Swing Sequence: Boo Weekley
Boo Weekley's swing is more finely crafted than you think.
June 10, 2008
HITTING IT FLUSH IS MY THING
I've always hit the ball pretty solid, but last year I started pulling it a lot -- with all my clubs, from wedge to driver. It's because my stance was getting more and more open, and I was swinging too much around my body and not down the line. It might be because of this gut I've got these days.I'm basically starting over with my stance, moving my left foot to parallel with the target line. I'm trying to get my head more forward at impact and feel as if my swing slides right down the target line.I don't like going up there to hit it thinking about a lot of different mechanical things. I'll know I've got myself fixed up when I can look at where I want it to go and make solid contact. It ought to be simple. You just have to get out of your own way. →Age: 34 / Height: 6-feet / __Driver:__Cleveland HiBore XL /__Ball:__Titleist pro v1x /2008 Driving Distance (Rank):289.8 yards (T39) / 2008 Total Driving Rank: 4
HOMEMADE HIT MAN
Weekley's swing is more finely crafted than you thinkBy Matthew RudyIf you listen to what Boo Weekley calls the "redneck stuff," you wouldn't believe that the affable PGA Tour player from the Florida Panhandle could make it out of the swamp, much less hit it where he was aiming.Yes, he played in rain pants and sneakers when he first made it on tour, in 2002. And yes, he missed his flight to Hawaii for the Mercedes-Benz Championship in January, when he forgot to take the bullets from his last hunting trip out of his carry-on bag.But don't forget, Weekley qualified for the trip to Maui because he won at Hilton Head last April, shooting four rounds of 69 or better and beating Ernie Els by a shot. And at practice ranges where tour players are jaded by the sound of solidly struck shots, Weekley draws crowds because his sound like they came out of, well, a rifle."He'll tell you he doesn't have a teacher, but he really does," says Golf Digest Teaching Professional and fellow Southerner Hank Johnson. "He's his own teacher. He goes out and gets opinions from people he trusts, then evaluates them himself. He's built that swing the hard way."Weekley has carried two basics with him from high school, where he played on the same Milton, Fla., team as fellow tour pro Heath Slocum. One is to keep his head steady. The other is to make a controlled hip turn. "They rigged up this contraption with poles and a hard hat attached to it that kept you still," says Weekley. "And I hit shots with a rubber ball between my knees to get a better hip turn. I still have those things in my swing."After losing his card in 2002, Weekley honed his swing on the Nationwide Tour and in money games across North Florida. He was ready for his second chance.Weekley earned $2.6 million and finished 11th in total driving last year, but also hit some nasty pulls -- which he's addressing with a stance change (see previous slide). "An open stance certainly invites a shot that starts left," says Johnson, who has golf academies in Birmingham, Ala., and Destin, Fla. "That's OK if you fade the ball. Boo's working on the right things."
Boo's super-strong grip and closed clubface at the top match his alignment, which is right of his target. He avoids hooks by holding off his release with those big forearms.Swing analysis by Hank Johnson, Golf Digest Teaching Professional.
Boo's backswing rotation happens from the waist up. Amateurs tend to move their legs a lot to make a bigger turn. That's like pulling back both the bow and the string when shooting an arrow.Swing analysis by Hank Johnson, Golf Digest Teaching Professional.
GREAT BLEND OF BODY AND ARMS
Compare the space between Weekley's elbows in the address position in the first photo with the space here, at the top of the backswing. That space hasn't increased at all, which means his body turn and arm swing are perfectly matched. Boo's arms are still together, and still in front of his chest. If your arms keep swinging back after your turn stops, then you have to slow your body on the downswing to let your arms catch up to get them back in the right relationship. That can cause inconsistent shots.Swing analysis by Hank Johnson, Golf Digest Teaching Professional.
HEAD BEHIND THE BALL
Boo's head is nice and steady during his backswing, but as he gets to impact, it moves back, pulling his front shoulder behind his front foot. This can cause the club to close too early, producing that miss to the left. He's got a great swing, but it'd be better if his chest were more even with the ball at impact.Swing analysis by Hank Johnson, Golf Digest Teaching Professional.