So… The Swing Matters

jordan-spiethCongratulations to Danny Willett on his 1st major victory in taking the 2016 Masters!

If a man ever entered a major tournament under the radar, it was the then-11th world ranked Willett, who now goes to #9.

And the world #2 (again) player, sadly, doesn’t know quite how to swing a golf club, although he has two major trophies on his resume already, while the nearly-demoted to #2 player in the world (but still #1 – Jason Day)  has a swing that is tearing up his lower back, and the #3 player, with 4 majors on his mantel (Rory McIlroy), can’t decide which way to best miss the most of the putts he strokes.

I won’t revisit yesterday’s shocking turn of events too much, as they are being beaten into the historical ground even as I write this post.

Suffice to say that, however badly I felt for Jordan Spieth following his unthinkable 7 on the 12th hole following two consecutive bogeys (you see, it wasn’t just one bad swing, but several in the space of three holes for a loss of 6 strokes from 10-12), I felt almost as if the ghost of Bobby Jones had arisen and had his say about how to win a Masters tournament.



How could the man who founded the Masters tournament, were he alive, have countenanced a player who couldn’t put the ball in play, and was about to walk away with back-to-back titles?

That is tongue-in-cheek, of course, but here’s my point:

Simply, I personally don’t believe that anyone who hit the ball as badly as Spieth did on the weekend deserved to win that major, however talented a player and awesome a putter and course manager he may be.

The minute there was a hint of pressure on Spieth, whose lead went from 5 on the 9th tee to 1 while standing on 12, he promptly brain-locked and rinsed two perfectly clean balls with swings that shouldn’t be seen on the Tour.

The swing is only one part of the overall game of golf, true, and while you want a solid, even great swing with which to play the game, you can also prosper with not much of a swing to speak of, if the rest of your game is good to great.

jordan spieth


Spieth is a brilliant short gamer, in everything from pitching to putting, and he is a great manager of the course.

Part of the reason he was even still in the lead to start Sunday was that his misses always seemed to be the one miss on a hole where you can recover.

But his swing was so woeful the entire week, getting iffier and iffier after Friday, that I was incensed no one could muster anything to challenge his lead.

After the Amen Corner catastrophe, remember, he still finished in a tie for 2nd!

That is the state of Modern Golf Swing golf – a man can hit it so badly that he has no clue where he is going, but the equipment allows him to hit it just straight and far enough to get it to the green and pull rabbits out of his hat time and time again.

The full swing is supposed to account for half the strokes in a par round, remember – it should be much more difficult to win tournaments if you can’t hit a decent ball, just as it should be difficult to win if you putt like Ernie Els.

So, I don’t grieve for Spieth – he had no business being in the lead on Sunday, the way he was swinging, and he entire field looked hapless and silly while he was there.

And that’s about all I have to say about it. The entire week was a display of Modern Golf Swing insanity.

CBS as usual, I might add, was its usual terrible self in broadcasting surely the most uninspiring televised final round ever in a major, except for the excitement provided by the back 9 play – once again, they put all their eggs in the basket of the player they hoped would win, and fell flat on their faces when he didn’t.

I can’t remember how many times we heard roars around Augusta National during the weekend while we watched Spieth and his caddie discuss everything under the sun while Spieth took a hundred practice swings, threw grass and reached for his towel.

OCD tics and all, while brilliant plays were apparently unfolding around the course.

CBS? Nope. Frozen solidly to Speith’s group, for minutes at a time without a single swing being made. It was atrocious.

Spieth’s wasn’t the only quadruple-bogey of the day – CBS threw in their own in the form of their coverage. Ugh.

So, the first major of the year mercifully is over, and we can now examine our navels ’til the cows come home and Players Championship rolls around.

Have a great Monday, all!



22 thoughts on “So… The Swing Matters

  1. Ken Joersz

    His coach, Cameron McCormick, did fly back from Dallas Saturday night! Come on! Why? To reinforce a swing that doesn’t work? I feel for Jordan but both he and his coach appear to be lost. I couldn’t agree more with DJ about the coverage by CBS. It’s a tournament not a coronation! They did the same with Tiger back in the day.

    I’m am a big fan of Spieth’s and I hope, but doubt, he’ll change his swing. He’s a good person. He does need to speed up his pace of play, however. His constant backing off of shots has to be distracting to his fellow-competitors.

    When will the PGA Tour ever have the guts to penalize anyone? Waiting. Okay, I’m done – for now.

