ANTHONY KIM—PROBLEMATIC SWING

Anthony is playing well at the Wachovia this week, so we thought we would take a look at his swing.

There is no doubt about Kim’s talent, but his swing off the tee has alignment problems, as we found out when we measured his swing mechanics.

Address

Here is Anthony at address with his driver.

Anthony has a conventional set-up at address. His Spine Angle is 30°, which is within the tour norm of 25-30°. His hands are dropped below his swing plane.

Top of the backswing.

Here is Anthony at the top of his backswing.

Here you can see that he has ‘stood up’, changing his Spine Angle from 30° to 20°. He does this in anticipation of what he has to do at impact. His club and hands are also well below his swing plane.

Impact

Here he is at impact.

At impact, Anthony’s Spine Angle is half of what it was at address. It has to be. He dropped his hands at address. Centrifugal force has extended his arms and club at impact so that his hands are almost on his swing plane. This adds about 6-7 inches to the distance between his shoulders and the club head. If he did not stand up, his club head would be 6-7 inches underground at impact.

Changing Spine Angles

Here is his address and impact side by side so that you can see the magnitude of his change in Spine Angle.

So, what is the problem with changing your Spine Angle 50% between address and impact?

The problem is that you have to change it exactly the right amount with each swing. If you are one degree off either way, you will hit the ball fat or thin.

It is very difficult to be accurate off the tee when you have such a large change in alignment. Alignment is what produces accuracy in golf. The golfer with the best alignment of all time was Iron Byron, the golf ball-hitting robot. Iron Byron’s Spine Angle was exactly the same at address, top of the backswing, impact and follow-through.

Here is what Iron Byron looked like at address and impact.

Notice that his Spine Angle was EXACTLY the same.

Iron Byron hit 280-yard drives into a 10-yard circle all day long. It was accurate, not because it was a machine, but because of the way it was designed.

If it had been designed by golf instructors instead of engineers, it would have been an actual copy of a successful golfer. The hand (it only had one) would have been dropped at address, which means the Spine Angle would have to be able to change. The engineering challenge of trying to get the robot to make an exact change in Spine Angle between address and impact while holding onto a club going 100 mph and pulling away with 100 lbs of centrifugal force would have been overwhelming. The instructors would have fiddled with their machine for decades, trying to get it to hit golf balls. But it never would have worked.

Fortunately, Iron Byron was designed by engineers who knew that the simplest design is the most successful.

This is why we recommend in our book The Efficient Golfer that golfers copy Iron Byron to improve their accuracy. You don’t need to take endless lessons or spend endless hours on the practice range to improve your accuracy off the tee. Just one small change in your address position will greatly increase your chances of keeping it in the fairway.

That change is to bring your hands up to the swing plane at address, as you see here.

By bringing your hands up to the swing plane at address, you can ‘go ballistic’ and let centrifugal force (which is pulling the club away from you with 100 lbs. of force) straighten out your arms and club. Since they are straight to begin with, the added distance from centrifugal force will be negligible and you can maintain a constant Spine Angle.

Does this really work?

Absolutely. One golfer put his hands on his swing plane at address and, along with using our Power Hip Trainer to increase his hip speed, dropped his handicap from 5 to 1 in a couple of weeks.

One of our pros did the same, and hit all of her drives into the shadow of a single tree at the end of the fairway. Her drives were dead straight, something she had never been able to do in her entire career.

Anthony Kim could certainly afford to improve his alignment in the tee box. While he drives the ball an average of 299.8 yards (which ranks him 7th on tour), he only hits 57.53% of his fairways, which ranks him 163rd. This is why he is one of the young players who will not be able to challenge Tiger. To beat Tiger, you have to be good at everything.

Anthony obviously has talent. He needs better alignment to play at the top of the tour.