Instant Golf® Special
Aaron Baddeley Golf
Robert Cotter (About
Golf Ball Engineer
of Golf Swing Instruction, Instant Golf®
Baddeley ran down Fred Couples on the weekend to win
the 2011 Northern Trust Open, it was a signal that Aaron's
"swing odyssey" of the past few years had ended. Badd's had
come full circle.
a brilliant amateur career that included winning the Australian
Masters as an 18 yr old, and then defending his title the following
year, Aaron's stardom stalled.
2003, he ditched his childhood golf swing coach (Dale Lynch)
for world renowned instructor David Leadbetter.
He then moved on and became one of the first students of the "Stack
and Tilt" method taught by Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer.
his first 2 PGA Tour wins in 2006 and 2007, Aaron lost his way
to the point where his world ranking fell to a shocking 269th.
years ago, Aaron returned to his first coach Lynch, and
rebuilt his game while growing his family with wife Richelle,
and daughters Jewell and Jolee.
hard work and hours spent with Lynch tested Aaron's character
and faith. In his words, "It's definitely been a couple
of long years, but it was worth every bit. I feel the last couple
years is actually what made it easier today … the
character that it has built in me."
"today", he is referring in part to Sunday's final round in which
he had a
double bogie on #12. The round could have gone either
way at that point. Baddeley birdied the next hole, parred in,
and ended his 4+ year winless drought with the family there to
greet him on 18.
change that swing?...
you are familiar with Aaron Baddeley's golf swing,
you know that it is an effortless, free wheeling work of art.
In my opinion, his swing is a top 5 on Tour and right
there with Hunter Mahan's motion.
remember watching video of Aaron 8-10 yrs back and have wondered
why anyone would trade that natural motion for a more contrived swing
method like Stack and Tilt.
a similar light, Tiger is on the same journey. I believe
his finest, most natural
swing occurred under teacher Butch Harmon. In
the 2000 season Tiger won 9 times, including the
US Open by 15
Would you not want to return to this swing?!!
PGA Pro's can play well with different swing methods. And if
they are mentally tough and have sharp short games, they can
Tour. In the end, the score on the card determines who gets the
though, I believe PGA pros will revert back
to a more natural swing motion, especially under pressure. Any
"unnatural" spine bending or manipulation of the club will break
down under execution at some point in the round and golfers will
get stuck between methods!
are the golfers who disappear from the leaderboards, sometimes
for 5 or 10 years, then reappear after revisiting their "swing
roots". They often have second careers in their 40's.
let's look at a few elements of Aaron Baddeley's natural
swing motion. I'd like to show you a key element of his club
takeaway from the ball, and his waist high position in
the back swing.
what you can copy from Aaron...
setup is comfortable and relaxed below. He looks very stable
with relaxed arms and a stable body. He could stay in this position
he moves the club away form the ball (above right) we start to
see why his motion is simple and precise. He is performing a
key alignment that I find simplifies the swing.
driver face is staying perpendicular to the back swing
that face is "looking" at the ball. His driver shaft
is also pointing at the target line. Simple and precise.
take a closer look:
set some blue "Railroad Tracks" at Aaron's feet and
along the target line, through the ball. As he moves that
club head away
from the ball (with his body rotation), that club shaft
will point at that target line rail as if it is a laser
burning a trench in the grass (along the inside edge of that
there the club head will move back, up, and in to a precise back
swing position. Note, the club head doesn't stay over
the blue line, it moves back, up, and in until the hands reach waist high
as Aaron has powered his take away with his body or core.
applies to an iron too. Here's a close-up of me showing the incorrect
the correct club takeaway below with the shaft pointing to the
inside edge of the rail. Note the ball sits in the middle
rail, so ideally the shaft should point along the inside edge.
Note again, the club head is moving back, up, and in, but the
shaft still points at the rail.
is a solid, symmetrical path that any golfer can learn.
I believe this is the most natural movement and establishes a
swing arc and path. Baddeley is proof of that, with all his clubs!
more key to Aaron's success...
with natural, uninhibited back swings (and down swings) don't
have to manipulate the club in any part of the swing,
because they never get out of position.
a key check point. When the hands are about waist high in
the back swing, the club face angle should approximately match
at Aaron below:
Spine and Club Face angles mirror one another. He has
essentially rotated his body to this point, so the center body
is nicely intact.
80% of recreation golfers have the club face rolled
open at this point and the face is pointing away from the golfer
or even to the
have the face looking straight down at the ground as they have
lifted the club with their arms.
arms and hands are quiet at this point. They have been guided
by his body turn and it shows. Again, the relationship between
the body and club face is clear. He is in a "Go" position
for the rest of the swing.
you can do: Copy this position. Stop a practice
swing at this point and hold it for 30 seconds. Look at the face
it to your spine angle. Let your brain program this feeling.
You will be better able to pass
through this point on your real swing. It works.
this position it changes...
rest of the back swing is widely misunderstood, and
it was a mystery to me for years. Body rotation only takes you
and lifting the arms is ineffective and sets up massive power
leaks (not to mention topped and fat shots, shanks, wild slices,
and pull hooks, etc...).
developed a true understanding of the complete back swing
and down swing after almost a decade of being stuck at a scoring
would be a few years later while designing
and testing golf balls for an industry leader that
I made an important discovery on the testing grounds.
side by side with many top PGA pros (as they tested new
ball designs) afforded me a close-up view of golf balls being
launched deep down the fairways from seemingly effortless swings.
one of these sessions, I made a discovery that I would later
coin the "The
Key To A Repeating Golf Swing" and
it completely changed my game.
importantly, The Key automatically loaded my golf club
shaft at the top of the swing, so I could deliver all
that energy back through the ball at impact. It was
an awesome feeling, and the sound of impact finally mimicked
the players on TV (that snap and fizz of a crisply struck ball).
see, to get the club from the top of the back swing down to impact,
there are a few things that must happen in a fraction of a second,
and they are not intuitive.
down swing is a totally Different Animal than the back
forces created are tremendous, even for the senior or slower
swing speed player. Different muscles are engaged and dynamic
balance must be maintained by calling on specific parts of the
body. And it all takes place in less than 1/3 second!
his solid position at the top, I can
initiate the down swing with The
Key To A Repeating Golf Swing and
ride the motion right to his finish position. You can too.
all great players, past and present, male and female, are performing The
Key whether they are
consciously aware of it or not.
The Key is performed correctly,
the down swing will be on auto pilot. You will be held captive
by your own great swing.
sounds like a gunshot (especially off the driver)
and the golf ball is compressed as efficiently as possible. You
will use all
of your available swing speed with no power leaks or
just like Aaron.