  2. ChiefCowpie

    Bryson says he hurt his hip in round 2. Doesn’t connect the dots though in how his swing caused the hip injury. Homer Kelly of TGM in his calculations doesn’t figure in the mechanical incorrectness of the various positions.

  3. buddhabob

    imo just as in all fields, each needs its leading brand for marketing and sales purposes and that is the whole reason why the coronation. If they can package the kid as ‘the Whopper” like they do at Burger King, it sells more. Its the simple be all and end all and its a very sad reality of our t.v. culture now. They sell virtually all movie stars this way in order to move the movies they make on the first critical weekends, Michael Jordan was really the blockbuster progenitor of this idea that sales would go stratospheric with just one big name. Stephan Curry has literally doubled the price of under armour following his signing which in itself was a gamble. Ultimately its a terrible,terrible dumbing down of culture leading to an artificial lack of diversity. Diversity is the very essence of competition along the Darwinian chain, without it we are all deprived of the richness and color of true sport. Remember when Allen Iverson came along, tats and hip hop and all and shocked the world by crossing over on Jordan? Diversity. thank god.

  4. buddhabob

    sorry, I can’t resist. Under Armour will actually make money on this melt down. They are probably right now this morning writing the next big commercial showing reel after reel of big fails from big iconic champions in all sports and then asking ” can you ever win without losing?” or something to that effect. Madison Ave. learned to do this after they revived Clinton, ‘the comeback kid’ and they drag it out of the bag to profit from chaos imo whenever Plan A backfires.

  5. Laser

    “The entire week was a display of Modern Golf Swing insanity”

    –Well, if my sources got their facts straight, Speith’s coach arrived from Texas on Saturday, and they worked on alignment and…SPINE ANGLE.

      1. Laser

        How hard did they work? (Speith & Coach)

        –I’m not sure which day it was, but I believe I heard on Golf Channel that Speith was the last one off the range. (Per Golfweek, he said that he had his B- game.)

  6. Chief Cowpie

    First of all, Spieth is still young and maybe golf isn’t even his sport. He has the same body-type as Kobayashi (championship hot dog eating champion).

    Maybe Jordan Spieth is too a hot dog eating champ although he won’t want to give so much time to size up the next hot dog as he does the next golf shot. Wouldn’t it be great if he was the first person to win The Masters and hot dog major, Nathan’s Coney Island.

  7. targettom

    LOL Chief. What was almost as shocking as Speith’s terrible and very slow play, was that fact that none of the other current “greats” could take advantage. I now refuse to watch Dustin Johnson putt anymore, though I can make a good living betting he’ll leave all the important putts short.

    BTW I’m now watching the post-round interview with Jordan, and he blames it on “one bad swing”. So, reality has not dawned yet.

    1. D Watts Post author

      That is delusional thinking at its best. If it was “one bad swing,” what about the bogeys on 10, 11 and the double on 18 the day before, and why the midnight train to Georgia for his coach on Saturday night?

      One heck of a bad swing… maybe he means his model

  8. targettom

    I see that Frank Nobilo said the same thing and also defended Jordan’s team. I have reviewed the 2 hours of GC coverage that I have and I don’t see Brandel seizing the opportunity to mention the obvious fact that Jordan’s swing has major flaws. He did question whether the modern swing is better technically or whether it would endure. He does a great job of choosing his words carefully but I would have preferred him to take shots at the modern swing tribe, plus the failure of his many fellow competitors to play decent golf

  9. buddhabob

    sad reality is that it was difficult to find anyone who really wanted the trophy on Sunday. Its as if when they restricted golf to the modern barrel turn they also restricted the games potential for excitement and explosiveness. Imagine D. Johnson standing tall over a long driver and swinging freely, not swinging like hes that dwarf from “Game of Thrones” squatting over a port ta pottie.

    I do not think Spieth contends in another major this year, I think the golf gods have had enough and finally put their foot down on this anomaly, even Under Armour traded down 5% yesterday in reaction… and chamblee just has to play ball, he cannot risk his position on t.v. by going after Jordan with a carving knife this early after that inevitable debacle.
    by the way, did anyone else see that divot Spieth took on his second swing at 12? Apparently he opened a portal to the other side of the world with it

  10. Chief Cowpie

    My local paper mentioned it that Danny Willet has a history of back problems that has kept him on the sidelines quite a bit. He’s does exercises as a well as some swing changes to manage condition. Maybe he as well would be wise to consider a career in hot dog eating contests.

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