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POLL: Who Has The Best Golf Swing?



Carl Spackler Caddyshack Golf Swing

Recently, I was working on some new DVDs for Swing Man Golf. During the process I reflected back on my journey, and noticed how my choice of a favorite golf swing has evolved over the years.

I forget exactly when I started playing golf — maybe junior high or early high school. But I do remember in those first few years that my Dad would take me out with him several times per season for 18 holes and I would mostly shoot between 110 and 120.

During my junior year in high school, breaking 100 on 18 holes was my barometer for having a good round, and those scores were actually good enough to play in the fourth or fifth slots on my high school varsity team.

Also during that period, Dad and I would watch a lot of sports together on TV. Depending on the season, it was mostly baseball, basketball, and football, but we would also take in other sports like golf when they came on, especially for a tournament like the Masters.

For some reason the swings that always stood out to me in those early years were Fred Couples and Greg Norman, the “Great White Shark.” I didn’t really know much about golf or technique at the time, but I could still appreciate how carefree Freddie looked with his buttery rhythm and super smooth swing.

As for Norman, I suppose parts of what made him noticeable to me were both his long blonde hair as well as his nickname, but I also really liked how confidently and aggressively he would go after the ball while still managing to stay in balance. With him, it seemed to be no-holds-barred when it came time for a full swing.

When I got in to college, Ernie Els was coming on the scene, and much for the same reasons I liked Couples’ swing I really loved watching “The Big Easy” swing. Again, with my knowledge back then, I didn’t really understand what was going on from a technical standpoint, but I sure enjoyed how pretty and effortless looking he was to watch.

Then after five years of working as a computer engineer, I quit my corporate job in Kansas City and moved out to California to pursue a golf career. Shortly after I arrived, I had the good fortune of having Dan Shauger take me under his wing and introduce me to his friend Mike Austin. At first mention, I didn’t know who Austin was but for some reason his name did sound familiar.

Later on, I remembered that as a young boy I had flipped through an old edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and that I had read about Austin’s 515-yard drive that he had hit in the 1974 U.S. National Senior Open in Las Vegas. Almost unimaginably, he was 64 years old at the time of the drive and he used a steel-shafted persimmon wood driver and balata ball to do it.

In a way it was magical for me to get to meet this mystical legend that I had read about as a kid. Shortly after, Dan introduced me to Austin and showed me some old VHS tape video footage of Mike’s swing, I had found my new favorite swing in Austin.

I’ve always been a naturally curious person, and in the years since my initial meeting with Dan and the now late Austin, I’ve spent a great deal of time studying many other great swings as a swing scientist of sorts, and I tried all kinds of different methods in and out of competition. Little did I know it, but both my background in anatomy, kinesiology, physics, patient case analysis, etc., from pharmacy school and also my work as a computer engineer would come in great handy.

In recent years, as a by-product of my research, the person whose swing I found to be my favorite evolved again. This time it would belong to PGA Tour player Ryan Palmer. In fact, some of the primary things I liked about Ryan’s swing are actually many of the same things that helped me go from 14-handicapper to professional golfer.

To me, it’s a low maintenance type of swing that doesn’t require great flexibility that you could just get up out of bed, head to the first tee, and put balls in play all day long. Overall, if you’re looking for a full swing to mimic, I think his is a great choice for both amateurs and professionals. Perhaps in a subsequent article, I’ll talk in more detail about why I like Ryan’s swing.

Anyway, all of that reflection about my favorite swings over the years and why I liked them got me wondering what swings other people liked the most.

As I couldn’t recall any significant poll ever being done to determine who has the best golf swing according to popular vote, I thought it would make for an interesting and fun article. So I did some initial research by asking my friends on Facebook and checking in with those on the Swing Man Golf mailing list to come up with a good list to vote on.

As expected, I got back a lot of nominations for guys like Fred Couples, a younger Ernie Els, Steve Elkington, Greg Norman, Luke Donald, etc, but I also was surprised at the diversity of other responses that came back in as well.

Of course, some of the golfing greats like Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Sam Snead came up.

Tiger was mentioned too, but different people favored certain swings of his over others (Ex. Pre-Harmon, Harmon, Haney, or Foley)

There were also home grown swings from guys like Bubba Watson, John Daly, Miller Barber, and Tommy Gainey.

