Almost 33 years after Bob Tway claimed his first PGA Tour victory, his 30 year-old son Kevin ascended to the winner’s circle himself.
Kevin’s first PGA Tour win came thanks to a superb play off the tee: He finished third in SG: Off the tee and finished birdie-birdie to sneak into a playoff against Brandt Snedeker and Ryan Moore, which he prevailed from on the third extra hole.
So, in celebration of Kevin’s win, we thought it’d be fun to take a side-by-side look at the swings for the PGA Tour’s latest victorious father-son duo. On the left is Bob hitting a long iron during the 1986 PGA Championship; on the right, Kevin with a fairway wood taken sometime last year.
There are a few similarities that jump out but nothing more apparent than the pair’s tempo. With similar length clubs, their backswings take an identical amount of time. There’s no sense of trying to rush it. They’re taking the club away smoothly, and only unleashing when they’ve loaded fully.
The only real difference comes on their downswings; the younger Kevin swings through the ball faster and therefore arrives at his follow-through slightly sooner than Bob. Bob wasn’t a short-hitter by any means — he ranked 38th on tour in Driving Distance in 1986 — but Kevin is quickly establishing himself as one of the game’s elite young power players. He ranked 13th in Driving Distance last season, with a Trackman-calculated Ball Speed and Clubhead Speed of 181 and 122 miles per hour, respectively.
Kevin’s swing is, ultimately, a more modernized-version of his father’s. His posture is sharper and more upright, and the downswing is more power-orientated. Golf instruction can change a lot in 30 years, but the importance of good tempo remains.
Full Lower Body Turn
Their follow-throughs have a similar look, but it was the top of the backswing that caught my eye. Admittedly, their clubs are in very different positions: Kevin’s more laid-off (pointed left of his target) than his father’s, but from the wrists down, things look pretty similar. Their upper bodies are in the same, coiled positions, and their lower body turn is almost identical.
It took Bob five years to win on the PGA Tour, but when he did, the floodgates opened: Four of his eight career PGA Tour wins, including his only major, came the same year as his first victory. Are we about to see the same breakout season from Kevin? We’ll see if history can repeat itself.