Vijay Singh’s new swing – get more power and control

1 of 19 Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Your New Swing Starts Here! By PGA Tour Player Vijay Singh with David DeNunzio People have been talking about my "new swing," but all I've really done is tweak my takeaway. I made the change after watching video from the 2007 U.S. Open, when I noticed the club was laid off at the top of my backswing, with the shaft pointed way left of the target. I couldn't believe how sloppy I had become. Since you can't change something in the middle of your swing, I went back to the start. My new takeaway places me in perfect position at the top and every point that follows — automatically. If your swing is inconsistent, or you can't seem to put together two good shots in a row, try my new takeaway, then see if you can copy each of my positions on the pages that follow.
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...NOW I DO THIS! You don't hit the ball with your finish, but it can tell you a lot about the quality of your shot. I love the balance my new swing provides. I've never felt more comfortable at the finish. The fact that my back is straight and the shaft points down the target line tells me that my swing is a lot more rotational than it used to be, and that's one reason I started to tinker with my swing. A. SHAFT Wrap it around your head, not your back. B. TURN Shaft pointing at target, shoulders turned more than hips.
3 of 19 Fred Vuich
6. MY NEW FINISH A flatter back is going to extend my career I USED TO DO THIS... My head used to fall away from the target through impact, resulting in a severe reverse C finish that has caused back problems for a lot of guys. I've been lucky in that regard, but it might have run out if I continued doing it.
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I ALWAYS DO THIS... I never try to steer the ball. You have to let the clubhead go in your release. Getting your right hand on top of your left after impact is an absolute necessity.
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...NOW I DO THIS! Now that I'm more "stacked" over the ball at impact, I can make a flatter, more powerful turn through impact and up to the finish. Notice how my belt is less tilted — I'm rotating, not lifting. The difference isn't severe, but remember: the ball is only so big. Miss by a little and you'll lose a lot. HANDS Point your right knuckles up and your left knuckles down. BODY Make a flatter hip turn, but don't ever stop turning.
6 of 19 Fred Vuich
5. MY NEW FOLLOW-THROUGH My swing is more around, less up and down I USED TO DO THIS... All of my bad positions forced me to pull my left hip up in my through-swing. That works for a lot of guys, but it's a bit of a power sap. This kind of steep downswing is good for wedges, but not for your distance clubs.
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I ALWAYS DO THIS... I never stop turning. A lot of amateurs hit the ball and then stop. Notice how the clubshaft points to the middle of my chest here in my release. If you're guilty of stopping, the shaft will point somewhere else.
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...NOW I DO THIS! Since my approach angle is so much better, my move through the hitting zone is devoid of compensations like leaning back or letting go of the club with my right hand (although you'll still see me do that from time to time). Now I'm more on top of the ball — my head is really into the shot. More important, I'm in better balance, which has had a positive impact on my release and finish positions. A. BODY "Hang back" less with your head more over the ball. B. SHAFT Remains pointing at your chest as you continue to turn.
9 of 19 Fred Vuich
4. MY NEW IMPACT I'm on top of the ball, not behind it I USED TO DO THIS... When I really hung back and approached the ball from the inside, I felt that if I turned the clubhead only a few degrees I'd hit a snap hook. That's why I used to take my right hand off the club — it was a desperate move to stop the clubface from rolling over.
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I ALWAYS DO THIS... The first thing that flashes through my mind at the start of my downswing is "pull!" I'm very left-side oriented, so I pull hard with my left hand from the top and bump my left hip toward the target.
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...NOW I DO THIS! My new top position allows me to make my usual downswing moves and automatically slot the club on plane without it getting stuck on the inside. It happens as if by magic. Notice how my hands are in front of my right hip and not behind it — not much can go wrong when you're in position here. A. ARMS Pull down from the top with your left hand. B. HIPS From the top, move your left hip toward the target. C. HANDS Notice how my left-hand knuckles are now pointing down.
12 of 19 Fred Vuich
3. MY NEW DOWNSWING My swing plane is perfect and not too far to the inside I USED TO DO THIS... Only youth and good hand-eye coordination allowed me to survive on Tour with such an inside delivery. (Notice how "jammed" my right forearm looks as I swing into impact.) You should approach the ball from the inside, but with this extreme approach you get inconsistency.
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I ALWAYS DO THIS... Instead of coiling against the resistance of my hips, I turn everything back, even my left knee. Kicking in my knee like this allows me to turn farther. If you need more distance, try kicking in your left knee.
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...NOW I DO THIS! My new takeaway automatically positions the shaft so it points at the target at the top. Sometimes you'll see it point to the right of the target, like I've done here. That's okay — I'm trying to avoid being laid off at the top at all costs, even by exaggerating the opposite extreme. Once I start the club back, I think about turning my left shoulder behind the ball. That's how I know I'm coiled for maximum power and distance. As I turn my shoulders, I also make an effort to move the clubhead along with them. Try to finish your arm swing and your shoulder turn at the same time. A. SHAFT Points at or even slightly right of the target at the top. B. TURN Rotate your left shoulder all the way behind the ball.
15 of 19 Fred Vuich
2. MY NEW TOP POSITION If you ever see me laid off at the top, something's wrong I USED TO DO THIS... My old takeaway caused the shaft to point to the left of the target at the top. In a sense, the club is off plane when it's laid off like this, and it takes difficult compensations to get it back on track on the downswing. I could hit solid shots this way, but I couldn't hit them consistently.
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I ALWAYS DO THIS... I've always tried to keep the clubface "looking" at the ball until I hinge the club up with my wrists. It's a good way to keep your clubhead on plane and avoid changing the position of the clubface.
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...NOW I DO THIS! On every swing, I think about swinging my hands into my right hip pocket — way more inside than I used to. The trick is keeping your right palm facing the target. Notice how this allows the club to remain way outside my hands, exactly where it should be. (If you roll your hands when you take the club to the inside, you'll end up hitting a slice.) Once I'm here, I can turn back like normal and the shaft will be pointing down the target line at the top. A. WRISTS Don't roll them; keep your right palm facing the target. B. HANDS Swing them back toward your right hip pocket. C. CLUB Make sure the clubhead stays outside your hands.
18 of 19 Fred Vuich
1. MY NEW TAKEAWAY I swing more to the inside, but keep the clubhead outside my hands I USED TO DO THIS... One of the worst things you can do is whip the club to the inside during your takeaway. So for years I swung my hands straight back, or even to the outside of my toe line. Because of this exaggeration, I couldn't get the shaft pointed down the target line at the top.
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I ALWAYS DO THIS... I know I'm swinging well when my finish position looks like this, with my shoulders rotated more than my hips. If you push a lot of shots or tend to hit hooks, try to get your right shoulder pointing at the target at the end of your swing. Special Section: The Tune Up: • Special Section Home Page: The Tune Up • Anthony Kim: Hit straighter drives • Sergio Garcia: Make pure contact on irons • Adam Scott: Build your dream swing • Dr. Dick Coop: Out think opponents