Full name: James Michael FurykBirthdate: May 12, 1970Birthplace: West Chester, PAHeight, weight: 6-foot-2, 185Turned professional: 1992Jim Furyk could have done almost anything on his 12th birthday, but he had only one thing on his mind."When he was 8 or 9, I told him he was too young to play golf," says Jim's father, Mike, a former club pro in Pennsylvania. "I told him he would have to wait until he was 12. Well, he did. He reminded me as soon as he woke up on his 12th birthday. So I let him go play."It was probably the best birthday present Jim ever got. Despite having one of the most unorthodox swings in professional golf, he has won six tournaments and earned more than $10 million since joining the PGA Tour in 1994. And he has done it by refining the same swing he built years ago.There have been more than a few occasions when friends, coaches and instructors have tried to remove the out-up-in "loop" from Jim Furyk's swing. But Jim would have nothing to do with it. Neither would his father."One college coach was trying to recruit him and took my wife and me out to dinner," Mike recalls. "After a drink or two, the coach says, 'I can't wait to get Jim down to our school to change that swing.' I said, 'Coach, he will never go to your school.' "Mike Furyk remains the only coach Jim has ever had. In this article, he tells you how his son's swing works and why it works so well.
Same Swing, Less Loop
By Mike FurykMy son Jim has an underturn/overturn swing. That means his hips underturn in the backswing and overturn during the follow-through, which causes a left-to-right ball flight. His hands are so close to his body at address, the club has nowhere to go but up in the backswing. That causes his "loop," since he has to drop the club on plane during the downswing and turn his hips quickly in the follow-through to get the club past his body.The difference between Jim's swing from five years ago and his current swing is significant. Near the top, his hands used to come over his head, the club pointed right of the target. Since then, Jim's swing has matured. Now his hands come behind his head, and the club points at the target. This simple cut swing may not be the best for distance, but he has ranked no worse than 20th in driving accuracy on tour since 1996. And playing from the middle of the fairway has helped Jim finish among the top 10 eight times in the majors.