It is fun to look at very talented players swings and see if we can improve by observing and understanding some of the fundamentals they do so well. Last time we looked at Lexi Thompson’s action. In this episode, I take a close look at the amazing swing of another young LPGA star, Brooke Henderson at high definition courtesy of GolfSwingHD.
Brooke Henderson has a very powerful swing, to say the least. She really turns her back into a very resisting and braced lower body. At the top of her swing, her back is turned over 90 degrees, yet her flexed right knee and inside of right foot remain braced and soak up the weight without any sway whatsoever to the right.
Her hips rotate about half as much as her back turn, which is ideal. This is a tremendous amount of torque when you can turn your back past 90 degrees and still hold the bracing of the lower body.
Brooke’s wrist hinge at the top of the swing is also well beyond parallel, yet her clubface remains square as you can see it tilted about at a 45-degree angle at the end of her backswing. This ultra hinging of the wrists creates the most lag of any tour player. See how the shaft is still pointing back toward the target during the downswing when she drops her hands and her left arm is parallel to the ground. Most amateurs have a “Letter L” left when their left arm is parallel with the ground during the downswing.
Brooke maintains her lag and doesn’t begin to spend the lag until she makes a small bump toward the target. All that pushing into the ground with the inside of the right foot during the backswing is used as a pitchers mound to thrust her weight forward and around. She thrusts with such power that her feet come up on her toes for clearance.
After that small lateral, or forward move, she spins her left hip with a powerful rotation. She is able to keep her head behind the ball through impact, with this powerful trunk rotation and opening of the left hip to the left at impact. Look at her visor stay at or behind the ball at impact while her belt buckle is rotating around to the left. Most amateurs are not able to keep their head behind the ball at impact while opening up the hips to the left like Brooke does.
She releases this stored up lag swing tremendously. The shaft actually is released and ends up pointing somewhat toward the target. She faces left field as a result of not holding anything back while releasing her hands, arms, and body. She ends with the perfect pose of balancing on her front foot with the back foot all the way up which indicates she transferred all of her weight. Many amateurs will have a flat rear foot, or only have a little bit of air under it, indicating there was more weight to transfer into the shot!
You have to agree that this is one of the most powerful swings ever in the history of tour golf. Focus on turning back into a braced lower body like Brooke. Also, focus on keeping your head behind the ball at impact then let it go! Don’t worry about turning past 90 degrees and cocking the wrists as much as this terrific athlete. Brooke is blessed with flexibility, power and balance and plays and practices enough to time a powerhouse swing like this!
In addition to being the head professional and an extremely busy instructor at the Walloon Lake Country Club for the past 29 years, Pete Kelbel also coaches the boys and girl’s (winners of the 2017 State Championship) golf teams at Harbor Springs High School.
Awarded the State Coach of the Year D-4 in 2016 and 2017, Pete Kelbel has taught club champions and students who have gone on to the college level, including two young women at the D-1 level. By stressing fundamentals in his instruction and continually learning from other great teachers Pete plans to continue to help other women golfers of all ages achieve success at the amateur level and beyond.