An Instant Golf® Special Report

Aaron Baddeley Golf Swing Analysis

 

Robert Cotter of Instant Golfby Robert Cotter (About the Author)
Professional Golf Ball Engineer
Director of Golf Swing Instruction, Instant Golf®

When Aaron 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.

After a brilliant amateur career that included winning the Australian Masters as an 18 yr old, and then Aaron Baddeley golferdefending his title the following year, Aaron's stardom stalled.

In 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.

After 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.

Two 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.

The 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 of years is actually what made it easier today … the character that it has built in me."

By "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.

Why change that swing?...

If 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.

I 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.

Tiger Woods practice In 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 strokes. Would you not want to return to this swing?!!

Talented PGA Pro's can play well with different swing methods. And if they are mentally tough and have sharp short games, they can win on Tour. In the end, the score on the card determines who gets the trophy.

Ultimately 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!

These 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.

So 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.

Here's what you can copy from Aaron...

Aaron's setup is comfortable and relaxed below. He looks very stable with relaxed arms and a stable body. He could stay in this position all day:

Aaron Baddeley golf swing    golf club impact

As 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.

Aaron's driver face is staying perpendicular to the back swing arc and that face is "looking" at the ball. His driver shaft is also pointing at the target line. Simple and precise.

Let's take a closer look:

Aaron Baddeley driver golf swing

I've 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 rail).

From 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.

This applies to an iron too. Here's a close-up of me showing the incorrect takeaways:

golf club alignment

Here's the correct club takeaway below with the shaft pointing to the inside edge of the rail. Note the ball sits in the middle of the 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.

golf swing club take away

This is a solid, symmetrical path that any golfer can learn. I believe this is the most natural movement and establishes a perfect back swing arc and path. Baddeley is proof of that, with all his clubs!

One more key to Aaron's success...

Golfer's 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.

Here's a key check point. When the hands are about waist high in the back swing, the club face angle should approximately match your spine angle!

Look at Aaron below:

Aaron Baddeley golf back swing

His Spine and Club Face angles mirror one another. He has essentially rotated his body to this point, so the center body relationship is nicely intact.

About 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 sky. Others have the face looking straight down at the ground as they have lifted the club with their arms.

Aaron's 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.

What you can do: Copy this position. Stop a practice swing at this point and hold it for 30 seconds. Look at the face and compare 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.

From this position it changes...

The rest of the back swing is widely misunderstood, and it was a mystery to me for years. Body rotation only takes you so far, 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...).

I developed a true understanding of the complete back swing and down swing after almost a decade of being stuck at a scoring plateau in my own game.

It 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.

Working 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.

In 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.

Most 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).

You 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.

Hence, the down swing is a totally Different Animal than the back swing!

The 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!

From 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.

Aaron and all great players, past and present, male and female, are performing The Key whether they are consciously aware of it or not.

When The Key is performed correctly, the down swing will be on auto pilot. You will be held captive by your own great swing.

Impact 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 slop, just like Aaron.

 

If you are not happy with your game and are looking for a new direction in the 2014 season, I would like the opportunity to help you by showing you The Key To A Repeating Golf Swing and my complete swing technique.

You will benefit from my firsthand experience inside the ropes, working with some of the top players in the game. I am convinced you will benefit tremendously from my swing instruction.

In 25+ years of playing golf, I have concluded that a golfer can not break 80 without a repeating golf swing. It does not have to be perfect, but it must be reproducible. When a repeating swing takes form, a whole new level of satisfaction results as the golfer is now able to play the game the way it was intended.

My trademark move, The Key, loads the golf shaft at the top, and then delivers the club head right back through the ball with precision power and control. It is the star of the show. I can't play without it.

In fact my discovery of The Key was the very catalyst for my whole career in the golf industry. It was also the sole factor that..

Took my scores from the 110's to the 70's after struggling for years
with inconsistent ball striking and a stagnant handicap.

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Here's what you'll discover between the covers of the New 7th Edition:

checkmark  My Story - From the 100's to the 70's after a lengthy, bitter struggle with this great game.

checkmark  The comment from a Ryder Cup star (watching my swing) that reinforced my Swing Method.

