PGA Tour Confidential: Tommy 'Two Gloves' Gainey wins McGladrey Classic

Tommy Gainey
Sam Greenwood / Getty Images
Gainey's charmed final round included eight birdies and an eagle.

Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

UNUSUAL ACTIONS
Charlie Hanger, executive editor, Golf.com: Tommy Two Gloves (I think he should drop the Gainey altogether) went nuts today, shooting 60 to win the McGladrey Classic. With his homemade golf swing, he is a refreshing anomaly on today's PGA Tour. What pro has/had your all-time favorite unconventional golf swing?

Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: Have always admired Fred Couples's double-jointed swing. Ray Floyd had an almost directly opposite, mechanical-looking action that was equally effective. Couples and Floyd were opposites in many ways but they made a formidable pairing back in the '90s.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: As Two Gloves points out himself, all these good golfers are conventional at impact. Raymond was and Furyk is and Gloves is, too. Raymond got the most done. People might say Trevino's move wasn't out of a textbook, but it was beautiful and the shots he hit were even more so.

Herre: There are similarities between Trevino and Furyk's swing, but both had beautiful rhythm. Gainey simply takes a rip.

Stephanie Wei, contributor, SI Golf+: Or "trying to kill a snake with a garden hose," as Tommy said Brandel Chamblee described it last year.

Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: Lee Trevino is the best example that a swing you can trust > a swing that looks perfect.

Herre: Trevino was so creative with that figure-8 swing, but he lived and died with a cut shot. He could hit any fairway with it.

David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: I admired Lee Trevino's homemade swing because it was so functional. Trevino owned it, had faith in it, and regardless of how it looked, he won multiple majors with it.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: Miller X-Man Barber had a crazy swing. For total craziness, though, I gotta go with Josh Broadaway from the Web.com tour, who swings cross-handed. I tried it once and couldn't even bring it back past about hip high.

Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: I always enjoy seeing clips of Arnie's funky follow-through. Also, for sheer entertainment, there's still something exciting about watching Daly take the club so far past parallel in his backswing. It may not go where he wants it to, but you know Daly's hitting it with everything he's got.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Arnold Palmer went at the ball like he was in a fight, then he held it off at the finish. His unique swing simply made playing the game seem more manly. The way he tilted his head on the follow-through was a nice added classic touch.

Herre: And Arnie's hitch of the pants -- Furyk's copied that tic.

Morfit: Furyk is easily identified from 200 yards because of that pre-shot pants-hitch.

Bamberger: That's so true about Arnold's head tilt, Gary. Jim Thorpe had a similar move, like a smash and hold. Arnold once told me if he could live his life over again, he'd have tried . . . lefthand-low putting, "like that Jimmy Furyk."

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: What pro of all time has your favorite unconventional swing?

DON'T THINK, HIT
Hanger: Chamblee, as we all know, is a big fan of the guys who learned to play on the course instead of under the tutelage of a swing guru with a video camera. He made an interesting point today on Golf Channel, saying that the guys who are "addicted to an idea" for their swings are slower because they're processing swing thoughts, while the homemade guys are faster players. Do you see any truth to the idea that overcoaching is slowing down play on tour?

Herre: Definitely. The homemade guys are focused on getting the ball in the hole. Reminds me of the old Sam Snead story. He never worried about mechanics. When asked how he hit a draw, he said, "I think draw." He didn't spend a lot of time obsessing about the minutia of his draw takeaway.

Bamberger: The great Patty Sheehan once said the same thing while giving a clinic with Tom Kite. Kite says to hit a draw, I do this, this and this. To hit a fade, I do this, this and this. He says, "Patty, what do you do to hit draws and fades?" Patty said: "When I want to hit a draw, I think draw, and when I want to hit a fade, I think fade."

Van Sickle: It'd be nice, just for a day, to have that kind of utter control over the ball to be able to just think what you want to do and then do it. It's too bad we can't watch the 30-year-old Slammer play tour golf on TV. That'd be something. I'm glad someone has come out this year with Slammin Sam' Beer," The Smoothest Beer in Golf, just to keep his name alive. He was one of a kind.

Morfit: What Snead said is so right. It's about see the shot, hit the shot. That's golf at its simplest, best and fastest.

Bamberger: No question, the guy who owns his swing plays way faster. Watson, Daly, Rory, to name three. Jimenez. Tiger was so much faster in 2000. But Furyk owns his, and he's painfully slow, so it's hard to generalize too much. And Nicklaus always knew what he wanted to do and took forever to get there. A lot of it is personality type.

Van Sickle: Brandel might be right. One thing that definitely slows down players today, however, is the addiction to "a routine." That may not be tied to a swing thought, but the psychologists have sold this "keep the same routine" thing for so long. It seems much worse on the LPGA, where players seem incapable of just stepping up and hitting a shot without going through their whole presentations.

Hanger: I think Michael's onto something with the personality type. You can have one swing thought (or even a short routine) and still play quickly, and you can be self-taught and still take forever. I don't think it's a major source of the slow-play problem.

Dusek: The game is called "golf," not "golf swing." At the end of the day, guys who have a repeatable swing and understand how to play the game seem to do best. Maybe that develops under the eyes of a watchful teacher, but there's a lot to be said for going out every day and honing your own swing and playing holes. Lots and lots and lots of holes against good players.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Is overcoaching part of the reason slow play has become such a problem?

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