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19th Hole

Golf fans question Rafael Nadal’s scratch handicap index after seeing his unorthodox swing



Rafael Nadal is one of the best tennis players of all time, and he is also a keen golfer, finishing T6 after shooting scores of 74-74-77 at the Balearic Golf Championships, a 54-hole low-professional tournament in Mallorca, Spain last month.

And thanks to the European Tour’s social media account, golf fans got a look at the driver swing of Nadal on Wednesday, which you can see below.

The unusual swing of Nadal got plenty of reaction from folks on social media, with many confused as to how the tennis superstar could be a scratch handicap golfer with such an unorthodox movement.

Here are some responses from those on Twitter:

Scratch or not, I doubt Nadal is too fussed about what the critics have to say, especially after picking up his record-tying 20th major championship last month at Roland Garros!

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito



  1. JG

    Dec 8, 2020 at 11:03 am

    All of you that claimed he can’t be scratch are the same people who bet on Steph Curry and Peyton Manning to beat Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley. There is a reason that Phil is one of the Top 5-7 players of all time. A guy that hits a tennis ball that is traveling at him between 90-140 mpg, but he can’t hit a golf ball that is just sitting there on the ground. You guys always help make me lots of money gambling.

  2. JJ

    Nov 24, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    All of you who have made negative comments about Raphael’s swing need to remember four words;
    Jim Furyk. Matthew wolf.
    So put that in your pipe and smoke it……… i’m everything we know about Nadal he could probably become a scratch golfer with a croquet mallet……. that’s how intense and determined he is. Don’t forget that about him

  3. Tyler Durden

    Nov 14, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Reposting deleted reply
    Friend swings just like this, he is also scratch.

  4. Rwj

    Nov 13, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Does he have skidmarks in his undies during golf as well as tennis. He is always picking at his arse

  5. Tyler Durden

    Nov 13, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    My golf buddy swings exactly like this. He is scratch.

  6. Brett B

    Nov 11, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    His swing looks just like his backhand, and he’s the best in the world at that. I would guess he hits it pretty low off the tee, but really far (plenty of clubhead speed, and I’m sure his motion is highly repeatable).

    Plus he’s as mentally tough as they come on the tennis court, so I’d bet his short game is really good.

  7. Brandel Chamblee

    Nov 10, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    But who taught him the pre swing setting of the club face aimed at the sky? That is bizarre!

  8. Hogan1953

    Nov 9, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Think Allen Doyle and others mentioned here like Darcy etc. Bad takes on Twitter, I’m shocked!

  9. cg

    Nov 8, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    Nice drive. 250 yard line drive! Pretty much his only shot.

  10. Duh

    Nov 8, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    It’s a backhand. Why is everyone so shocked?

  11. Jamestown

    Nov 7, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Love the Moe Norman follow thru. This swing works!

  12. freeze

    Nov 7, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Doesnt matter what the backswing looks like its all about impact

  13. Alan Kwon

    Nov 7, 2020 at 3:05 am

    His swing looks exactly like his forehand tennis swing. I mean exactly same. Looks wierd but applying mechanics of tennis swing to golf is pretty amazing.

    • Alan Kwon

      Nov 7, 2020 at 3:07 am

      I meant his backhand swing. He just reversed it to a mirror image.

  14. Ron

    Nov 6, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Yeah so Matt Wolfe isn’t scratch either then.

    • TT

      Nov 7, 2020 at 5:30 pm

      Ohh you know Matt Wolf is wayyyyy better than scratch

  15. Jason

    Nov 6, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    I love when male, 30+ handicaps tell me that ELITE athletes have terrible swings and they have a vanity handicap. You are all WRONG and no, your awful golf swing is MUCH worse than Nadal’s.

  16. Hank

    Nov 6, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Thought he was Padrig Harrington for a moment.

  17. Pureswinger

    Nov 6, 2020 at 10:31 am

    Nailed it! He’s got all the moves. Lifts the sleeves. Picks his underwear. Warms his hand and touches his hat. Love the grip and the extra bounce after the follow through!

