Kuuuuuuuuutch! I’m not sure if there could be a better start to the PGA TOUR season as yet another young American found the winner’s circle. There was no question Matt Kuchar was the most consistent player over four days at THE PLAYERS Championship. All week, Kuchar showed the game and patience needed to navigate the difficult Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
At the TOUR Academies, we get a lot of questions about Kuchar’s golf swing. It is certainly a bit unusual seeing that its shape is more around the body and flat as compared to most swings you see on the PGA TOUR. However, it is certainly a swing that can help so many amateurs when understood.
One of the things I like about Kuchar’s swing is the path of his hands during the backswing. Matt does a great job of keeping his upper left arm attached to the side of the body while his shoulders turn. This allows his hands to travel to the inside and not away from his body. One of the most common errors during the backswing is the lead arm becomes immediately disconnected from the body during the backswing. This movement is usually countered with the club head moving behind the hands, which results in a faulty plane and eventually compensation on the downswing and/or impact.
What’s important to understand here is that your hands and the clubhead should be viewed as two separate components during the backswing. Now everything is always relative, but most amateurs need to feel a combination where the hands stay close to the body as described above and over the toe-line with the clubhead working up and slightly to the outside of the hands.
Kuchar does a great job of blending these two components during the initial backswing. A good checkpoint is when the shaft reaches parallel to the ground -- it should also be parallel and over your toe-line. Again, at this point your upper lead arm should be attached to the body with the toe of the clubface pointing slightly toward 11 o’clock. This is a great position to get your swing started just like Kuchar does.
Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here .