Davis Love has one of those swings that you can watch over and over again. He has always had a great motion, but now it's a simpler, more repeatable swing. As Davis sweeps the club away he sets his wrist earlier in his backswing than he used to, making it easier to shorten his swing.
With this shorter swing and lower hands, it becomes easier to match his body, arms, hands and club on the downswing and follow-through. His motion is so smooth, strong and tension-free that it doesn't look like he's "hitting" anything; instead, the ball appears to just get in the way of his clubhead. Even from a distance, there is no mistaking his powerful, effortless-looking swing.
What's amazing is that with a more compact swing and high-tech equipment, the Tour's former young bomber is still getting longer. Davis has said his goal is to play competitively on Tour longer than any player of his generation. So far, so good. In 2008, his 23rd year on the PGA Tour, Davis was ranked ninth in driving distance with a 301-yard average. Here's how he makes it look so easy, while still making such a loud impact.
2 of 9Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
1. At address, Davis is athletic and balanced, and his arms hang freely, without tension. His aim and alignment are perfect. You could draw a line across his shoulders, forearms, hips, knees, legs and feet and they would all be running parallel to his target line.
3 of 9Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
2. Davis takes the club back low and wide with the clubhead outside his hands. This sweeping action helps keep his arms extended while allowing the top of his left arm to stay on his chest. His 6'3" build and long arms promote a wide-arc swing.
Clubhead stays outside his hand, upper left arm stays connected to his chest.
4 of 9Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
3. As Davis turns into his right leg, his left wrist flattens as his right wrist bends. This motion, combined with the folding of his right arm, creates a power lever—notice the right angle formed by his left arm and the shaft—and it also helps puts the clubshaft on plane.
Wrists fully set, left arm and clubshaft on same plane.
5 of 9Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
4. Davis completes the backswing with a smooth blend of the winding of his upper body and a completion of his arm swing and wrist hinge. His old swing was longer, with his hands higher, and was more difficult to time. (See, it's never too late to make a swing change!)
His hands used to be here.
6 of 9Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
5. Davis starts his downswing from the ground up. His lower body initiates his forward move as his arms drop to flatten his swing. This move increases his lag and gives the clubhead a direct path to the inside-back quadrant of the ball.
Lower-body action at the start of his downswing flattens the shaft.
7 of 9Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
6. At impact, Davis explosively releases all of his stored energy. His speed, center contact and shallow angle of approach combine to give him 300-plus-yard drives. This is how Davis continues to keep pace with the young guns on the PGA Tour.
8 of 9Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
7. As Davis's body turns into his left leg, his arms extend well past the ball, keeping the clubshaft on plane with a matching clubface position. He extends his arms through impact (not before it), which completes the release and adds to his tremendous distance.
9 of 9Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
8. The matching sequence of his body, arms, hands and club is reflected by his fully balanced finish. Everything keeps going to completion—his thighs are together, his weight is on a straight left leg, and his hands are by his left ear. This is a great finish position to copy.
Knees touch at the finish.
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