From the women, Annika Sorenstam, Mickey Wright, and Na Yeon Choi got nominations.

A number of long drivers got the nod including Jamie Sadlowski, Landon Gentry, Mike Austin, Mike Dobbyn, Mike Dunaway, and Pat Dempsey.

Several teachers were mentioned, like Martin Chuck and Stack & Tilt’s Mike Bennett.

Count Yogi and Moe Norman made the list…and even yours truly got votes.

Carl Spackler, from Caddyshack was also suggested, which I thought was hilarious, but in all seriousness I decided not to include his weed whacking excellent-ness in the final poll below. It did, however, make for a great title picture for this article.

Interestingly, what became really apparent to me from everyone’s feedback is that people have very different definitions of what constitutes the best golf swing. Their favorite swing could be from someone who is smooth and rhythmic, it might look pretty or ugly, it could be powerful, it could have certain swing fundamentals or mechanics, it could be more or less optimal from a mathematical or scientific standpoint, etc.

It doesn’t even necessarily have to belong to a great player because there’s more to achieving a good golf score and winning than just the full swing. You could have a wonderful player with a terrible full swing and at the same time have someone that doesn’t play that much and/or isn’t even on Tour who has a lovely and very desirable golf swing.

All that being said, this article is about doing a poll, so let’s get to it without further ado.

Below are 72 choice for your favorite golf swing, which is absolutely crazy for any normal sort of poll. I thought about hand picking ones that seemed to get the most votes in my initial research to narrow it down to maybe 5 or 10 options, but I didn’t want to limit the selections to those of my own personal bias and/or marginalize someone else’s choice of best swing. And who knows? Maybe the results will also yield some surprises. Plus, we’ll actually be able to determine by popular vote which golfer has the best golf swing and be able to rank them accordingly.

Perhaps there are some other swings that deserve to be on this list, but at the least this is as inclusive of anything that’s ever been done before.

So…what about you? Who do you think has the best swing in golf?

Cast in your vote and feel free to comment below about whom you chose, why you picked him or her, if you think someone else deserves to be on the list, etc.

What golfer's swing is your favorite?

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Jaacob Bowden is a Professional Golfer, PGA of America Class A Member, Top 100 Most Popular Teacher, Swing Speed Trainer, the original founder of Swing Man Golf, the co-creator of "Sterling Irons" single length irons, and has caddied on the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS. Formerly an average-length hitting 14-handicap computer engineer, Jaacob quit his job, took his savings and moved from Kansas to California to pursue a golf career at age 27. He has since won the Pinnacle Distance Challenge with a televised 381-yard drive, won multiple qualifiers for the World Long Drive Championships including a 421-yard grid record drive, made cuts in numerous tournaments around the world with rounds in the 60s and 70s, and finished fifth at the Speed Golf World Championships at Bandon Dunes. Jaacob also holds the championship record for golf score with a 72 in 55 minutes and 42 seconds using only 6 clubs. The Swing Man Golf website has more than 8,000 members and focuses primarily on swing speed training. Typically, Jaacob’s website members and amateur and tour player clients will pick up 12-16 mph of driver swing speed in the first 30 days of basic speed training. You can learn more about Jaacob, Swing Man Golf, and Sterling Irons here: Websites – & &; Twitter - @JaacobBowden & @SwingManGolf & @SterlingIrons; Facebook – & & <; Instagram - YouTube – – More than 2.8 million video views



  1. Cody flowers

    Mar 18, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Bobby jones is by far the best ever. Anyone knows that the he who uses the least effort has the most efficient swing. No one knows what a good swing look like anymore they are all gone, all the pure swings. There may be a couple here and there but I don’t see how any of the modern players are very good when true lag cannot be created without the lifting of the left heel. People also do not have the proper take away anymore and they do not know how to achieve it. Most of these peoples perception of the game is all twisted and wrong. It’s sad really what has happened to this game. If everyone just watched those old bobby jones instruction tapes everyone would turn out to be a bubba Watson so that would be no good. This is all lost knowledge.

  2. Ron

    Nov 19, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Ben Hogan had the best golf swing.Words can’t make someone the greatest golfer but the actions of Ben Hogan’s swing did make him the best ever.Even Jack Nicklaus said that Ben Hogan was the best.That’s coming from a man that had one of the greatest careers in golf.A very humbling thing to say of someone else in the same field of work.Others have said as much as well.

