From left: Ball position just ahead of center. Shaft leans toward target. Middle: Left arm and shaft form 90-degree angle at chin height; a late set. Right: Shaft resting on shoulders indicates super-relaxed arms.
Three years ago, I wrote a Golf Digest article about elements of Sergio Garcia's golf swing that could be a future problem. His swing had similarities to the swing of the late Ben Hogan, whom many consider the best ball-striker of all time. But Hogan had better impact alignments. They both had incredible clubhead lag, but Sergio was on the verge of having too much.
Earlier this year, I walked with Garcia and his father, Victor, at the PGA Tour event in Miami, and Sergio was awesome. In 2001, he led the tour in total driving (which combines distance and accuracy) and believe me, he hit it long and straight that day.
Victor, his only teacher, has really helped Sergio improve. In the photos below of his middle-iron swing, I'll pinpoint these improvements. As Sergio has matured, he has decreased the forward shaft angle at impact and has less clubhead lag. He also has great balance and control. These photos clearly show those improvements. Of all the players I've studied, I believe Sergio's swing comes the closest to Hogan's.
Considering Ben won four U.S. Opens, that's an enviable comparison, especially at this time of year.
__Sergio's Super Sequence
Garcia's swing is still fun to study,
but now it has less lag, more control__
Analysis by Jim McLean