*Editor's Note: Every Monday Kevin Hinton, Director of Instruction at Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley, N.Y. and one of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers, tells you how a tour player hits a key shot. This week, Kevin analyzes the swing of Korea's Na Yeon Choi, who won the U.S. Women's Open at Blackwolf Run by four strokes over Amy Yang. Choi bounced back after a triple bogey with birdies on three of the next six holes, which might have more to do with her Vision54 approach than any specific shot. Her full swing, however, is picture perfect, as Kevin points out from the video below.
By Kevin Hinton
*1. Choi does a beautiful job of setting the club in her backswing. By the time her left arm is parallel to the ground, her wrists have fully hinged as the shaft points skyward. This angle creates the potential for power and puts the club into a very "light" position. The club will feel heavy in comparison if you don't have ample wrist hinge at this point. She also has a very quiet look to her body motion. Choi's backswing really couldn't be much simpler.
As Choi transitions into the downswing, she no longer has a "quiet" look to her body motion--and that's a good thing. This slow-motion video clip clearly shows how her first move into the downswing is triggered by the shifting forward and unwinding of her lower body. These two moves happen nearly simultaneously, but many amateurs often miss the lateral movement required in proper downswing hip action. In the quest for the correct hip movements throughout your swing, it might be helpful to think of your hips making two turns with a shift in the middle. In the backswing your hips essentially only turn, followed by a lateral shift in the transition, then a continued rotation through impact and into the finish....turn, shift, turn.
Choi's finish couldn't be any better. Her balance is impeccable, and her upper body has now caught up with and passed her lower body rotation. Her shoulders have rotated well beyond the target, and the the clubshaft aligns right through the back of her head. This is a classic finish, and she looks as if she could stand there all day. You can't go wrong copying this position.