  3. charles

    Jul 18, 2014 at 12:41 pm



  4. charles

    Jul 18, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    tom Purtzer was picked by the PGA tour players as having the best golf swing on tour at one time. they would know and i agree.


  5. Jace

    Jul 7, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I like Gary Woodland. Simple, smooth and enormous power.

  6. Shaun

    Mar 26, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Mike Austin hands down. If I couldn’t have that swing, give me Tiger in 2000.

  7. Matt

    Sep 7, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Billy Horschell and Adam Scott have the best swings on tour at the moment! How Horschell is not on the poll amazes me.

    See it for yourself


  8. Chris arrand

    Aug 14, 2013 at 6:18 am

    What about faldo. His swing looked great shame about his putting

  9. Johan

    Aug 5, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Henrik Stenson ought to be on the list. When he has a good year his swing and his game is so good and so versitile. Mybe a bit quick but still

  10. Peter Reich

    Aug 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I can’t believe that the mechanical swing of today has out shined the fluid and graceful swing of previous eras. I see Bobby Jones as having the best swing of all time! He has no wasted movements (a large leg kick on the backswing or an exaggerated dip on the down swing) like the swing choices above and he has the power and accuracy without being robotic or aggressive towards the ball. Overall when a lawyer from the 30’s addresses a golf ball with a slightly open stance, a posture that is at ease, and fluid controlling hands and then allows physics and gravity to coil the club back and then drop and release the club through the ball it can be nothing other than extraordinary!!!

  11. Clayton

    Jul 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I really like Martin Kaymer’s swing

  12. Evan

    Jul 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Henrik Stenson is a really nice modern swing for a bigger frame/ bigger guy… many swings that are personal favorites or are being modeled need to have similar body types. One thing I always look at when comparing swings is taking body size/ type into account. Best big guy swings (6’2″+): Tom Weiskopf, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Davis Love 3, Nicolas Colsaerts (very similar to DL3)

  13. Sébastien

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Great, really great article Jaacob!

    Do you play in Otelfingen?…I had to laugh when I saw the range and thought wow, really?? 🙂

  14. viper

    Jul 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm


  15. aliceryder

    Jul 15, 2013 at 12:52 am

    It doesn’t matter if who really had the best golf swing. What’s important for me is that my faves on the list! Adam Scott being on top and Tiger Woods!

  16. Jim.

    Jul 14, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Totally agree with JJMule…. Robert Rock has a fantastic swing in so many ways not least aesthetically.
    Another vote for Rocky here

  17. Dolph Lundgrenade

    Jul 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Why wasn’t I on this list? I have the best swing of all these jokers

  18. Nicholas

    Jul 13, 2013 at 3:39 am

    Rickie Fowler**** not “Ricky”

  19. Sky

    Jul 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Who the heck voted for Tommy Gainey? lol

  20. Boda

    Jul 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Hubert Green?

  21. Sean

    Jul 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I’m not really interested in who has the best swing, what impresses me is who has the lowest scoring average. It doesn’t matter how the club head gets to the ball, as long as it gets there the way it’s suppose to. 🙂

  22. John

    Jul 12, 2013 at 11:16 am

    There’s a lot on that list that aren’t great ball-strikers, and a ton of great ball-strikers that are on the list. Maybe update it?

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jul 12, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      How are you defining someone as a great ball-striker or not?

      Of the 60 million or so golfers in the world, every one of these guys could be considered an upper 99th percentile ball-striker.

      But anyway, this piece was more about determining and ranking everyone’s favorite swings regardless of ball-striking skills. 😉

  23. Paul

    Jul 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Sam Snead – Timeless and won more tournaments then any other player in the US. Not as many majors as Jack but proved he could win – over and over again…!

  24. K Biebs

    Jul 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    No love for Geoff Ogilvy?

  25. Ryan williams

    Jul 11, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Carlos Franco’s double eagle such a smooth epic swing.

  26. kiko

    Jul 11, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Frankie Minoza

  27. franc

    Jul 11, 2013 at 6:54 am

    jim mclellan

  28. David Schultz

    Jul 11, 2013 at 3:03 am

    Jim McLellan

  29. Lee

    Jul 11, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Noh Seung Yul. Hands down.

  30. Blaise

    Jul 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    tom watson!!!

  31. Rusty Cage

    Jul 10, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    No love for Lydia Ko?

