Swing Sequence: Miguel Angel Jimenez

1 of 8 Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf
Miguel Angel Jimenez His throwback swing shows you how to crank it without coil Analysis by Top 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall It was easy to pick out Miguel Angel Jimenez at the 2008 Ryder Cup, and not because he was the only golfer with a knotted kink of red hair poking out the back of his cap. His swing is a throwback to a time when Tour players didn't try to coil their shoulders against their lower body. Jimenez turns everything: his shoulders, hips, knees — even his ankles. The lack of resistance costs him some distance (he averages 278 yards off the tee), but his swing is powerful enough to hang at the highest level. Plus, he's a dead-eye from mid-range: In 2008, nobody on Tour knocked it closer from 150 yards than Miguel (19 feet on average). Jimenez understands what he can and can't do. So should you, which means that you should take a good look at Miguel's technique and work some of into your own. Jimenez's swing is one that all mere mortals can copy, and despite the fact that it's missing the torque associated with big yards, it has all the right moves to get you from tee to green in the fewest strokes possible.
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Like all Tour players, Jimenez has his weight over the balls of his feet and his knees over his toes. Pay particular attention to how his upper arms hang straight down, then bend at the elbow to set the shaft so that it points at his belt buckle.
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Halfway back, you can see his shirt buttons and his left knee, evidence that everything is turning. More important, he hinges his wrists so that the shaft sits parallel to the target line. As he continues back, he rolls his forearms to keep the club on plane without lifting the club up.
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Here is where you'll see the biggest difference between Miguel and most other Tour pros. He's made a massive hip turn, but look how much he's rotated his shoulders — plenty of potential energy here. He's a lot like Vijay SIngh in this regard.
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Coming back down, Jimenez stabilizes his lower body so that his upper body can catch up. Notice how the back of his glove points to the sky in Frame 3, and how it points out in front of him here. Perfect forearm rotation and almost zero chance of hitting a slice.
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The most important thing about Jimenez's impact position is how relaxed it looks — he's simply letting the ball get in the way. But he doesn't stop there. After impact, he releases his arms fully and without tension while his chest speeds past his lower body.
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Just like his personality, notice how free-flowing Miguel's arms look in his through-swing. He makes no attempt to steer the ball. The key is to swing your arms with your chest, then allow them to fly away from it in your through-swing into a poised, balanced finish.
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How to Coil Without Resisting One of the best moves you can copy from Jimenez's swing is his right elbow position at the top of his backswing. This really amps up the power in your swing, even if you can't coil against the resistance of your hips like most modern players. The secret is to bend your right elbow like Miguel without bending your left arm. It takes a significant amount of shoulder flexibility to do this correctly, so make sure you loosen up before trying this technique. A. Look Familiar? Take away the long hair, and Miguel's left arm position and shoulder tilt looks a lot like legendary ballstriker Ben Hogan. B. Get Max From Min Jimenez's turn is simple: a lot of shoulders and very little arms. His right upper arm sits against his side just like it did at address. He simply folded his right arm as he rotated his left — easy for you to copy. C. The Brace Place Notice how Jimenez's left knee kicks in as he turns his hips. You can do this to increase your turn as long as you maintain the flex in your right knee. Straightening your right knee is a big no-no.