  18. delbert

    Nov 6, 2020 at 10:27 am

    sounds like he nailed the driver. He’s an athlete with great hands. Sometimes, that’s all that matters. There’s a lot of good things going on here. He takes an athletic stance. He’s dynamic and moving. You hear the swish of the club head indicating speed. He has rotation and turns through the shot with no flip.

  19. Dan Gibson

    Nov 6, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Wow, that takeaway looks to be a VERY PAINFUL beginning to a successful full swing. But … if you invoke the swing styles of Furyk, Doug Sanders, and a couple of others, I guess that means than anything is possible.

  20. ERIC escal

    Nov 6, 2020 at 2:38 am

    I highly doubted his being a scratch golfer when I saw that swing.

  21. ED

    Nov 5, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    A pretty swing doesn’t make you a scratch golfer.
    Good wedge play,putting and finding fairways does.

  22. Hunter Warne

    Nov 5, 2020 at 10:13 am

    74/74/77 in a club pro tourney does not make you a scratch. I work in the industry with real scratch golfers who would destroy Rafa all day long. Is he a good golfer? For sure. Scratch? I’d have to see it to believe it.

    • Obee

      Nov 23, 2020 at 9:07 pm

      Completely depends on the course they were playing. If it’s around 73 – 74 rating, that absolutely is what a scratch would likely shoot.

  23. kk

    Nov 5, 2020 at 8:43 am

    He shot 74-74-77 in tournament play. Scratch sounds legit.

    • David Bell

      Nov 6, 2020 at 11:53 pm

      I’ve been coaching golf 32 years. Sure, it’s not pretty, but, he squares it in the impact zone, and… it sounds like he’s hitting it where it should be hit(sweet spot). Now, putting and short-game, I haven’t seen, but his hand-eye coordination is elite-level across the board!

  24. SV

    Nov 5, 2020 at 7:41 am

    It’s getting the ball in the hole with the fewest number of strokes, not how pretty the swing is. If that was the case Eamon Darcy would not be a pro golfer and Walter Hagen would not have won 11 majors.

  25. Deacon Blues

    Nov 5, 2020 at 7:06 am

    I believe the scratch handicap. Remember, Rafa plays tennis left-handed, so his golf swing is just an extension of his two-handed backhand. And he’s still gaming that red Nike driver! I still have my old reliable Covert 2.0, but it’s relegated to backup duty now.

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19th Hole

Brooks Koepka reveals what Bryson said to cause his eye-roll reaction



Ahead of this week’s Palmetto Championship, Brooks Koepka has been sharing his perspective of his ongoing feud with Bryson DeChambeau, which he describes as “good for the game”.

The feud erupted a couple of weeks ago when a leaked video showing Koepka’s complete disdain for his rival went viral.

Many golf fans have been wanting to know if Bryson had said anything to Brooks to provoke the strong reaction, and Koepka has this week explained what went down to incite his now-famous eye-roll reaction.

“As far as that goes, he didn’t say anything to me. He wasn’t speaking to me. He was, I guess, either signing his scorecard or wherever he was, and I was just to the right of the media tent, or I guess right in front of the microphones where you guys all were.

I don’t want to say he was like screaming – he was saying something about how he hit a perfect shot and it shouldn’t have been there, and it was just very, very loud. I don’t think the mics picked up on that, but it felt like just so that the fans could hear.

With the media right there, you kind of know, hey, look, we’re all kind of in this area, just tone it down, and it was just so loud. Then I think he realised that he had gotten right behind me, and he toned it down a little bit. I just lost train of thought, which I think was pretty obvious.”

The 31-year-old also took the time to explain why he feels the ongoing feud is good for the game, even though he can understand why some traditionalists may find the affair not to their taste.

“The fact that golf’s on pretty much every news outlet for about two weeks pretty consistently, I think that’s a good thing. It’s growing the game. I get the traditionalists who don’t agree with it. I understand that, but I think to grow the game you’ve got to reach out to the younger generation.

I don’t want to say that’s what this is, but it’s reaching out to a whole bunch of people. It’s getting golf in front of people. I think it’s good for the game.”