  32. dario

    Jul 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Where Is Hunter Mahan ?? He is definetly a top ten in that list !

  33. jjmule

    Jul 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    My personal all-time favorite is George Knudson (Hogan also loved his swing…)

    Recently, I’ve really been impressed with Robert Rock’s action – the best I’ve seen on any tour. Sort of a cult has grown up regarding his swing – check YouTube if you don’t believe me.

    He should be on your list

  34. dg7936

    Jul 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Tom Purtzer has a great swing. Not many wins but a classic move through the ball. Stuart Appleby has a solid simple swing that lets him crush the ball. Lots of different ways to hit it, a lot depends on your body type.

  35. Joel

    Jul 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    How about a Canadian in the Mix, Graham Delaet, he swings the club so good! I believe if people mimic’d his shoulder turn alone, they would find themselves hitting further and with more consistency.

    • steven

      Jul 11, 2013 at 8:18 am

      Good call with Graham. I was following DL3 at The Barclays last year and Graham was in the group, little guy, but has some muscle to him, the kid hit it forever

  36. Jaacob Bowden

    Jul 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Some great diversity in favorites here. Good learning.

    The “Other” category is sitting in 12th…and looks like it would now be filled up with a combination of Hunter Mahan, Tom Watson, Billy Casper, Raphaël Jacquelin, Marina Stuetz, Phil Mickelson, Retief Goosen, Jim Furyk, Bruce Lietzke, Billy Horschel, Robert Rock, Ryo Ishikawa, John Merrick, and Vaughn Taylor.

    So I’m guessing none of these golf swings would individually crack the top 10, but certainly still worth including in the overall poll.

  37. freddy

    Jul 10, 2013 at 9:52 am

    sam sneed. played longer than anyone. and everyone loves syrup!

  38. Steven

    Jul 10, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Billy Horschel or John Merrick

  39. Max

    Jul 10, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Ry? Ishikawa!

  40. Martin Chuck

    Jul 10, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Honored to be on the list. My mom must have voted.

  41. Ryan

    Jul 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Robert Rock???

  42. Tom Miller

    Jul 9, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    If you didn’t pick Ben Hogan or Byron Nelson, then you are not a student of the game. I picked Ben. They should be tied for first place.

  43. John M

    Jul 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Jeev Milka Singh… JUST KIDDING

    But seriously, justin rose or oostie

  44. Brian

    Jul 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I’m going with Billy Horschel right now. Just about perfect.

  45. Jerry Crowell

    Jul 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    1950’s Mike Austin. Jack Nicklaus 2nd. DJ Watts 3rd.

  46. DJ Watts

    Jul 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Jack Nicklaus. Nearly flawless and didn’t crack under pressure. 18 majors. My choice for best swing.

    • John

      Jul 12, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Your equating success with ball striking ability. Doesn’t work that way

  47. terry

    Jul 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    So are most people here picking the best swing based on what top instructors think is the ideal swing…? The best swing is one that produces the best results, especially under pressure. The best swings are ones that you don’t have to think about to execute, alla Jim Furyk. According to Trackman, Furyk has delivered the club head into the ball on all the proper angles more consistently than any other player on tour. Before trackman, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman, Fred Couples and Bruce lietzke come to mind. and finally, Moe Nornam deserves a mention. Not only were these swings consistent, they were poetry in motion, not like all the robots you see today. when i think of best swings, i think of poetry and art, not robots.

  48. Aeron Bowden

    Jul 9, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    My vote is for Charles Barkley!

  49. x125

    Jul 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm


    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jul 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      Retief’s another good one from South Africa.

      Oosthuizen, Els, Shwartzel, Immelman, etc…what are they putting in the water down there?

      This list was 72 but it could’ve gotten to 75-80 good choices.

  50. JC

    Jul 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I’m always mesmerized by Freddie Couples’ swing. At 53 he can still poke it out there 300 yards and he’s just so smooth and fluid. The club head looks like it’s moving through quicksand…and then he makes contact and the ball just ignites. Fantastic.

  51. Omar

    Jul 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    No Phil?! Such a beautiful swing, and the only lefty swing that doesn’t look awkward to me

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jul 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Phil has a crazy amount of club face rotation down through the hitting area…I think that’s one reason why he’s so streaky.

      But yes, it is a beautiful looking motion and not as awkward as many other swings.

