Tony Finau – “Short Back Swing, Low Impact Heel Power” Exhibit A

If you are looking for a great example of how someone can generate power with a short back swing and proper leverage evidenced by a low trailing heel impact, then look no further than one Tony Finau.

Yes, he’s a very tall player with long limbs (levers), but when you look at how ridiculously short his back swing is and how effortlessly he’s leveraging the club, you will realize that Finau could be monstrous-long, a good deal longer than he already is, with an adjustment or two.


Now, you don’t hear me complaining about Tony Finau risking injury even though he swings in the Modern Golf Swing style with the restricted hip turn and planted leading heel on the back pivot because there’s one thing you can do when swinging this way to avoid injury, and that is to dial it down and not swing hard, including avoiding twisting the lower back region to get a longer back swing than your hip turn will allow.

First, take a look at Finau’s top position, where you can see very little hip turn, caused by the planted leading heel.  Finau stops well short of parallel and the arms are still below his right shoulder, but look at that tight right elbow:


Great impact position with the right arm coming to extension, a good open hip position and square shoulders, and look at that flat right foot at impact.

These are things you should not be trying to manipulate consciously, as they will happen when you create the proper conditions with the stance, pivot and mechanics.


As you can see in the above gif as well as the video, he is not swinging anywhere near as hard as he could be swinging, which will serve him well in the injury-risk department.

So, how does Tony Finau get even more out of that power-packed move?

Very simply, if he freed up the hips and allowed a bigger hip turn than the barely-turn he performs, with the very same swing, he gets the arms and club closer if not all the way to the parallel-shaft position, and the greater hip turn (and longer back swing) allows him a more aggressive weight shift into the leading foot, as well as building more leverage and momentum coming into the swing bottom.


So, he would get a higher club and ball speed with basically the same effort but a bigger pivot – this is really not rocket science, as the modern analyst and instructors would have you believe.

Tony Finau is “using the ground” excellently by remaining in contact with it, which gives him more leverage against the ground (you can’t “use the ground” if you’re not on it and are in the air or on your toes).

The larger point of this is that Tony Finau does not need extra speed or power in his swing at the moment because he’s still young and fit – but as he gets older and creakier and loses the natural flexibility and range of motion – then, he’ll really want to look into getting more hip turn and a longer back swing to maintain his speed and distance rather than having it decline with the advancing years.

He’s so big and strong that he’s at the top of the power charts with barely more than a half-swing – I would bet money that he’d be even longer than he is now 15 years older, with a proper Classic Golf Swing pivot and the exact same swing!


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

6 thoughts on “Tony Finau – “Short Back Swing, Low Impact Heel Power” Exhibit A

  1. Mr. McJohn

    Off topic, but have you heard of the Great Triumvirate? That being Vardon, Braid, and Taylor… Maybe if you could find some of their swings you could analyze them. That would be difficult, as there’s little film of them, but would be interesting nonetheless…

    Reply
    1. D Watts Post author

      Not much to say about Vardon’s swing MMJ, except it was pretty darned good, even in the hickory shaft era where you had to swing easier than with the steel-shafts of later years.

      Vardon’s action is pretty much what MCS would call for:

      Little things to pick at, like the loose aspect of the footwork on the finish (turning on the leading foot rather than releasing the trailing foot), but it shows that the proper golf swing mechanics have been around for over a hundred years.

      Modern Golf Swing theory tries to reinvent the wheel, but it’s all hocus-pocus nonsense. The way the golf swing was taught and performed didn’t need to be reinvented, only adjusted and tightened as you see with Vardon.

      Reply
  2. Mr. McJohn

    It’s odd to me that there’s no film of J.H. Taylor, or even James Braid, maybe the R&A holds it or something.

    But either way, Vardon was phenomenal. For Ouimet for defeat him and Ray at the Open in ’13 is extraordinary, considering his lack of major tournament experience (outside small events), and the fact that both Vardon and Ray were dominant figures in professional golf. Goes to show just how good these guys were, and they all would destroy the modern professional.

    Back on topic, Finau appears to me as if his weight moves into his heels at impact, at least in the video with his green (or white?) shirt. I would assume the weight in a proper swing moves from the arches into the right heel in the backswing, and into the left heel in the through swing. I’m not sure how Finau swings with any kind of accuracy doing what he does.

    Reply
    1. D Watts Post author

      Yeah, tough to get film footage from that far back. If it even existed, much of it would have been lost, destroyed or degraded. Lucky to get any Vardon!

      Reply

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