NASSAU, Bahamas — Tony Finau had a career season in 2017-18. He rang up 19 top 25s and 11 top 10s, including three in the first three majors, and he capped it off by being named to his first-ever Ryder Cup team. But there is no such thing as standing still when you’re at the top of golf’s pyramid. You’re either getting better or getting worse, and on Thursday ahead of this week’s Hero World Challenge, Finau explained how he plans to get even better this year.
There’s few players better than Tony Finau when he’s hitting the ball well. He finished 15th in Stokes Gained: Tee-to-Green last season. On those rare occasions when he’s “off” it’s usually because his swing gets too flat. His arms start moving too much around his body, the club gets laid off, and his swing gets too short.
It’s not a big change, but together with his longtime swing coach Boyd Summerhays, the pair plan on tweaking his swing to exploit Finau’s tall physique by getting his arms moving more vertically on the backswing.
He explained the process in detail on Tuesday:
“I’m in the process of trying to have some more leverage in my golf swing, make it a little higher so I can just swing more up and down. I hit some nice shots out there today and the last couple days. Someone being my height, I think it’s a lot better to swing up and down, more so than around you, so that’s something that we want to work on this offseason and hopefully hit it a little better and a little straighter.”
“It’s something that throughout the year we’ve noticed when I don’t swing it well, I’m a little flat, a little short. So it’s something that we want to work on, but now is finally the time that I have to actually work on it. When you’re playing competitive golf, you want to be careful with what you address and how much attention you pay to those sort of things. It’s always just about getting better. I had a great season but I know I can get better, and one of the areas I can get better on is striking the golf ball and I want to try and improve on that this year.”
YOUR TAKEAWAY: If you’re struggling with two-way misses and feel like you’re lacking ball compression, you may be struggling with with a backswing that’s too flat. If you are, take Tony’s advice: Exploit your physique by focusing on swinging more up and down, getting your hands higher, rather than around your body on the backswing.