      Weird that no one mentioned him either in my initial polling research. I probably should have put him in anyway.

  52. GCC

    Jul 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Ol’ Neil Wilkins will be one proud dude when he sees this!

  53. anom

    Jul 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    LPGA rookie Marina Steutz has an absolutely beautiful swing. Currently it has to be her so I’m going with other

  54. Rob hogan

    Jul 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    John daly has to get my vote with Bowden just behind!!

  55. Sean

    Jul 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    To me, it’s not who has the best looking swing, it’s what is the best swing. The best swing is the one which will not injure your body over a period of time. A good instructor will not force/make you swing a certain way, just because the instruction book says to do it this way. A good instructor will help you develop a swing based on your body type and physical limitations. It may not look pretty, but it will be effective and not cause you to injure yourself. Yes, Fred has a great looking swing, just don’t ask him how his back is doing. Obviously golf is not a physical contact sport, but just look at all the pro’s who have to take time off to recover from injuries. If it wasn’t for
    golf, a majority of Chiropractor’s would be serving happy meals.

  56. Antonio

    Jul 9, 2013 at 11:10 am

    From Booby Jones, Byron said ” Bob´s golf swing was quite elegant – it was a long swing with great rhythm and it had a wonderfull pace -“

  57. Tommy

    Jul 9, 2013 at 10:29 am

    “Swing YOUR swing”
    Arnie, 2013

  58. Darrren

    Jul 9, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Id say GOD would be envious of Adam Scott, there no question his is the best, 2nd would have been woods.

    • G

      Jul 9, 2013 at 8:47 am

      You couldn’t be more wrong.

      • JC

        Jul 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        Based on the voting so far G, I’d say you’re pretty clearly in the wrong here!

        • G

          Jul 11, 2013 at 10:43 pm

          Ha! This is just opinion, not fact. Technically, Oosty has a better swing. So does Bill Haas.

  59. Cris

    Jul 9, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Really? No Hunter Mahan? You can’t be serious.

  60. Andy

    Jul 9, 2013 at 2:14 am

    How in the world is Ben Hogan sitting outside the top 5…? What are you people doing?!?!?!

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jul 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Haha, certainly some surprises here, eh?

      As it sits right now, I would never have guessed Adam Scott would be #1. Top 10, yes…but I didn’t expect #1.

      It’s also interesting to see how the different versions of Tiger’s swing are rating.

      Fun poll. 🙂

  61. Gregor Reeves

    Jul 9, 2013 at 2:04 am

    When Ryan was in high school his parents were members at Tascosa CC in Amarillo. It is fun watching a nice kid grow up and become a great man. He hasn’t had many tweeks to his swing since high school.

  62. DJ King

    Jul 8, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Ben Hogan has the best swing of all time, he makes it seem so fluid and simple

  63. tyler brooke

    Jul 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Modern player I’d probably go with Adam Scott. Vintage would be Hogan

  64. Emilio

    Jul 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I like Byron Nelson. Basically he design and redesign his swing to make it one of the most reliable under tournament pressure. Just 11 wins in a row, one of the biggest streak in history of any sport, made him enough money to retire early in his life. Even the golf club designer named their testing robot Iron Byron!!!

  65. Scott

    Jul 8, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Where’s Hunter Mahan.

  66. Jim

    Jul 8, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I didn’t see Tom Watson? Great swing with longevity, yes?

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jul 9, 2013 at 10:29 am

      That’s true, Jim. I think Tom Watson should be on here as well.

      Similarly, to what I said above about Hunter Mahan, I’m surprised he didn’t show up in my initial polling.

      Thus far from the comments, between him and Hunter Mahan, it looks like those are the only two that were missed as significant voting options. Not bad!

      So far, with the “Other” category currently in 13th place, I would think those votes would mostly be taken up by Watson and Mahan.

      Although, perhaps Billy Casper would have been a good addition too.

      Anyway, I’m pleased at the comprehensiveness of the list. It’s a great list to choose from and I think it was covered well.

      We got almost everyone!

  67. Chris

    Jul 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I didn’t look carefully. Elk is clearly on the list. My apologies!

  68. Derek

    Jul 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Adam Scott. I think even God himself wants his swing

    • G

      Jul 9, 2013 at 8:46 am

      I totally disagree. It’s such a forced, showy swing. Bill Haas, all the way – totally natural and fluid.

