The O-Factor on Tour

1 of 12 Fred Vuich
Os & Els Reports out of Ernie Els' home course of Queenwood Country Club outside London say that the three-time major winner is "trying to get my left leg back into my swing." Is it a coincidence that Robert Baker has also been paying visits to Queenwood? Recent photos show that Els is nearly back to his pre-injury form, which featured huge O-Factor at impact. — David DeNunzio MASTER IN DISGUISE Despite bagging seven top-10s in the 2003 and 2004 majors, Els' O-Factor had begun to weaken.
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DOWNSWING O-FACTOR RORY SABBATINI Driving Avg: 290.4 yds How does a 165-pound golfer produce such gaudy numbers off the tee? By using expert application of O-Factor power. Into impact, Sabbatini drives hard with his right knee and hip and pushes off with his right foot. The moves combine to create a noticeable kink in his right side and a very steep hip angle.
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TOP O-FACTOR RETIEF GOOSEN Driving Avg: 297.6 yds The swing that has captured two U.S. Opens is an excellent one to copy, especially at the top. Check out Goosen's hips—they couldn't get more level. He moves them to O-Neutral at the top while turning his left shoulder under his chin. Also notice how Goosen uses his left knee to drive his weight back.
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The O-Factor on tour Does the O-Factor work? Who uses it? To find these answers, look to the PGA Tour, where the best players on the planet switch their hip angles from O-Positive to O-Neutral and back to O-Positive to produce jaw-dropping distance and accuracy, and win big checks. ADDRESS O-FACTOR ADAM SCOTT Driving Avg: 301.1 yds The poster boy for youthful power has a perfect O-Positive setup. Notice the shaft angle — it's just slightly forward of the clubhead. That helps maintain the upward angle of his hips (even his head is cocked to encourage his tilt). Overly forward-pressing your hands can cause your left hip to dip.
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TOUR LESSONS On plane like Tiger Tiger Woods is a living example of the power of the O-Factor. Notice his level hips, driving left knee and braced right leg, and how he manipulates these body parts to perfectly slot the club. Between photo 1 and photo 2, Tiger's hands drop just a few inches, but look how much his hips rotate. They move from about 45 degrees closed to nearly square in the blink of an eye — so much for the theory that the arms start the downswing. Also notice Tiger's rear end — he squats to start his downswing. That keeps his posture in check as his hips unwind at a rapid pace. In photo 3, check out how his right shoulder has dropped straight down as his left hip has turned up. As a result, his hands and club return to the ball on plane.
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Pre-Impact: He makes all the right adjustments to get back to O-Positive.
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MODIFIED FACTOR How Colin Montgomerie does it Despite a hall-of-fame career, Monty breaks almost every swing rule in the book until impact. Notice how far he drops his right shoulder from the top to impact. It's a severe move he's grooved to go from O-Negative at the top to very O-Positive through the hitting zone. Address: Neutral O-Factor sets up a backswing only Monty can control. Top: A move common among taller players — negative O at the top.
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Pre-Impact: Right side coming into the ball as the left hip clears up.
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Max factors You can vary your O-Factor angles except at the moment of truth CLASSIC FACTOR How Luke Donald does it Through impact, Donald gives the feeling that he's hitting the ball with his right hip, not the clubhead. Notice how his hip and shoulder angles set up an ascending sweep of the clubhead through impact. He's just another example that big drives can come from small packages. Address: Slightly positive O-Factor with shoulders that match his hips. Top: Neutral O-Factor with perfect left-knee drive and right-leg brace.
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WATCH OUT, TIGER! As 2007 begins, Els' O-Factor is better than ever — he's added 11 yards to his driving average.
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STUCK IN NEUTRAL By the end of 2004 and up to injuring his knee in 2005, Els' O-Factor had dropped to zero.
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RELEASE O-FACTOR VIJAY SINGH Driving Avg: 293.7 yds Deep into his release, Singh's hips are wide open and very O-Positive. Notice how his left hip has rotated left of the target while his right hip has turned toward the target. It's a push-pull move that delivers maximum force and compresses the ball on contact. That's how you win the Masters and stay at the top of the game.