Swing Sequence: Keegan Bradley
BRING THE THUNDER
Keegan's skiing background definitely helped him progress faster, says Jim McLean, who started working with Bradley in 2009, a season when he played more Hooters Tour events than Nationwide.
"He has this innate sense of how to be alive on his feet," McLean says. "Even when we were incorporating new changes, he never stopped swinging like he was popping out of a starting gate."
As if most mini-tour players aren't already maddened by the notion that a few small adjustments is all that separates them from major stardom, the changes McLean suggested to Keegan weren't drastic. "The main thing was getting his hips to line up underneath his shoulders at the top, or what's called stacking the right side," McLean says. "Keegan's upper body had a tendency to lean away from the target too much as he drew the club back."
Curbing this sway would help with consistency, but McLean didn't want to tamper with his student's aggressive athleticism. "Keegan's head shifts three or four inches to the right in his backswing, but that's OK. If you're really going to hit the ball far, it's a mistake to try to keep your head in one place," McLean says. "What matters is that the body stays coiled.
"Keegan's transition from backswing to downswing is absolutely perfect, the way his legs go forward as the club is still going back. Amateurs usually start the downswing with everything together, or their upper body going first." In the unrestrained transition, the discerning eye can see the boy racing gates, skiing edge to edge.
-- Max Adler