  69. Chris

    Jul 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Steve Elkington should be on the choice list. Flawless swing.

    • tyler brooke

      Jul 8, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Agreed, was looking for him on the list.

    • Dolph Lundgrenade

      Jul 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm


    • Peter Reich

      Aug 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      He is on the list. I’m amazed so many people can’t find him, lol.

  70. Adam

    Jul 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Gotta have Hunter Mahan on here, it’s the swing that Foley says is the model for TW and JR to strive for.

    • dingleberry

      Jul 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      He has to much face rotation in his swing.

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jul 9, 2013 at 10:21 am

      He’s not my favorite swing.

      However, I agree with you, he would’ve been good to have on the list. I’m surprised in my initial polling that his name didn’t come up.

      The “Other” option in the poll is currently ranked 13th, so it’s feasible he could finish that high in the voting.

    • Joel

      Jul 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Couldn’t Agree with you more Adam!

    • c

      Jul 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      Chad Campbell over Pat Bates all day, I bet he’d be in the top 30 if you made him a selection

    • John

      Jul 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      Completely agree, one of the top ball strikers consistently. If you look, boo, hunter, and dufner have similar “foley,s&t,hogan,turn in a barrel” type swings, though with there own style and subtle differences.

    • Dolph Lundgrenade

      Jul 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Seriously… the modern swing model is not even on the list? pssh.

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Kingston Heath: The Hype is Real



We touched ground late in the afternoon at Melbourne Airport and checked in very, very late at hotel Grand Hyatt. Don’t ask about our driving and navigating skills. It shouldn’t have taken us as long as we did. Even with GPS we failed miserably, but our dear friend had been so kind to arrange a room with a magnificent view on the 32nd floor for us.

(C) Jacob Sjöman.

The skyline in Melbourne was amazing, and what a vibrant, multicultural city Melbourne turned out to be when we later visited the streets to catch a late dinner. The next morning, we headed out to one of the finest golf courses that you can find Down Under: Kingston Heath. We had heard so many great things about this course, and to be honest we were a bit worried it almost was too hyped up. Luckily, there were no disappointments.

Early morning at Kingston Heath C) Jacob Sjöman.

Here’s the thing about Kingston Heath. You’re driving in the middle of a suburb in Melbourne and then suddenly you see the sign, “Kingston Heath.” Very shortly after the turn, you’re at the club. This is very different than the other golf courses we’ve visited on this trip Down Under, where we’ve had to drive for several miles to get from the front gates to the club house.

(C) Jacob Sjöman.

Nevertheless, this course and its wonderful turf danced in front of us from the very first minute of our arrival. With a perfect sunrise and a very picture friendly magic morning mist, we walked out on the course and captured a few photos. Well, hundreds to be honest. The shapes and details are so pure and well defined.

(C) Jacob Sjöman.

Kingston Heath was designed by Dan Soutar back in 1925 with help and guidance from the legendary golf architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie, who added to its excellent bunkering system. Dr. MacKenzie’s only design suggestion was to change Soutar’s 15th hole from a 222-yard par-4 (with a blind tee shot) to a par-3. Today, this hole is considered to be one the best par-3 holes Down Under, and I can understand why.

I am normally not a big fan of flat courses, but I will make a rare exception for Kingston Heath. It’s a course that’s both fun and puts your strategic skills to a serious test. Our experience is that you need to plan your shots carefully, and never forget to stay out of its deep bunkers. They’re not easy.

The bunker shapes are brilliant. (C) Jacob Sjöman.

Kingston Heath is not super long in distance, but it will still give you a tough test. You definitely need to be straight to earn a good score. If you are in Melbourne, this is the golf course I would recommend above all others.

Next up: Metropolitan. Stay tuned!

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NBA Great Byron Scott explains why Charles Barkley’s golf game deteriorated



It’s the season for basketball and golf, and NBA great Byron Scott had some interesting takes on each when he joined our latest episode of “The 19th Hole with Michael Williams” podcast.

When asked who would win a matchup between his Showtime Lakers — consisting of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy — and the current Golden State Warriors, Scott left no doubt on the outcome.

“I give [the Warriors] a lot of credit for the way they playy the game,” Scott said. “They play a very unselfish brand of basketball and it’s all about winning for them. None of the players have agendas and I admire that. But if we go a a seven game series, we in our heyday and those guys playing the way they play now, we would look at them and say ‘we win this series in five or six games.'”

