If you watch any golf you undoubtedly have finally noticed the quiet Swede now playing the best golf on the planet. In terms of ball-striking, he’s been at the top of the PGA tour—1st in GIR and 6th in fairways hit. After a few top 3 finishes, Henrik Stenson finally got to hoist the victory trophy at the 2013 Deutsche Bank.
While watching the Deutsche Bank, I was amazed at how little the announcers have had to say about Stenson’s swing compared to the others below him on the leaderboard. I am not sure if they simply do not understand his swing or just don’t think it is sexy enough for viewers, but I believe his key moves can help your game. Let’s take a look at a few fundamentals from Stenson’s recent run that can help all of us. To start, his swing right now reminds me a lot of Annika’s swing, who Ballard has always called “the best ever.”
First, Stenson stands very tall and does not stick out his rear end
This makes it so much easier to hit the ball dead straight with a lot less strain on your spine. It also helps keep the club moving up and down and not behind you where the club gets stuck (something the announcers demonstrated with Sergio’s trouble on Sunday). Stenson also has a wider more athletic stance than many guys on tour,—feet just outside shoulder width, right toe square and left toe flared slightly toward the target. This is a really good athletic position, very much as Hogan describes in his book.
Second, he makes a clear weight shift back into his right leg and then forward to a full balanced finish on his left leg
You can see this in his first move where he takes the club away and he sits just a touch to move his weight towards his right heel. Then he pushes off the inside of his right foot to start the downswing. On tour, most players these days are working on a Stack and Tilt type of swing or some variation. I believe this is a reverse pivot and really damaging to your swing and body over time. Also, Stenson keeps his head up out of his chest, and follows the ball with is head; he never keeps it down or perfectly still. Finally, he finishes nice and tall with all of his weight on his left foot: balanced and facing the target.
Third, he has soft arms and keeps both elbows pointed at the ground throughout the swing
This has always been a key point for Ballard and you will notice others like Rocco mention its importance. Next time you finish your swing take a look to see if your lead elbow is flared up. If so, try to think about keeping the top half of your arm more connected to your torso which eliminate the dreaded “chicken wing”
So, you may just be interested in this analysis of the best ball-striker on Tour, or you may want to go out and give these ideas a try yourself. If the latter, we think you’ll be glad you did.