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What Makes It Work? Jake Knapp Swing Analysis

Jake Knapp won in Mexico on the PGA Tour last week, PGA professional Jack Backhouse dives in with an analysis of his swing.

 

Jake Knapp earned his maiden tour victory last week in Mexico and impressed the internet with his silky smooth swing that produces 190mph bombs. In this series, PGA professional Jack Backhouse reviews the recent tour winners’ golf swings to understand what makes them great, diving in with a Jake Knapp golf swing analysis to see what makes him such an exciting prospect.

Set-Up

Jake Knapp is a big man with super long arms, which means he stands quite a long way from the ball. This is necessary to give him adequate room for his arms to swing into on the way down; when you turn your body as hard as Jake Knapp does, then you need more room than most. His grip is pretty neutral and there isn’t a great deal to comment on at this stage, it is all pretty textbook correct.

JAke Knapp set up

Backswing

It’s Knapp’s backswing that sets him up for crazy long drives. Knapp takes the club away as wide as any golfer could possibly achieve, basically not folding his right arm or cocking his wrists at all until he’s turned his shoulders 90 degrees. This creates an incredible amount of lag and whip as he transitions, storing energy in the shaft to be released through the ball, creating speed.

Something else that is really noticeable is how long his backswing is; this is a huge power source. The longer the arc, the more time it has to create momentum and speed, so it’s no surprise, looking at this John Daly’esque backswing, that Knapp is one of the longest hitters on tour. He was clocking club head speeds of 127mph and ball speeds of over 190mph. Another noticeable quirk and power source of his swing is his bent left arm, which acts as another lever.

Jake Knapp swing

Downswing

As Knapp finishes his downswing, he has an early hip shift towards the target, in which he loads his wrists and right arm, creating a very narrow position or loads of ‘lag’. It’s important to remember that lag is only good if you can get rid of it before the ball, which Knapp does wonderfully.

You can see how well he rotates his hips whilst staying in posture; he hasn’t extended early at all. His right foot stays down as a launch pad to push off from, and he delivers the club beautifully into the ball. Knapp plays a fade, so you can see that he holds the face open throughout the downswing.

Jake knapp swing analysis

Into the Finish

Knapp doesn’t extend the club and arms down the line like other golfers, such as Hideki Matsuyama, do. He has quite a quick release, which continues the momentum of the swing. the club passes his hands early (getting rid of the lag), and his right arm folds pretty early. He does this without letting the club face close, which enables him to rely on the fade from the tee. He finishes in perfect balance.

Knapp swings with a super smooth tempo, which has sent him viral on social media. Do not confuse smooth for slow, however, as there is an awful lot of club head speed at impact. A lot of golfers try to recreate a smooth rhythm and often just end up swinging slower, which is not great.

What can we learn?

There are a lot of components in this swing that are worth working into your own game. Knapp might be able to produce crazy speeds, but a lot of this can be copied:

  • Create a long wide backswing to have a wide arc
  • If you want more club head speed, don’t be afraid of overswinging and bending the lead arm
  • Release the club as hard as possible through the ball
  • Keep it smooth

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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