Scott did recognize the fact that the way the game is refereed would have a bearing on the outcome, however.

“Are we going to play 80’s rules or are we going to play 2018 rules where you can barely touch anybody?” Scot said. “If we play the 80’s rules where you can have the physicality in the game, where we can really get after you, then the series is going to be a pretty short one.”

Scott also talked about playing golf with Charles Barkley and his attempt to cure his now-famous swing issues.

“I played with Charles when he was about a 8-handicap; that was the first time I played with him…he had a really good swing,” Scott said. “Two years later I played with him [at the American Century Celebrity Pro-Am] in Lake Tahoe. That’s when he had the swing that he has today. I was shocked! I was like, ‘Man, what happened?’ He told me the story about hitting somebody (in the gallery) and that he just couldn’t pull the trigger anymore. And I said to him, ‘Are you that mentally weak that you hit someone in the gallery and now you can’t pull the trigger? C’mon, Charles; you’re supposed to be tougher than that.'”

Scott’s motivational speech was well-intentioned, but not especially well-received by Sir Charles.

“He proceeded to curse me out because he didn’t appreciate the way I said that,” laughed Scott. “It was funny, though because the first time he had that really good swing, but ever since then he’s been awful. And he continues to be awful and I don’t think there’s a cure right now for Charles besides just putting it down for a year or two and trying to pick it back up.”

We’d need a time machine to see that Lakers-Warriors matchup, but a Scott vs. Barkley match play on the links sounds like it would be most entertaining.

Listen to the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

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Opinion & Analysis

Fantasy Preview: 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play



The second World Golf Championship of the year begins this week for what will be the final stop before The Masters for the majority of players in the field. As always with WGC events, the field is stacked — only Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose are missing from the world’s top-10. With an earlier start than usual, 16 groups of four will battle it out in a round-robin format starting Wednesday. The winner of each group will advance to the last 16, which will complete in a straight knockout format from there on in.

Austin Country Club has held the event since 2016, and it’s been a course that has offered up lots of excitement so far. Expect more of the same this week, with four reachable Par 5s on offer as well as a drivable Par-4. The Par-71 course is a modest 7,043 yards with plenty of elevation changes and a mix of tight, tree-lined fairways on the opening nine. The fairways on the back 9 are more generous. Some of the key stats that I’m focusing on this week include Par-5 Scoring, Proximity to the Hole Inside 125 yards and Birdie or Better Percentage, which is always important in match play. Last year, a red-hot Dustin Johnson beat Jon Rahm in the final 1 up, which was his third-consecutive victory at the time.

Selected Tournament Odds (via Bet365)

  • Rory McIlroy 7/1
  • Dustin Johnson 8/1
  • Justin Thomas 10/1
  • Jon Rahm 12/1
  • Jason Day 14/1
  • Jordan Spieth 20/1
  • Phil Mickelson 20/1

For me, this is the most difficult event on the calendar to predict. Over 18 holes, any player in the field is capable of beating anyone else. We saw just that last year when Hideto Tanihara defeated Jordan Spieth 4&2 and Soren Kjeldsen took down Rory Mcilroy 2&1. For that reason, it’s certainly an event that I’d advise to play conservatively, especially before we reach the knockout phase. Despite the unpredictability of some of the results, however, recently it’s been an event that has been won by the world’s elite. Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day (twice) have claimed the title in the past four years.

From the top of the board, it’s multiple champion Jason Day (14/1, DK Price $9,200) who gets my vote. The Australian has played a limited schedule so far this year, and he seems to be flying under the radar for the year’s first major. I find the lack of attention surprising. He has a win and a second-place finish to his name already in only three starts this year. Last week at Bay Hill he finished T22, where he appeared a little rusty on the opening couple of days before shaking it off and shooting an impressive 67 on Saturday.

Austin Country Club is a course that undoubtedly suits Day. He dominated the event in 2016 when he was playing his absolute best golf, and he was very unfortunate that he was unable to defend last year on account of his mother’s health. It was an issue that appeared to effect his entire season, but there is no doubt that the signs are very good for Day in regards to 2018. Mainly, because he has the magic touch back with the putter. In 2016, he had one of the greatest putting years of recent times, and albeit early on in the season, he is currently on course to match it. Day leads the field in putting for the season by a decent margin, and on the slick bermuda greens of Austin Country Clubs, where he has memories of holing just about everything two years ago, it could play a huge factor yet again this week.