As for how the rivalry will impact the chances of the U.S. side at the Ryder Cup, Koepka sees no issues occurring at Whistling Straits later this year, as he doesn’t expect the two to be teamed up.

“There’s only eight guys that are playing, four guys are sitting, whatever. I mean, I play with one other guy. If let’s say I don’t play with Bryson or Bryson doesn’t play with me, he takes care of his match, and I would take care of my match, and I don’t know how that has any effect.

What you do off the golf course doesn’t have any effect on the golf course.”

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19th Hole

‘Clowns’ – Tour pro hits out at fans saying Jon Rahm won the Memorial



Jon Rahm’s withdrawal at the Memorial due to a positive Covid-19 test provoked a strong reaction from golf fans at the weekend, with many upset with how the situation was handled.

Some fans on social media even wanted the winner’s trophy handed to Rahm, who held a 6-shot lead at the time of his WD, and that take elicited a very strong response from Dylan Frittelli.

Following Patrick Cantlay’s win on Sunday evening, Frittelli took to social media where he branded those fans as “clowns” and before this week’s Palmetto Championship explained why.

“I described some people as clowns, talking about how Jon Rahm actually won this tournament, and it’s simply not true. Patrick Cantlay is the winner of the tournament. End of story.”

The South African added how each player on Tour has signed up to play by the rules and that it’s foolish to believe that any player would be exempt from those rules.

“I think it’s quite silly for people to go out there and think you can do something, whether it’s play professional golf, play another sport or work in business and not follow the rules. We’ve signed up to play by the rules.

If Jon Rahm picked his ball up, walked over the hole and dropped it next to it and tapped it in, I think a lot of people would be unhappy that he broke a rule.”


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19th Hole

5 big names who failed to qualify for the 2021 U.S. Open



The field for the 2021 U.S. Open is set, with 156 players ready to tackle the iconic Torrey Pines South next week.

Following last week’s Memorial Tournament, the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking who were not already exempt received invites, and earlier this week, players battled it out for the final places at qualifying.

Here we’ll take a look at 5 big names who you may be surprised to see won’t be teeing it up next week at Torrey Pines.

Jason Day

The 2015 PGA Champion’s 10-year streak of appearing at the U.S. Open will come to an end next week, as Day’s inconsistency and injuries over the past 24 months finally catches up with him.

Day withdrew from last week’s Memorial, citing a bad back, and decided not to enter the qualifying process. The 33-year-old will also be more disappointed than most to miss out, considering he has two wins at this year’s host venue.

The Aussie currently sits 70th in the OWGR, but it’s not all bad for Day with his wife, Ellie, expecting their fourth child.

Rickie Fowler

Many fans will be disappointed by the absence of Rickie Fowler next week in what would have been a home U.S. Open for the native Californian. The 32-year-old has hit some form in recent weeks, which gave him a shot at qualifying, but a slow start in the sectionals ultimately cost Fowler, who ended up missing the playoff by one stroke.

Next week’s U.S. Open will be the first Fowler has missed in 11 years, and just like at the Masters, he told media that he’d likely tune in to the event over at Tiger’s house.

Brandt Snedeker

The times are changing, as yet another long time fixture at U.S. Opens will be missing out this year, and in all honesty, Snedeker was never really close.

The 40-year-old has appeared at every U.S. Open since 2013, but he has now slipped to 135 in the OWGR and missed a playoff in qualifying by five strokes.

Keegan Bradley

One of the most surprising names to miss out on a spot next week is Keegan Bradley, who has not only been a regular at the event but who has also been in decent form in 2021.

The 2011 PGA Champ has four top-25 finishes in his last five starts but still languishes at 73rd in the OWGR and suffered a similar fate to Fowler at qualifying, missing the final playoff by one stroke.

Lucas Glover

Missing his first U.S. Open since 2008, the 2009 champ Lucas Glover missed out on this year’s event mainly in thanks to a mixed bag of results over the last couple of years.

Glover was another who attempted to go through qualifying to earn his spot at Torrey Pines but finished four shots out of the playoff, condemning him to an unwanted week off.

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