Soren Kjeldsen's swing is one of the most unusual for a modern-day tour pro. There is no rigidity in his hands and arms, no emphasis on the big muscles or a huge shoulder turn to generate more power. Instead, the Danish pro's wrists cock early, his left arm bends and his hands never rise above his head as he takes the club to the top of the backswing.It might look unusual, but it works. The four-time winner on the European Tour finished T-7 at this year's Masters, T-9 at the British Open, had four other top-10 finishes; and he won the Irish Open in 2015.He has been working with Scottish-born instructor Colin Smith since 1992, and although Smith has helped maintain Kjeldsen's special technique, it was always the teacher's goal to make his player self-sufficient. "I come from the Jack Grout/Jack Nicklaus philosophy that you need to understand your swing so you can fix it yourself," Smith says. "Soren's soft arms and hands and very full release make it easier to swing the club freely under pressure. That's why it's the type of swing average golfers should emulate."
RELAXED AND READY
Soren sets up with his head and hands behind the ball, his right shoulder well below his left. This promotes an upward strike with the driver. "Note the angle of the stripes on his shirt," says his teacher, Colin Smith. Also important: Soren is relaxed. "His hands and arms are soft, and his left arm is not extended."HINGING EARLY
Taking the club back, he exhibits an early wrist cock while his lower body remains stable. "This shows that you don't have to be like Rory McIlroy, rigid at address and going back," Smith says. "The average golfer, who can't practice a lot, should keep the hands and arms soft and supple to avoid a tense swing."STABLE TURN
He creates a "double-lever action," by cocking his wrists and then folding the left arm, Smith says. Those are two power generators. And he does it without sliding or swaying. That helps ensure a center-face strike. "If you drew a line from the center of his chest to the ground, it's the same as it was at address," Smith says.
Starting down, he unleashes the club with tremendous speed by letting the two levers—the left wrist and arm—straighten. His lower body initiates the downswing but isn't wildly overactive. "Soren's knees don't move together," Smith says. "Like Sam Snead, his right foot stays down as his left knee moves at the target."ACTIVE HANDS
As he strikes the ball, "Soren has a little more hand and arm rotation than the average tour player, resulting in a controlled draw," Smith says. Past impact, note how the right hand rolls over the left. "This kind of release is recommended for the average golfer," Smith says. "Especially if you tend to slice the ball."STATUESQUE FINISH
His steady head position is a result of swinging with great balance. "He just pivots around his center," Smith says, noting amateurs can copy this by practicing with their feet closer together. He ends with his weight on the outside of the left foot and right toe. "It looks like he can stand like that for years," Smith says.