Miguel Angel Jimenez
His throwback swing
shows you how to
crank it without coil
Analysis by Top 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall
It was easy to pick out
Miguel Angel Jimenez
at the 2008 Ryder Cup,
and not because he was
the only golfer with
a knotted kink of red
hair poking out the back of his cap.
His swing is a throwback to a time
when Tour players didn't try to coil
their shoulders against their lower
body. Jimenez turns everything: his
shoulders, hips, knees even his
ankles. The lack of resistance costs
him some distance (he averages
278 yards off the tee), but his swing
is powerful enough to hang at the
highest level. Plus, he's a dead-eye
from mid-range: In 2008, nobody on
Tour knocked it closer from 150 yards
than Miguel (19 feet on average).
Jimenez understands what he can
and can't do. So should you, which
means that you should take a good
look at Miguel's technique and work
some of into your own. Jimenez's
swing is one that all mere mortals
can copy, and despite the fact that
it's missing the torque associated
with big yards, it has all the right
moves to get you from tee to green
in the fewest strokes possible.
2 of 8Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
Like all Tour players, Jimenez has his weight
over the balls of his feet and his knees over
his toes. Pay particular attention to how his
upper arms hang straight down, then bend
at the elbow to set the shaft so that it
points at his belt buckle.
3 of 8Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
Halfway back, you can see his shirt buttons
and his left knee, evidence that everything is
turning. More important, he hinges his wrists so
that the shaft sits parallel to the target line. As
he continues back, he rolls his forearms to keep
the club on plane without lifting the club up.
4 of 8Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
Here is where you'll see the biggest difference
between Miguel and most other Tour pros.
He's made a massive hip turn, but look how
much he's rotated his shoulders plenty of
potential energy here. He's a lot like Vijay SIngh
in this regard.
5 of 8Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
Coming back down, Jimenez stabilizes his
lower body so that his upper body can catch
up. Notice how the back of his glove points to
the sky in Frame 3, and how it points out in
front of him here. Perfect forearm rotation
and almost zero chance of hitting a slice.
6 of 8Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
The most important thing about Jimenez's
impact position is how relaxed it looks he's
simply letting the ball get in the way. But he
doesn't stop there. After impact, he releases
his arms fully and without tension while his
chest speeds past his lower body.
7 of 8Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
Just like his personality, notice how free-flowing
Miguel's arms look in his through-swing. He
makes no attempt to steer the ball. The key is
to swing your arms with your chest, then allow
them to fly away from it in your through-swing
into a poised, balanced finish.
8 of 8Getty Images
How to Coil Without Resisting
One of the best moves you can copy from Jimenez's swing is his right
elbow position at the top of his backswing. This really amps up the
power in your swing, even if you can't coil against the resistance of your
hips like most modern players. The secret is to bend your right elbow
like Miguel without bending your left arm. It takes a significant amount
of shoulder flexibility to do this correctly, so make sure you loosen up
before trying this technique.
A. Look Familiar?
Take away the long
hair, and Miguel's
left arm position and
shoulder tilt looks
a lot like legendary
ballstriker Ben Hogan.
B. Get Max From Min
Jimenez's turn is simple: a lot of shoulders
and very little arms. His right upper arm
sits against his side just like it did at
address. He simply folded his right arm as
he rotated his left easy for you to copy.
C. The Brace Place
Notice how Jimenez's left knee
kicks in as he turns his hips.
You can do this to increase
your turn as long as you
maintain the flex in your right
knee. Straightening your right
knee is a big no-no.
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