What even old timers can learn from these Drive, Chip & Putt players' swings
If you watched the junior players put on a show at the Drive, Chip & Putt at Augusta National this weekend, you may have been both impressed and depressed—impressed at how great junior players can hit it today, and depressed that you don't have some of what they do in your game. We asked Golf Digest 50 Best Teacher Michael Jacobs to help you pick out what you should try in your own game, and what you should continue to admire from afar.
1. Lag is great, but you have to let it go.
"You'll hear people talk about lag and about sequencing, but the reality is that many players who produce lag don't do a good job lining the club up at impact," says Jacobs. "Lag is fine, but you do have to get the energy out of the club and into the ball. A lot of players who want to generate more speed really over-push the handle and make that lag continue through the ball—which means the club is moving slower, not faster. Another big thing to notice? This player is actually hyper-mobile, and her left elbow is extended beyond what most people can achieve. That makes the lag appear even more exaggerated. You want to make sure the moves you make match your physical capabilities."
2. Make sure your movements make energy.
"If you need proof that junior players are great mimics who are always evaluating what is coming into the game, check this swing out," says Jacobs. "The two-step is a part of Kyle Berkshire's routine on the long drive tour. What I like about this is that it really encourages a dynamic lower body, and it produces energy and speed without a lot of crazy contortions. The test is how energy transfers, not how hard or aggressively you lunge your body or whip your hands around."
3. Get your hands farther from your torso.
"I love this swing for a few reasons. One, it looks so much like a classic Payne Stewart swing," says Jacobs. "It's also a great representation of the content in an academic research paper I just submitted with Dr. Steven Nesbit—the golf swing researcher who helped the USGA measure how much the club contributes to how far a player hits the ball. In simple terms, you're best served as a player getting the club as stretched out away from your torso as you can at the top of the backswing. When the handle is farther from your torso, you can move it closer to you on the way down and speed up like you'd see a figure skater twirl faster. If the club is closer earlier, it does the opposite. It slows everything down."