Pugh, PGA Master professional, The Wisley, Surrey, England.
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