IF You Can Swing Like Adam Scott… (Hint: You Won’t)

scott topIt is not often that you get to point out something in the modern golf swing and say, “OK, here’s the exception that proves the rule…” and Adam Scott is one of those examples.

The modern swing is flawed, as I’ve been saying for years, because people are not designed to swing the way the models call for it to be done.

For example, it is virtually impossible for most people to get a decent hip turn without having a “floating feel” pivot with the leading foot.

In order to get that hip turn with the leading foot planted, you have to do other things, like slide the hips to the left:

kuchar address top


And that’s not how to make a pivot, folks – this is why Matt Kuchar is 6’4″ and yet has the power of a man who stands 5’4″ – you can’t generate any leverage or power like this.

Adam Scott, on the other hand, is a freak of nature not unlike Dustin Johnson, and can apparently get a very good hip turn while still nailing that front heel to the ground, as we see in the GolfDigest swing sequence piece:

scott top


I say “apparently,” because I don’t have X-Ray vision and I can’t say whether Scott is or isn’t causing incremental damage to his hips and knees with this back swing.

It is entirely possible that he is just a very rare and unique individual who possesses flexibility that most of us don’t.

Unfortunately, the only way to find out is to wait and see… and the way he’s stretching out that left hip and knee on the finish… I don’t feel that confident.

adam scott finish


So as I said at the top – if you can get a full hip turn as Adam has above, and you can do it with a planted-heel back swing – knock yourself out.

I know that I am a very flexible person – I can still touch my knuckles to the ground while bending over with my legs straight, and I can’t get that position that Adam Scott gets.

Planted vs Floating

planted heel utl


If the heel wants to lift during the back swing, therefore, you should let it.

If it doesn’t have to lift (and this will occur with very few people, so you should probably forget it, because if you could, you already would be… get it?), then so be it.

But as I’ve said… you’re probably not Adam Scott…




5 thoughts on “IF You Can Swing Like Adam Scott… (Hint: You Won’t)

  1. Laser

    You probably know this…but, the reason that they CAN’T teach the floating heel is because it’s incompatible with hips-shoulders instruction.

    You’ve printed this quotation before: “The hips and shoulders merely represent the easiest markers or indicators of the human body. But to take it one step further and say that the shoulders and the hips are doing this or that to drive the swing…that isn’t right. Perhaps a whole new language must be developed to identify, characterize and classify some of these moves without using the ‘chosen’ markers as our guides.” ~ Kelvin Miyahira

    If somebody got the left heel in the air, and then LITERALLY tried to make a hips or shoulders move (without reference to how the body actually works), the left knee might become a…dead duck.

    1. D Watts Post author

      And this is the problem with Positional Instruction. You can’t teach positions, because some people are not able to hit those same positions without doing something funky or just flat out wrong/harmful.

      Not even Tiger Woods could achieve Scott’s entire top position – to do so with just the shoulders, he had to torque his torso to the point everyone called him “Gumby” in the early years.

      Titled: “Any Wonder Tiger’s Got A Broken Back?”

      And that isn’t Scott’s position, unless you’re looking at just the shoulders. Above, Tiger has no hip turn whatsoever to speak of…

      So, I have to talk about positions because no one has had any other references in the past 20 years with which to work.

      I would much rather explain the golf swing as a full-body pivot with the unrestricted hips, together with the legs, driving the pivot.

      Much easier, but then, how to justify unending lessons at very high prices? 😉

  2. mwehrman5

    I’m glad you said something about Adam Scott, though, because he does appear to have a more fluid and less stressful swing than the other heel planted swingers. Golf digest posted a video on Instagram and it didn’t appear to have that left knee snap at Impact like Rory, etc.

    1. D Watts Post author

      He could be longer and more consistent with a little tweak, but yes, it’s a very good-looking modern golf swing action, mwehrman – it’s just that very few people will ever be able to come close to that top position without doing something detrimental to their physical long-term well-being.

      So why bother?

  3. mwehrman5

    Agreed, I have never thought much about the golf swing until now, I just always played “naturally” anyways, which is probably a good thing. That is why your approach has made so much sense to me. I don’t “have it” yet, but I know the feeling when I do it right. I just need to be more consistent in the repetition.

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