How good was Adam Scott’s win at Firestone? A five under 65 to win by 4 shots is pretty impressive playing. It has always been said that he tailored his swing after Tiger Woods. The two have been compared countless times. I even found the CBS analyst comparison on Youtube. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Adam started piling up the wins with Tiger’s ‘old swing’, and Tiger struggles with all the swing changes he has made over the last few years?
His golf swing is a thing of beauty. The long putter and Steve William’s seem to be allowing him to take more advantage of that efficient golf swing. Let’s take a closer look to get a better understanding of his move, but also to help improve your own game through Scott’s.
I always like to start out with something in the takeaway as that sets up the rest of the backswing. If you get out of position early then you will have to re-route somewhere along the way. By re-routing you are creating extra movement, which leads to more complicated timing and therefore more opportunity for mis-hits.
Scott does a great job on the takeaway. I want you to focus in on his golf glove. Watch how, when his club is parallel to the ground, the logo on his glove is facing the camera. In fact you can see the logo by the time his hands are passing his back leg. This means that he allowed his forearms to rotate during the first step of the backswing.
When he reaches the top of his backswing pause the video and take a look at how his left wrist if perfectly in line with his left forearm. This means the wrist is flat. It is not bowed, or cupped, and will need no adjustments on the way down to impact to hit a solid shot.
Adam Scott - Forearms on Takeaway
This rotation does three things. First, it allows the club to go straight back along the proper club a path. Secondly it keeps the club face very square to that path. Lastly, it is a power source. I don’t like to discuss the power source too much because players will start to over rotate their arms and that becomes a bigger problem.
When we have too much tension or simply don’t rotate the forearms with the back swing then the club will come inside the proper club path too quickly and the club face will be closed. This means that the club is likely to be re-routed. If the club gets on path but the face stays shut, then you are going to hit a hard hook to the left of your target. If the path stays from the inside but the face is adjusted to be square or even open, then the ball will be lost to the right.
If you can copy Scott’s forearm rotation in the initial part of his takeaway then you will have no arm or club face adjustments to make on the way down. That will simplify your swing and create a Scott like efficiency.
As we all know and have heard many times, balance is an integral part of the golf swing. One of the keys to a balanced golf swing is in the right leg (leg farthest from your target). If it breaks down then your whole backswing will likely break down. If the leg straightens or bends then you are creating extra up and down movement that will make it harder to be a consistent ball striker.
Adam Scott - Stable Right Leg
Watch this video very closely. Please pay particular attention to the angle of the back of his right leg. Notice how that throughout the back swing and almost all of the downswing that this angle does not change. That is an incredibly stable anchor leg to limit extra movement in his golf swing. He will not have any movement up or down and it will help him generate a lot of power as he turns his upper body against a strong back leg.
Now, I can hear some players thinking that you need to be incredibly flexible in order to have this anchor leg. While there is no doubt that flexibility is very helpful in golf, anybody and everybody can create a strong anchor leg. This is possible because a player should allow their hips to rotate on the backswing as needed. This means the shoulders rotate first and the hips follow by turning as much as they need to in order to complete the backswing. The amount you rotate your hips will have no impact on maintaining the angle of your back leg.
A great way to practice this at home is to make half swings with the front of a chair right up against the back of your right knee. The concept is to make the swings without pushing the chair back. If the chair moves then you are straightening your leg too much and losing some of your stability.
Now, it is true that some players do straighten their leg during the backswing. If they can have great timing to bend the leg back to it’s original position as the club is moving down to impact, then that is great. I prefer to try and keep the angles of the leg from changing to simplify the golf swing.
With the efficiency of his golf swing, the confidence in his long putter, and the new swagger stemming from his new caddy, it will be interesting to watch how well he continues to play. It certainly looks like that first major title is right around the corner.