Perhaps the only thing more amazing than Cristobal Del Solar shooting 57 on the Korn Ferry Tour earlier this week was the golf swing that got him there.
It underwent one of the most drastic—perhaps, the most drastic—golf swing transformation of professional golfer's swing in history. Certainly, that I can remember.
You can see his evolution below.
Del Solar had risen to become a professional golfer with about as homegrown a move as you can get. He learned it well, but it was a hard one to perfect. The Chilean golfer encountered consistency problems, which sent him down a path to perfect a new move.
"He loves hitting draws," says Golf Digest Best International Teacher Edo Miquel, a Chilean coach who works with many Chilean golfers, including Joaquin Neimann and Del Solar, says. "But he had many things in his swing that did not allow him to hit a consistent draw."
Towards the end of 2020, Del Solar began working through some changes with Edo Miquel to make his desired draw more consistent. Here's what he did.
Rounding out the backswing
In his homegrown swing, Del Solar's strong grip, with his hands rotated more under the club, meant his clubface was closed and pointing towards the ground. He tilted his shoulders severely, too, which brought his right shoulder noticeably higher than his left.
That caused Del Solar to pick the club up, very vertically.
Del Solar's backswing was also very long, which gave him power, but caused him to develop a noticeable hitch in his backswing, as he reset the club into a position where he could swing through.
Del Solar worked hard on moving the club more around his body, on both the takeaway and backswing, which leveled his shoulders and pointed the clubface less towards the ground.
One interesting drill Del Solar used to shorten his overly-long backswing was to employ the use of a curtain. Once his club hit the curtain, his backswing was complete. It landed the club in a better spot, and helped him swing through from a better spot, as Golf Digest Best in State Teacher Jeff Leishman, who worked with Del Solar in college, shares below.
These were big changes. It took hours of hitting golf balls to unlearn the old habits, and relearn the new ones. It wasn't always easy.
"Many times I had to ask him to trust the process," Miquel, his current coach, says. "His commitment was absolutely incredible."
But over time the changes began to feel more comfortable. Del Solar kept the faith, and it was a good thing, too.
"It is an incredible transformation," Miquel says.
A little golf swing inspiration for the rest of us, as we embark on our own changes.