Remember This Guy? (Anthony Kim)

anthony-kim-impact**Originally posted on the Smash Golf Blog July 30, ’09 – Updated at DJ Watts Golf Blog March 2011

If you’ve wondered where Anthony Kim has been, he’s not even playing golf right now, according to his agent back in April of this year.

This is what can happen with a mechanically-flawed swing.  It takes a great deal of talent to overcome it, and even then, injuries and inconsistent play (“I’ve lost my mojo”) are just around the corner.

Six years ago, AK was the next coming.  Now, he’s not even in the Top 1000 in World Rankings.

Original post and update below:

Anthony Kim’s Swing

anthony-kim-impactIf you watch Anthony Kim’s swing, you’ll see a few things, you’ll see another version of the so-called “modern swing” that became almost the standard in the ’90’s, especially with the obsessive analysis of every facet of Tiger Woods’ swing mechanics.

First, the square left foot. Again, that’s not a problem if you turn the right hip into the left hip on the hip-clearance, but it’s a big problem if you try to clear the hips with a lower body action like you would with the open left foot position.

Once again, you’ll see that Anthony Kim, like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, swings back to the top with the upper body, trying to restrict the lower body movement as much as possible.

And again, you’ll see that, as the modern swing approaches impact, the swinger gets what I’ll call “locked” or “jammed” at the impact stage, leading to severe compression of the lower back (Rory McIlroy) or unhealthy lower body action on the follow-through (Tiger Woods, Anthony Kim) because of the square left foot and desire to move the lower body laterally through the impact.

Here’s a rule to follow– if you don’t have any lower body action on the back swing, you’d better not have any on the down swing. If you break that rule, you’re making a future date with the chiropractor or knee surgeon, guaranteed.

Anthony Kim’s Driver Swing


Watch Anthony Kim’s left feet and lower leg on the follow-through, and you’ll see the effect of trying to drive the long ball with the modern swing. You’ll see that, in order to extend through impact, AK has to snap his left leg straight as Tiger Woods has done through his career, and also to spin on that left foot, which I would definitely not advise.

At address, you’ll see that AK’s left foot angle is virtually straight forward, and by the finish, his foot has pivoted nearly 45 degrees toward the target.

You can watch hundreds of clips of AK and Tiger Woods and you’ll see that the left leg snap and foot pivot happens at exactly the same point in the swing every time- at impact. That’s where the modern swing technique breaks down and causes all the injury and damage.

That is the modern swing, for most golfers, unfortunately. You either pay for it in the lower back, or in the leading knee.

AK has been dealing with neck and back issues in the ’09 season.

Look for him to have many more injury issues with this swing, if he doesn’t change it.


**Update: This just posted on Golf Magazine’s online site:

Kim returns to Houston with swing changes in mind

“Anthony Kim says his swing needs major renovation. Maybe returning to the site of his last victory will help turn his game around, too…

“He has missed two cuts in his past five starts, shot an 80 in the first round at Doral three weeks ago and has been working with swing coach Adam Schreiber in Dallas for the past week to fix the flaws.”

This is what I will always tell those who say, “Hey, the guy has won X tournaments, he’s a pro…”

My answer will always be, “And an improper swing will always lead to injury or, if you’re lucky, inconsistency in performance.”

Kim has suffered both injury and inconsistency, with back and neck issues resulting from a mechanically-incorrect swing motion.  He’s gotten this far on talent.  Now, it’s time for a swing overhaul because the one that made him so “successful” eventually turned on him.

2 thoughts on “Remember This Guy? (Anthony Kim)

  1. Dark Knight

    No truer words were spoken…Think about it, did we ever hear of this many back problems with the golfers in the by gone age due to their golf swing? I don’t think so.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I think I know how this started, DK – these modern swingers would kill themselves very quickly trying to swing the old clubs in the same manner. With the newer and lighter materials from which the clubs are now made, you don’t have to swing as hard to hit the ball the same distances as with persimmon and the clunky irons.

      However, not having to swing as hard led to changes in technique, and then when players began to once again try to hit the ball a mile with swing models that weren’t up the task, the modern scourge of back and knee injuries arrived.

      I could hit a ball 300+ yards with the persimmon drivers – but I would also swing exactly the same way I would swing my modern clubs – with mechanical correctness.

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