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What Makes It Work? Hideki Matsuyama Swing Analysis

What Makes It Work? Hideki Matsuyama Swing Analysis

Hideki Matsuyama won on in fashion at Riviera on the PGA Tour last week, PGA professional Jack Backhouse dives in with an analysis of his swing.

 

Hideki Matsuyama adds a win at Riviera to the list of epic venues where he has lifted trophies, winning the Genesis Invitational. In this series, PGA professional Jack Backhouse reviews the recent tour winners’ golf swings to understand what makes them great, starting with a Hideki Matsuyama golf swing analysis to see what makes him such a good ball striker.

Set-Up

Hideki looks very strong at set-up; he takes a nice wide stance with quite a tall posture and looks ready to make an athletic movement. You can see in the image below he has an exceptionally weak grip. Matsuyama plays most, if not all, of his shots with a fade, so taking a weak grip is going to encourage the face to be more open throughout the swing, removing the likelihood of closing the face too much and hitting the dreaded double cross.

matsuyama swing analysis

Backswing

It is the backswing Hideki is most recognizable for; he turned up on tour many years ago with a very long pause at the top of the swing before starting his downswing, but he has more recently worked to lessen this, so the pause is much shorter now. Matsuyama has a really strong turn in his backswing and looks to create a lot of tension to the top; he doesn’t really let his right leg straighten very much but does accomplish a huge, centred hip turn which, in my opinion, is part of what makes him one of the best ball strikers on tour.

The arm structure and club positioning are another part of this. He doesn’t let his right arm bend more than 90 degrees and externally rotates his right arm so that the club gets into a laid-off position. This is another fade bias move, which will always result in the club steepening later in the downswing to get the swing path left and the angle of attack steeper.

top of backswing

Downswing

It is in the transition that we see Hideki really turn on the style. He bows his left wrist in transition to deloft the club and to get the clubface closed relative to the target (essential for hitting a fade). He centres his hips and his chest ahead of the ball, which again means he is in a position to really compress the golf ball. There is a lot to like about his delivery position, too. Flat left wrist, hips open but shoulders closed, clubhead and arms out in front of his right shoulder, all a coach’s dream.

hideki matsuyama

Into the Finish

Matsuyama passes here through some more textbook positions. Look at how extended both his arms are and also his lead leg with his hips centred over his front foot. This helps hit the ball up in the air more and, when achieved, usually means the swing has been really fast. I love how low his right shoulder is below his left; he has done a great job of pivoting whilst staying in posture.

hideki

What can we learn?

Unlike Dustin Johnson’s swing, which I analysed last week, there is a lot in Hideki Matsuyama’s swing that is worth copying.

  • A strong, wide posture
  • A centred hip turn – not letting your hips move away from the target helps create a bigger shoulder turn whilst keeping weight forwards
  • Getting the left shoulder and left hip ahead of the ball in the downswing – this is a great ball striker move that will also stop a slice.
  • Massive extension through the ball: If you want more carry distance and shot height, then do this!

Keep an eye out for more tour winners’ swing analysis’ in the future.

If you are interested in seeking further information from Jack that is more specific to your golf game, you can book an in-person or online golf lesson by clicking here.

Jack Backhouse

Callaway Epic Max driver review

Jack is a PGA Golf Professional who specialises in coaching, teaching golf to beginners and top-level amateurs for 10+ years. He also loves his golf equipment and analysing the data of the latest clubs on the market using launch monitors, specialising in blade irons and low-spinning drivers despite having a chronically low ball flight.

Although Jack has no formal journalism training, He has been reading What's In The Bag articles since he started playing at 12 and studying golf swings since his dad first filmed his swing to reveal one of the worst over-the-top slice swings he reckons has ever been recorded, which set him off on the path to be a coach. His favourite club ever owned was a Ping G10 driver bought from a local top amateur with the hope that some of the quality golf shots would come with it (they didn't), and worst was a Nike SQ driver he only bought because Tiger was using it.

Jack is a member of Sand Moor Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to prepare for tournaments. Jack uses a TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver, a half set of TaylorMade P7MB irons, MG4 wedges and a TaylorMade TP Reserve putter.

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