 How to put your Golf Swing on Autopilot for every club in your bag.

 Why "traditional" instruction fails the determined golfer and my unique solution.

 The common denominator of all great men and women golfers - It's not what you think!

 The discovery on a PGA tournament practice range that changed my game forever.

 What you really need to know about alignment and grip pressure (this is critical).

 Exactly how to make your back swing consistent and Tour Caliber with every club.

 The role of Your Feet in the golf swing and how to use them correctly on every swing.

 Brilliant sequence images showing The Key To A Repeating Swing in action!

 The true role of the body and the arms in the golf swing. Everyone get's this wrong.

 Exactly how to make your back swing consistent and Tour caliber with every club.

 The 3 critical elements to the top of the back swing (stage 2 of your 2 second swing).

 Learn about the "Power L" and how it will transform your ball striking.

 Precisely how to start your down swing for Perfect Balance and Brilliant Impact.

 My unique drills to perfect The Key (you can do some of them without a club in your home).

 How The Key To A Repeating Golf Swing frees up your mind so you can enjoy your game.

 and much, much more Score Lowering insight and proven On Course Strategy.

 

Let me show you exactly how to deliver the club head right back through the ball at impact with tremendous power and control. Thousands of golfers, from beginners to scratch players, have put The Key to work in their games and the results have been astounding (over 250 testimonials on file).

In fact, the following is a note typical of the type that hit my inbox all week. It is genuine and unsolicited:

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"First ever even par round"

"Hi Robert,

I just wanted to pass on that over the last few weeks I have being playing better and better, until the peak which was just yesterday.

I played at a local course and for the first time in my life I shot under 80, and not just under. I hit 38, 36. A day of firsts, first ever even par round, first time in the 70's, 4 birdies, just an all round amazing result.

I owe a fair bit of it to you as I am adhering strictly to your teaching.

Thanks again and best regards,

Dale N. - Maylasia

P.S. I have just received 2 dozen (name removed) golf balls, the ball you recommended for my game (although the score yesterday was with a (name removed), needless to say I'm starting to love this ball quite a lot) and the next time out I intend to try this ball. I'll check in with you early in the new year to see if there is anything else that you recommend.
"

 

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I purchased & read your e-book this morning - as usual, after reading I needed to go to the practice range to see if it at least worked sometimes for me before committing any further time - patience is not one of my virtues.

Whilst I hit the ball well & hit what I was aiming at most of the time that is not the reason for this reply.

For the first time in my 40 years of golf I felt & knew at the top when I was in a good position to hit the ball solidly & could predict the outcome from the top of my swing.

In short, thank you - I now have the new sensation of the correct feeling at the top - golf is not a game of perfect but given 5 minutes practice I am convinced that "simple" is the answer for the amateur/social golfer to play good golf without hitting hundreds of balls per day. - your instruction clears the head of the thousand thoughts that ruin scores & a good day out with the boys.

I started a skeptic who expected the same rehash of information, instead I am pleasantly surprised."

Peter V. - Australia

 

Same day, dramatic improvement... Nice going Peter.

I get notes like these all the time. It doesn't matter whether you are trying to break 105 or 70, the rate of improvement is typically rapid once the "bad data" is stripped from a golfer, and The Key to a repeating golf swing can begin working its magic.

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"Brilliant, stunning, unbelievable is all I can say."

"Dear Sir,

As you will by my e.mail address above I purchased your Key system and I am amazed by its immediate change it has had to my swing and went from 107 for an average round to 90. Brilliant, stunning, unbelievable is all I can say.

Thank you so much for your prompt reply and superb service you have given me, I have just read the ‘Key’ again, just to refresh and keep the practice going to improve even further.

..its great to be able to grin on the first tee knowing that I know what MY FRIENDS WOULD LOVE TO KNOW."

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"shot a 41! My best of the year"

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Thanks so much."

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Author's Note: (this gentleman is 72 years young)

 

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Thank you so much for your comprehensive response to my golf ball recommendation request. I am very impressed...

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