Golf Tips - Learning Swing Mechanics from Jim Furyk

By Joe Sullivan

This tip has to do with one of the members of the U.S. President's Cup team, Jim Furyk. I know some of you may get an upset stomach watching him swing. I know many of you would prefer some sort of dental work than to see him strike a bucket of balls. But I think Jim Furyk has an excellent swing.

Not only is it a great swing in terms of producing great shots, but the things that can be learned by golfers (especially over the top slicers) from watching his action is immeasurable. Granted it's a bit of an awkward action times, but if there were more Jim Furyks in the golfing world, it would be a much better place.

The most important thing that we can all see and learn from Jim's swing is its overall shape. It's super steep (outside) going back, then super shallow coming down. This move happens to be just the exact opposite of the over the top slicer, who swings back shallow then down steep. (Does that tell you something?)

Incidentally, if there is ever one move that you will hear me talk about more than anything, it is this steep-then-shallow (or outside then inside) swing path and plane structure. It's what I demonstrate thoroughly in my videotape, and it's what I preach heavily in my upcoming book.

What good players do that bad players don't is that they swing the club steep then shallow. It doesn't matter what grip, stance, tempo, posture, length of swing, ball position, weight distribution, or wrist cock they have. They all swing the club back steep then down shallow, in some degree. This, once again, is just the opposite of what 80% of golfers in this world do, who swing over the top.

As for Furyk, he is quite an overstatement to this rule, obviously. I am certainly not saying that all players need to look like him either. What I am saying is that if you are an over the top slicer, who has been whipping it way to the inside on the back swing, and throwing way to the outside on the downswing, then it would be a good idea to feel as though you are swinging like Jim Furyk.

If you can get it going back to the outside, then this will give you a nice alleyway to come down from the inside. This inside move is what ALL great ball strikers have, not just Jim Furyk. Nick Price, Fred Couples, and Lee Trevino have this big inside move like Jim. Other players, like Mark O?Meara and Davis Love III, are not as much from the inside as the other's, but they are still from the inside. They definitely don't swing over the top.

So the point is that if you can feel this really exaggerated steep then shallow move like Jim Furyk has, whether it's taking practice swings at home or hitting balls on the range, chances are that you will be in very good positions throughout your swing. Even though you may feel like an strange at first, you need to do something that is practically the opposite of what you have been doing, and this is it.

So next time you see Jim Furyk about to hit a shot take note of why he is one of the best players in the world. It's not because of his grip. It's not because of his head movement. Nor is it because of his torso rotation. It is, however, because of his technically sound path and plane structure. *

Columns ©1999 Joseph K. Sullivan and GolfLink Inc. All rights reserved.


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