PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

Drivers Ed

Lee Westwood Swing Analysis: Add torque to your swing with this key move

As Lee Westwood heads into his 17th year on the PGA Tour, he’s still a threat to win, as evidenced by his runner-up finishes in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship in 2021. At 48, Westwood averaged 294 yards off the tee and hit 63 percent of fairways. Find out the keys to his time-tested swing with this analysis from Golf Digest Teaching Professional David Leadbetter.

Listen to Leadbetter's complete breakdown of Westwood's swing in the video below.

Westwood’s upper body leans to the right during the beginning of his backswing. Leadbetter says this slight shift helps Westwood make a full rotation and get behind the ball. As Westwood reaches the top of his backswing, you can see his chest cover his trail leg.

“This is a really good position for players to get into with the driver because it gives you ample room to move forward,” Leadbetter says.

Being too centered can occasionally cause a reverse pivot action where your body gets ahead of the ball, causing you to hang back on the way down to get behind it, Leadbetter says. If that sounds like you, think about getting the middle of your chest—or your shirt buttons—over your trail leg as you take the club to the top, he says.

A signature part of Westwood’s swing is his bent left arm through impact. Rather than overhaul his swing, Westwood is able to compensate for this idiosyncrasy by playing the ball farther back than many pros, which matches the lowest point of his swing arc. Leadbetter says this back ball position is optimal for Westwood.


One thing to copy from Westwood’s swing is his upper body rotation. Use Leadbetter’s swing thought of getting your shirt buttons over your back leg to facilitate this motion and add torque to your swing. Remember to maintain your posture and keep your chest up as you practice making a backswing.