These Guys are Good…Really Good!

Scott Sackett
Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

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This month I want to share with you some very key positions in a great golf swing. Brandt Snedeker, Fed Ex Player of the Year 2012 and leading money winner currently on the PGA Tour in 2013 as of February 17th.

I want to go over some key positions in his golf swing that could be very beneficial to your game. I often say the only reason that golfers aren’t any better than they are is they just don’t know what to do. With a little bit of mirror work and practice on the range, I am confident you will be striking the ball better than before with some new knowledge.

Picture #1 – *The red line covering the golf shaft is called the shaft plane.
Address: Feet setting parallel left to the target line, not at the target. Number one mistake of most amateurs • Tall in the knees with the spine very straight, important for keeping a level spine to the top of swing, staying level • You only see one set of legs and one set of arms, body is very square to the target • shaft of club running to the belt buckle, all clubs

Top of Swing: Left arm parallel to the original shaft plane, long red line below, this is crucial on getting the club back on plane coming down • Club face parallel to the left arm, to alleviate curve in ball flight, this is also very important • Right knee remains flexed, most amateurs will straighten the right knee (leg) at the top of the swing

Picture #2 
Start of the downswing: Most Important Move in the Golf Swing…Period! The shaft drops down on the right forearm. If the shaft drops down on the right forearm then you have a great chance of getting the club back on the original shaft plane. Red line just below the yellow line • 90% of all amateurs have the club on the right shoulder line at this point, meaning you will come too steep at the ball. That term in golf is called over the top.

Pre-impact: When the club head is returning on the original shaft plane, you will have a great chance of hitting the ball with a square face. Brandt’s club head at this position is just under the red line • You can see a clear gap between the forearms at his position • Another key position at this point is, you can just start to see a piece of the left leg behind the right leg. His hips are clearing through pre-impact

Picture #3
Post impact: He has done a great job staying in his original spine tilt • the club shaft is coming out parallel to the original red line, the shaft plane. That tells us that his body is rotating perfect through post impact. If the shaft were coming out higher or lower then we would not see the consistency in overall ball flight • He is shifting into the left side of his body through post impact, that is apparent because of where his right shoe is, you are able to see his spikes

Finish: You can count all 10 spikes on his right shoe, a great sign of getting all of the weight over to the left side • The shaft is once again parallel to the original red line, the shaft plane • His chest is facing the target

This is one of the simplest swings on tour. I use this model often while teaching to help a student understand what the golf club should be doing through the swing. As crazy as that may sound, most people (90%) do not have a clear perspective of what the golf club should be doing throughout the swing. Without a clear understanding of these movements, I am not certain how you think just practice is going to make you better. I will be more than happy to give you an analysis of what your golf club is doing in your swing. Once you have that information, you will be on your way to better golf. I promise!

Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher since 1999, just voted as one of Golf Digest’s Best Teacher in the State for the fifth year in a row. Also, Director of Instruction at Park Meadows CC in Park City, Utah and while in Scottsdale, teaches at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. Scott can be reached by email at