Swing Sequence: 2017 Masters Champion Sergio Garcia
When you think of golfers whose swings stood the test of time, players such as Sam Snead and Tom Watson come to mind. But as Sergio Garcia defends his title at the Masters in April, it's becoming increasingly clear that his action should be mentioned among the all-time greats.
AGE: 38 / 5-10 / 180 pounds
LIVES: Castellon, Spain
DRIVER: Callaway GBB Epic
BALL: Callaway Chrome Soft X“When he swings, it’s a lot like he’s cracking a whip.” —Rob Akins
Crucial to Sergio's swing is keeping his body behind the ball through impact. He prepares for that at address, says instructor Rob Akins. "Like Snead and Nicklaus, his left eye and cheek are aligned with the ball," Akins says. One critique: "Ball position; It could be farther forward."
He takes the club back with his body, not his arms. "The classic one-piece takeaway," Akins says. "I tell my students, never move your arms with your arms and never cock your wrists with your wrists. Let it happen naturally by virtue of pivoting. And that's what he's doing. That's the move you want to copy."
As he gets to the top of the swing, the right shoulder has moved closer to the target than the left. "He's turned way past 90 degrees and, yet, look at where his arms and club are [pictured]," Akins says. "This shows that his arms and hands aren't doing anything. They don't need to."
A misconception about the noticeable distance between his hands and clubhead in the downswing is that he's consciously trying to create that lag, Akins says. "It's actually caused by the looseness in his wrists as his body changes direction. It's a lot like he's cracking a whip," Akins says.
He keeps pivoting well past impact, letting his arms and club fully extend toward the target. "Notice how little the feet, knees and hips have moved compared to the shoulders," Akins says. "If you can quiet down your lower body through impact and keep rotating your upper body, I think you'll like the result."