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The Tour Report

May 1 2012

10:00 AM

Tip from Travis: Dufner's backswing

Live Report Image
Jason Dufner sets the club perfectly near the top of his backswing.
Graythen/Getty Images

It was only a matter of time before Jason Dufner captured his first title on the PGA TOUR. This year, Dufner has been the model of consistency and this week at The Zurich Classic, it was no different.

I guess to the average golf fan, it was bittersweet in some ways as Dufner won his first title overtaking another crowd favorite -- Ernie Els on the second playoff hole -- but it was good to see Jason close the deal and get that well-deserved first win.

Dufner is one of those players that displays a very simple golf swing. When you watch swings like Dufner’s, it doesn’t really seem like much can go wrong. One of the things that makes this possible is how he sets the club at the three-quarter position of the backswing. Dufner does a great job positioning the club so it points towards the target line during the backswing. This on-plane position sets the stage for him to basically just turn and hit it on the downswing.

Learning to set the club on-plane at the three-quarter position of the backswing can be a very helpful tip for many amateurs. If you can achieve this, the science would suggest that it is much easier to achieve a more repeatable downswing and impact position.

An on-plane position at this point is when the club has that nice approximate 45-degree look to it, where the butt end of the club points towards the target line. Dufner really exaggerates this during his pre-shot with some excessive waggles, and he will sometimes rehearse it to where the butt of the club points outside the target line.

One of the most common errors at this point in the swing is to get the clubshaft too vertical. Although this can be overcome on the downswing, learning to rotate the lead forearm and clubshaft to a more angled position can make things a lot easier. 

Focus at home on making backswings to a three-quarter position pointing the butt end of the club to the target line. Do this a number of times to get the feeling, and then take it to the golf course and turn and hit it like the Dufner.

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 .