Phil Mickelson Returns To Classic Swinging & Wins WGC @ 47

I will admit that Phil Mickelson has distressed me from time to time – I use him as an example of a Classic Golf Swinger in the Modern Golf Swing era.

And yet he constantly tinkers, sometimes going to a planted-heel swing (and winning nothing, I might add).

Vijay Singh has done this as well in recent years and of course, he hasn’t won anything since his Classic Golf Swing days, but he, along with Bubba Watson and Mickelson, are shining examples of how to win tournaments and majors swinging with mechanically-sound golf swing models.

And we’re not talking about journeymen!  Bubba Watson is the least accomplished of these three Classic swingers – with 2 Masters wins and 10 total Tour wins…not too shabby, is it?

Vijay Singh is only the winningest over-40 player of all time on the PGA Tour (22 post-40 wins!), and won one of his 3 majors after turning 40.

He also won his last events and the 2008 FedEX Cup at age 45

What connects the above 3 players?

They swing in the Classic Golf Swing style of course, with free and full hip rotation on the back swing and lifting leading heel.

And it’s no coincidence that the hallmark of these three winners is that they are winning or won (Vijay is now on the Champions Tour) on the PGA Tour at ages that you don’t see much anymore, due to the fact that players’ prime years are being cut short by injuries and limitations that the Modern Golf Swing brings to other players.

The limitation, of course, is that you can’t keep twisting your back and torso forever, so you see many great players dropping off in their late 20’s and early 30’s now.

But Phil Mickelson is in another class, with 5 major victories (one during the year he turned 40 and another at 43) and 43 PGA Tour wins, the latest of which he just snagged, a WGC victory in Mexico at the ripe old age of 47 (he’ll be 48 this year).

He has actually said (before he tried otherwise) that his Classic Golf Swing method was the key to his longevity and that the Modern Golf Swing belonged in a back-brace – his words, not mine!

“You can play golf for a lifetime and injury-free if you swing the club like Bobby Jones did, like Ernest Jones used to teach — where it’s a swinging motion rather than a violent movement,” Mickelson said from Augusta.

“A lot of the young guys get hurt as they create this violent, connected movement, and I don’t believe that’s the proper way to swing the golf club.”

Mickelson said his freer move… is why he’s been able to play relatively injury-free into his mid-40s, and he worries about a generation of young players copying the aggressive lashes they see on tour telecasts.

How now, Phil?

He was experimenting with a planted-heel swing the last I saw of him, and it was no surprise that he hadn’t won anything since 2013.

When I heard of his win yesterday however, I went this morning to check the highlight reels and of course, Phil has returned to the free and full hip turn with the Classic Swing.

You can clearly see the leading foot moving freely with the lifting heel on the back swing in the very first swing in the clip at the 00:05:00 mark:

So, a guy who will be 48 this year just beat a kid half his age in a playoff in a WGC event, and the only reason he’s still out there playing and winning is because he didn’t destroy his body swinging in the Modern Golf Swing style.

He actually underwent hernia surgery not too long ago, and I was suspicious at the time that Phil had injured himself swinging with a planted heel in his many tinkerings, but as you can see, he’s back to swinging the way he won all of his Tour events and majors – with a mechanically-sound Classic Golf Swing!

Look At A Hole-In-One – This Kid Has No Hands

I kid you not – the kid below is playing golf (thanks to Welshman for sending me this today), even though he doesn’t have hands – and how is he doing it?

Of course, he’s swinging using his body to pivot and swing the club, and I would say to look at four things that are hall-marks of what I consider an MCS Golf Swing type of motion:

Those are:

  • The relaxed, upright stance bending from the hips and not squatting over the ball,
  • A full body pivot
  • The free hip turn & lifting leading heel
  • The release of the trailing foot to allow the hip turn to the finish

So, there is a lot of evidence out there if people want to look for it – the proper, natural and mechanically-proper way to swing a golf club is to do it with the body, not by twisting the shoulders and torso against restricted hips.

And great ace!

Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency? 

Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?

If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing:

“E = MCS” The Swing Video

8 thoughts on “Phil Mickelson Returns To Classic Swinging & Wins WGC @ 47

  1. Chief Cowpie

    Nice to see Phil win. Yes it is befuddling to see these great modern classic swingers in their desire to improve, sometimes toss out the baby with the bath water.

    I don’t think this tendency for folks not to appreciate what they have would occur if they had a more thorough understanding of MCS and there is no improving the model.

    1. D Watts Post author

      The biggest problem, Chief, is that there is no “standard” for the golf swing, the way there is a standard sprinting, throwing or jumping technique in other sports.

      There aren’t five different ways to throw a perfect and tight spiral – there’s one, just as there is one orthodox pitching technique against which all are compared.

      The golf swing? Anything goes, apparently, and I don’t know how it’s gone on so long, but it seems we’re still in the woods!

      The irony of course is that while claiming that there isn’t any one way to swing, there has been an entire cottage industry built on “how to swing better” or “how to get more power” out of one’s swing.

      It’s all guessing and patchwork.

        1. D Watts Post author

          LOL love ya man. I think I missed your call the other day? If so give me a shout back.


  2. Mike Divot

    When a tour level golfer wants to improve …
    And there’s a tiny handful of people advocating a classic swing …
    But hundreds, thousands, talking about “restricting the hips” and “torquing the back” and “ground forces” and other illusions (not to mention “myelin”) …
    And to add to the confusion, some even talk about restricting the hips on TV and about not restricting the hips in private …
    What’s a guy to believe?
    No wonder Phil went off the rails. Good to see him come “home”.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Here’s a question – can you imagine any other sport where proper technique is what anyone says it is, with no standard?

      Mind-boggling, really.

  3. buddhabob

    I have not posted here in a while but I am heartened by this. Go Phil. As well I am very excited that Tiger is nearly leading field after 3 rounds today. Sure his swing is torqued.. But god, its amazing that this guy is actually making a comeback. I really support that. He’s been getting up from off the canvas for years now and I have to admire that. Best to all, BB

    1. D Watts Post author

      Good to see you BB, hope all is well!

      I have to agree with your sentiment here, with a couple of changed words:

      As well I am very excited interested that Tiger is nearly leading field after 3 rounds today. Sure his swing is torqued.. But god, its amazing not that surprising that this guy is actually making a comeback…

      I find my interest is increased with TW in the field, although I wish the announcers would give it a rest. It gets very tiring being a neutral observer watching the tournament with the constant hyperbolic superlatives and hero worship, but I’m watching it.

      And not to be negative, but since this is what I do, look at swings – yes, that swing is jacked. I wonder if he can swing any more left like that and lose a few more double-crosses way left, and how deep are those divots from his irons and wedges?

      I swear some of them look like trenches 45 degrees left – but as I have said, TW won 8 Tour events with the swing that eventually broke his back with Sean Foley, and he can win with any swing when healthy, such is his golf talent.

      I thought he was done after that 4th procedure, but it seems to have been what the doctor ordered, if he can keep from re-injuring himself.

      But man, that swing is so hard to watch. Of course, everyone will expect me to say exactly that. 😀

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