The “Your Beautiful Golf Swing” Contest is a month long golf contest on Golf Balls Unlimited for April-May. Send YouTube or Vimeo clips of your best swings to GBU for various prizes. Official announcement coming soon and more info at the bottom of this post.
There are over 650,000 hits for “Beautiful Golf Swing” on Google. YouTube has thousands more hits, from those admiring professional swings to amateurs showing off their hard work. The swing is the lifeline for any golfer. Golfers will go for years, from coach to coach, driving range to driving range, and methodology to methodology in search for the elusive, perfect swing.
The swing itself can be broken down into three actions: the backswing, the impact, and the follow through, each with fundamental rules. But beyond that, swings are dependent on individual level, size, and purpose.
Golf swings, like people, have their own personality and characteristics. Everyone has a favorite golf swing. We break down several types below:
Tiger Woods: Woods is an interesting case study due to rapid changes of his swing since he first broke onto the scene in 1996. Known for his powerful, violent swing, Woods had to reconstruct it entirely from scratch following knee surgery in 2008. Below is his swing as an amateur from 94-96:
Woods swing put unnecessary torque and pressure on his knees, eventually leading to his ACL surgery. Many debated how effective Tiger would be with his new, post-surgery swing designed to put less attention on his knees. A clip of Tiger’s current swing, rebuilt under current coach Sean Foley, is below:
Bubba Watson: Watson won the imagination of many casual fans with his recent Master’s winning performance. The lefty’s seemingly wild swing added to his shotmaking aura.
Statistically one of the longest drivers on the tour, Watson’s power comes from the coil of his arms, hips, and legs on his backswing. The combination of the three gives off the impression that Watson is “unbalanced”. Another unusual distinction comes from his follow through. While most golfers shift their weight onto their front foot to increase power, Watson’s power comes from the torque of his torso on the aforementioned backswing. Watson’s swing is composed of many moving parts coming together for one violent and powerful action.
Jim Furyk: Furyk, like Watson, is known for his unusual, yet consistent and effect swing. Furyk’s unorthodox approach begins with the ball uncomfortably close to his club, as opposed to a relaxed distance. From there, his arms move back vertically on his backswing. The driver appears over his head at the top of his backswing. He then drops his right elbow, and the club shaft, on the downswing. These moving parts seemingly creates a loopy motion:
Golf Digest has step by step photos of the swing in action, as explained by Furyk’s dad. Although his swing is considered unorthodox by many, a key feature (and commonality amongst professional swings) is Furyk’s steep backswing followed by a shallow coming down.
Fred Couples and Ernie Els – there’s beautiful swings and then there’s Fred Couples and Ernie Els, both of whom are known to have the smoothest, “silkiest” golf swings on the tour. If your preferred aesthetic is simple and easy, Couples and Els have you covered.
The ease of both swings is especially dramatic when compared to Furyk and Watson. Els and Couples go straight back and straight forward, with no wasted movements. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. It’s an approach of maximum efficiency and economy. A common refrain is that both players make it look effortless. Yet while both swings look easy, the rhythm and timing of Couples’ and Els’ torque ensures a powerful drive.
Golf swings, similar to golf balls, could be simplified into two categories. On one side, you have violent drivers of the ball (Woods and Watson). Then you have swings that resemble the ease of a walk in the park (Els and Couples). To go further with distinctions, Jim Furyk and Bubba Watson are world class golfers with unique swings that many coaches wouldn’t teach to younger pupils.
There’s more than one way to swing a club. As you can see from the videos above, golf swings, like golfers themselves, have their own personality and characteristics based on certain fundamentals. What do you look for in a beautiful swing? Now it’s your turn to show off. From May to June 30, 2012 tweet us a link to your creative photo of your beautiful swing (you must follow us on Twitter to be eligible for the prize). Alternatively, you can post your photo to our Facebook Fan Page (you must like our fan page to be eligible for the prize pack). The winner will be chosen based on the photo’s creativity by special judges, Bomani Jones and Josh “PUNTE” Zerkle, and GBU staff. The winner’s prize pack will include:
*BRAND NEW Taylormade Burner Gap Wedge
*1dz BRAND NEW Callaway HX HOT BITE golf balls
*BRAND NEW Callaway Pro Vent adjustable cap
Click here for more details.