Swing Sequence: 2013 champion Adam Scott
In my opinion Adam Scott has had the best golf swing of all time. Bold statement I know but, having had the good fortune to have spent my whole lifetime near the best golfers, I have some experience.
Why do I say this?
Firstly, his set-up is perfect. I base this on a composite of ‘best practice’ from all the great champions back to 1900 and before. Scotty does everything in his pre-swing that sits bang in the middle of the parameters for orthodoxy. Nothing he does shows any sign of idiosyncrasy.
Of course he has been and remains a great physical specimen to produce a golfing machine – a big advantage over others, such as Woods.
Moving on to his swing, again, no bends, kinks, changes of direction or undesirable movements. Scott swings the club up, down and through impact on the exact same plane all the time (unless he chooses to change it, of course). Couple this with his flexibility and superb balance and you have the best golfing athlete of all time.
Unfortunately, hitting the ball is only a part. To win every time you have to be a great putter. Scott is not. Plus willpower, strength of mind and desire are huge factors in the make-up of champions. Then you have to have a bit of lady luck pulling for you.
The shaft seems to flow as an extension of his arms. Look how magnificent his spine looks. If you run a line down the back of his head to his hips, no hunching or slouching. Perfect knee flex, showing his knee caps above the ends of his feet, superb poise.
I love the one-piece takeaway. His club moves away from the ball in line with his left arm, in one unit from his left shoulder. In response, his hips begin to turn a fraction later, while his left knee moves in sympathy with the upper body allowing his weight to begin moving towards his right side.
Halfway back and we can see the body continuing to turn while his wrists begin to hinge automatically. This is due to the length and weight of the fairway wood and the momentum of Adam’s swing. The wrist hinge flows, Scott does not consciously make this happen. Just great.
Coming down he starts by moving his weight quietly back to an even distribution between both feet, no Woods-like leaping into the downswing. This leading with the hips allows his arms to be pulled gently down, keeping the club on plane.
The shaft, while not caught parallel with the ground, is coming down on plane and will point parallel to his swing. The maintenance of knee flex in both legs ensures his spine angle remains constant, unlike Rory McIlroy who does have some changes in hip angle coming in to impact.
The raw power is almost palpable. Scott has released the angles in both wrists and right elbow to power the club through impact without losing body posture. The Australian maestro reminds me of a perfect predator. No wasted effort when making a clean kill.
His body angles are perfectly maintained, knee flex is the same in his right knee, his belt angle is constant while he is on perfect plane. To check, draw a line from the butt of the grip to the ball and it passes under his left arm pit through his chest and just above his right shoulder.
This is fabulous because the leading edge of the clubface is clearly shown and the angle exactly matches the plane angle of his swing. To explain, it sits precisely at the same angle that the shaft has circled his body, totally orthodox. This swing needs no manipulation to deliver the club squarely.
Top of the backswing and we can’t see the shaft, but it is lying parallel to the direction he wants to swing through impact and parallel to the ground. Amazing.
The ball is well on its way but Adam retains his spine angle and posture, the mark of a flexible athlete. His face has turned to follow the flight of the ball, while it is just possible to detect how his right arm has extended to drive the ball towards his target.
Look how strong his left forearm and wrist are: his ‘wrong’ arm has taken all that force without the wrist buckling or left elbow showing any hint of ‘chicken wing’. If you want to do any one thing to help your golf, do some strengthening work on your wrong forearm and wrist.
Job done. Perfectly balanced with most of the weight on his left shoe while the club shaft remains on plane, bisecting his shoulder blades and lying close to the logo on the back of his shirt.