When you look at the stats, the difference between the game’s top players can sometimes be difficult to sort out. The fractional differences in each skill between players can add up to a great performance or a missed cut. As an instructor, it can be difficult to decide what to work on when the statistics don’t point to a glaring weakness.

That wasn’t the case when I started working with Aaron Baddeley. It was clear from the start that we had to work on his full swing. The best he had ranked tee-to-green since his last PGA Tour win four seasons ago was 157th. Each year he managed to keep his card by being a legendary putter. In those same four years since his last victory, he never ranked worse than 8th in Strokes Gained Putting (he even ranked 1st in 2015). The stats made it very clear. Aaron needed to improve his performance on full shots. My task was simple, if I could help turn the Tour’s best putter into a better ball striker, success would follow.

Last week, Aaron won his first event since 2011 at The Barbosol Championship in Alabama. Ranking 8th in both Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and Putting, his performance with his full swing finally matched his putter. The combination added up to victory.  In an interview after his win, Aaron mentioned us finding the root of his problem and the hard work we’ve done to fix it.

I made a video about his swing change earlier this year, and thought I’d share it with everyone here at GolfWRX.

Aaron’s Swing Change

Applying It to Your Game

This video is part of Scott Hamilton’s “The Iron Swing” series from OnTOURGolf.com. You can watch the first nine chapters of the series by signing up here. 

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Currently teaching 14 PGA Tour players, Scott Hamilton is a staple on the PGA Tour range each week. In 2015, a poll of PGA Tour players conducted by Golf Digest ranked him as the No. 2 instructor on the PGA Tour. His players like him for his ability to conduct a complete analysis of their games and return a simple solution to help them play better.

“You get the result you want without all the big words.” as Scott often says.

19 COMMENTS

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  1. Swing fixes for pros are largely useless for the average hacker who cannot move their upper and lower body independently. Pros can. Back pain awaits people trying to stay in the same spine angle throughout the swing. Not a great thing to copy IMO.

    • His initial swing fault was coming out of his spine angle, straightening out, and getting the handle a lot higher at contact. If you maintain the correct spine angle and tilt down and through contact by focusing on keeping your butt back, the swing has to flatten in order to make a solid strike. Your arms will naturally want to fall almost vertically, placing your hands lower and closer to your body. That little bob down and back to straight with the lead leg at or just after contact helps whip the club head through the impact zone. Tiger did that to an exaggerated degree, I believe to his detriment. Didn’t help his left knee out much, or his current back issues, but the demands and forces he put on his body year after year have seemingly come home to roost in the form of a spectacular but shortened career. Know your own body. Swing accordingly.

  2. Lets not forget why Badds went awry to begin with: he got suckered by Stack & Tilt !!!!
    That’s what got him all out of whack in the first place.
    Now he’s back to a more normal move into the ball. He used to swing great back when he won the Australian.
    Just needed to get his old swing back before he went to Stack

    • I used to do this, because it felt like I was getting more power off it. It was so ingrained that I felt like I was not going to hit it as far if I didn’t do it. I got rid of it mostly through watching instant replays of my swing every time, and just working on hip rotation. With the hip rotating instead of humping air (LOL) it just provided more power rather than less. It’s important to keep that spine angle intact as well. This really helped my issue with drawing the ball too much as bumping the hips towards the ball caused my wrist angle to become flat and the club was more upright promoting a more close clubface and causing the ball to fly/curve left.

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