Cameron Champ’s Power Swing

I’m sure everyone heard the buzz about amateur Cameron Champ who played in this year’s U.S. Open, and his driving average of 337 yards.

I’ve found some video of his swing, although the one I can’t find online is the rear view of his swing that showed a separating left heel on the back swing pivot.

It could just as well have been a one-off however because from what I see in other clips I’ve found online, he doesn’t seem to do it all the time, and that is the only concern I would have for a 22 year old who’s driving it 350 yards – that he be doing it with a mechanically-sound swing action.

The bad news is that he’s apparently a student of Sean Foley, whose swingers all mysteriously develop back problems working with him, and that Cameron is, at 22, already experiencing back problems… just saying…

So, I’ll be hoping that he doesn’t do anything disastrous to his back, because other than the planted heel and a center-biased swing, he looks pretty good:

Cameron Champ’s Swing DTL


There is a lot to like about this swing – even if he’s flat-footed on the back swing pivot, he seems to be getting a healthy hip turn, as evidenced by the straightening right leg and the space between the knees when he goes back.

You can see just how much hip leverage he gets out of the down swing as well, but there’s obviously a reason a 22 year old kid can drive the ball nearly 340 yards on average during an event – leverage, not muscle power.

He’s not a huge, long driving monster but a leveraging machine.


This is what gives me concern:


There’s the Foley model center-biased stance with the body’s weight more to the left side than the right, and then look at the impact position:


Everyone who’s been reading my blogs on the swing and motion will know that I really don’t like left-biased swings because the optimal impact position is where Cameron is at impact.

The problem is that he starts so far left and has to really compress that lower back to get the right-tilted spine and the head over the right foot, and that’s asking for back issues, which Cameron already has.

There is a reason that, especially when it comes to power swingers who get through the ball at very high speeds, I call the left-biased swing the “Back-Breaker.”

Remember when I wrote, “Why You Don’t Swing From A Left Bias?”

Looking at the below position at impact – guess who that is below, while he was working with Foley?


Let’s hope the same thing doesn’t happen to young Cameron, because I would love to see him fix that address issue and enjoy a long and fruitful professional golf career.

Brandel Chamblee, I might add, also has concerns:


The face-on stills are from Brandel’s Twitter feed:


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11 thoughts on “Cameron Champ’s Power Swing

  1. DB Coop

    hows that impact position down the line deej? anything you would change or don’t like? db

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hi DB!

      Actually, Cameron’s impact position reminds me a lot of Rory McIlroy’s, which is why I have the concern for his long-term well-being:

      Similarities in the extended right leg at impact (rather than the stretched out “Z” shape with the knee slightly bent), the contorted and “hunched” look to the back… these guys are slinging that club at very high speeds, and if you’re doing what they’re doing, you’re raising the risk of injury.

      The kid’s super-talented, no one is going to argue that – I’m always concerned with mechanical soundness, as I look at motion and not the scorecard.

  2. msattler2013

    Hi DJ

    Do you know when your new video will come out ? I’m sure you are still working on it .

    I watched the video of your original formula lately and went to the range and played 9 last last night and had pretty good success. I always seemed to have better luck with that original one . For some reason that floating pivot always gave me troubles .
    I did not get as much distance as other times. Probably end up keeping too much weight on my trail side . So I end up hitting them too high at times .

    Hopefully your new video will help me get the pivot down . Look forward too it !!

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hi msattler!

      Just waiting to get that last day of shooting done, but the weather hasn’t been cooperating. On the days I’m free to shoot, it’s been cloudy and/or rainy, with more forecast today and tomorrow.

      I have a feeling you’ll be fine with the floating pivot when you use the original MCS setup procedure – the only thing that changed from the MA model of the first MCS video is the bias has changed to right from centered, and that changes the pivot action slightly.

      However, the original setup concept will work fine with the floating pivot.

      Hoping to get it done Monday or Tuesday next week, and then the editing and countdown begin. Fingers crossed! 🙂

      DJ

    1. D Watts Post author

      I’ll say it again – he’s a remarkable talent, but risking further back issues with that particular way of swinging.

      Making it safer would likely increase his power, which is the ironic thing about power swingers with dangerous moves – they think they wouldn’t be as good swinging with a more mechanically-sound model, which makes no sense…

  3. Chief Cowpie

    To preseserve the backs of the young stars, why doesn’t the PGA Tour allow them to drop their ball what is the appropriate distance for their drive?

    1. jh32

      Chief, Because with the new rule of being able to drop it only inches from the ground, they would have to bend over to drop it and they would be in an improper position to do even that???? LOL

      1. D Watts Post author

        While tongue-in-cheek, your response to Chief’s droll quip isn’t far from the mark, Jim!

        I’ve had a former professional player tell me that the players have back problems because they spend so much time bent over practicing their putting. Something about “de-activating” the back and glute muscles… but you know, I don’t know anyone who bent over the ball more than Nicklaus and Palmer did.

        Excuses, excuses, all to avoid dealing with the central problem – the modern swing models are back-breakers. Period.

        1. Chief Cowpie

          Certainly bending over and picking up the ball out of the hole creates great injury and pain. Further proof the PGA tour is conducting a dangerous game with little concern for the welfare of its competitors as they won’t sanction a suction cup on the end of the putter which is a favorite of old farts world over.

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