Adam Scott is only 30, and with 17 tournament victories worldwide, including seven on the PGA Tour, you could say he's enjoying a successful career. But somehow, his potential doesn't seem realized. Even Scott will say that. As evidenced by his T-2 finish at the Masters, which included a stout 67 in the final round, Scott is a contender for major championships. "I've always measured success by winning tournaments," he says. "And I believe I've got a lot more wins in me." For Scott, chasing those wins doesn't mean a swing overhaul. His adjustments have been simple since parting with Butch Harmon in the fall of 2009 and teaming with new swing coach--and brother-in-law--Brad Malone.
"I'm paying attention to all the little things. My grip. My posture. My alignment. I felt like I was getting loose and sloppy with those things," Scott says. "Posture is the most important one. I have to keep checking that I'm not getting too hunched over with a rounded back.
"When my setup is good, I feel like I'm free to make a good swing."
Marked by a major improvement in accuracy--he has jumped more than 100 spots on tour in both driving accuracy and greens in regulation since 2009--a good swing for Scott now means far less right-to-left curve, Malone says. Scott has gone from being laid-off at the top (the shaft pointing well left of the target) to the club being in a more on-line position. He also isn't as shallow coming down, nor is the clubface as closed--all of which help eliminate hooks.
"We've done a lot to neutralize his clubface and steepen his angle of approach," Malone says. "To the naked eye, his swing might appear to be no different, because of his great rhythm and flow, which has remained unchanged. However, the inner workings of his swing are much improved."
Malone says they've weakened his left-hand grip, which helps keep him from shutting the face. He also doesn't let his hands stray too far from his body going back, with his left arm staying tighter to his chest. This connection lets him keep the club on plane with a simple turn of his torso. One thing Scott has never had a problem with is flexibility: Look at that great coil at the top.
By playing less of a draw, and even fading tee shots when he wants to, Scott has gone from 148th on tour in driving accuracy in 2009, hitting 58.8 percent of fairways, to 33rd at 66.9 percent through early May.
"I've always naturally hit a draw and will continue to do so," Scott says, "but what I don't want is that big hook." --Ron Kaspriske