Along with the Queenslander’s fabulous form on the greens, Day is dominating the Par 5’s, where he sits second in the field over his last 12 rounds. Day loves to play aggressive golf, and it’s one of the reasons the match play format suits him so much. The odd blow-up hole is not the disaster that it would be in stroke play, and he has the ability to rack up birdies fast. So far this season, Day is third in this field for birdie or better percentage.

Day will be the favorite to advance from Group 8, which contains James Hahn, Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Dufner, but the unpredictability of the match play format means it will be far from easy. Should he do so, however, he may be an extremely difficult man to stop, and 14/1 is not a bad price on him repeating his heroics of 2016.

Patrick Reed’s (30/1, DK Price $7,700) return to form has been long overdue. With back-to-back weeks finishing in the top-10, he should be feeling confident in a format that in the past he has blown hot and cold in. Despite his colossus performances in the Ryder Cup, the WGC-Matchplay has been a frustrating event for the Texan. He has yet to make it past the Round of 16, but he seems to be rejuvenated by the return of his idol, Tiger Woods, to the PGA Tour. We’ve seen a far more aggressive Patrick Reed as of late.

With the top seed in his group being Jordan Spieth, there’s speculation that their matchup could be a fiery one. Last week, Patrick Reed was recorded saying that he guessed he needed to be Jordan Spieth to get a free drop after he was left fuming by a ruling. Personally, I don’t think there will be any hostility from either player, but perhaps the attention it has received over the last day will fire up Reed, who seems to produce his best when in the spotlight.

All facets of Reed’s game are firing at the moment. He is fourth in this field for Strokes Gained Tee to Green, Strokes Gained Around the Green and Strokes Gained Total over his last eight rounds. Not withstanding the volatility of 18-hole matchups, there is a sense that Spieth may be a little vulnerable right now. Reed will be relishing the opportunity to take him on in what could possibly be an important Game 3. At 30/1, there is a confidence about Reed at the moment that I like, and it could see him finally deliver in a format that he has adapted to so well in The Ryder Cup.

The star name in Group 7 is the current Masters Champion Sergio Garcia, but I’m willing to take him on this week with Xander Schauffele (66/1, DK Price $7,400). The 2017 Rookie of the Year has been playing well as of late with three-consecutive top-20 finishes. From that period, he scores well in the key statistics, which should bode well for him this week. The Californian is 10th for Strokes Gained on Par 5s for his last 12 rounds, and on a course where wedge play is vitally important, his short irons seem to be in excellent shape. Over the same period, Schauffele is 15th in the field for Proximity to the Hole from 100-125 yards and 16th from 75-100 yards.

He will have to overcome Garcia, as well as Shubhankar Sharma and Dylan Frittelli to advance to the next phase. Garcia has never looked comfortable at Austin Country Club, however, and I think Schauffele may be the best option to pounce on any weakness he shows. Schauffele does not rank outside 30th in this field for his last 12 rounds in any major statistic, and he is eighth overall for Strokes Gained Total.

Last but not least is Webb Simpson (100/1, DK Price $7,800), who is in Group 15 alongside Pat Perez, Gary Woodland and Si-Woo Kim. I think it’s fair to say that this looks to be one of the most unpredictable of the lot. Yet at 100/1, it was an easy enough decision to add Simpson to my stable this week, who just like Xander is performing well in the key statistics.

The former U.S. Open Champion is 17th in this field over his past 12 rounds on Par 5s, but it’s been his wedge play that really got my attention. Over the same period, Simpson ranks seventh for proximity to the hole from 100-125 yards and 15th from 75-100 yards. Some other good signs for Simplson include his putting, as he currently sits 11th for the season in Strokes Gained Putting. His scoring average for the season is also an impressive 69.5, which is seventh on the PGA Tour. At 100/1, it seems worth a small investment in what I’m expecting to be another roller coaster of an event with plenty of surprises.

Recommended Plays

  • Jason Day 14/1, DK Price $9,200
  • Patrick Reed 30/1, DK Price $7,700
  • Xander Schauffele 66/1, DK Price $7,400
  • Webb Simpson 100/1, DK Price $7,800
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19th Hole