Scottie Scheffler’s Good & Not-So-Good Footwork

If you watch Scottie Scheffler’s swing mechanics, you’ll see good and not-so-good footwork in the same swing.

The culprit, you won’t be surprised to find out, is the ever-execrable Modern Golf Swing, and let me show you how it goes.

First, let’s take a look at the face-on Driver swing, with both the right and left feet moving through the down swing:

The right foot move, which I call the “Short-Stop Slide,” is nicely executed.  It’s the move you’d expect to see with a wide-ish stance and a finish fully into the leading foot – it’s the leading foot movement that is the issue and you can see in the back pivot and top position where the problem begins.

What is happening is, just as I mentioned with Tiger Woods’ swing on the weekend, Scottie doesn’t ever get over the right side because he’s pivoting with a rotary hip turn and a planted leading heel.

Scottie is pretty stuck in an undesirable position at the top – too much weight to the left side, head in the middle of the stance instead of the right side, so now he’s got get that head more to the right, and it actually comes up (back and down not so bad, back and up not good at all, mechanically) to get to a good impact position.

With the weight already left instead of right, there’s not much room to shift, so it’s a spin-out with the left or leading foot to get the rotation and leverage through impact.

Scottie is listed at 6’3″ and I can guarantee you that he could be much longer, if he were to swing with a better model.

Those of you who were around between 2013-2016 will remember a similarly built swinger with whom I did some swing work – remember Jerry Crowell aka “BT,” Wax Nation?

He is, if my memory is correct, 6’4″ and here is a swing of his in January 2016 (I shot the clip), when he was 51 years of age and nearly qualified for the Farmers that year (I was on his bag in the qualifier and he missed Q by 3 strokes!), let’s look at how a tall swinger with a wide stance swings with a Classic Golf Swing and a short-stop slide:

Scheffler is 25 years old, so BT at the time of this swing was more than twice SS’s age, and was getting 120 mph club impact speed as a teaching and playing pro (meaning he didn’t have nearly the time to work on his swing and game as a tour pro):

You can see above that he should have been at around 180 mph ball speed with that club impact speed and a 1.50 Smash, but as I say, he wasn’t a touring pro who could spend all day tuning his swing.  This was raw power and leverage. Imagine 4-5 hours to work on the swing daily…

The name on the plate says “Mark” but it was likely a student he’d been working with, and that swing was a record for BT in December of 2015 just before I flew down for his qualifier (and he actually hit 124 later in 2016, believe it or not).

So let’s compare the back pivots:

You can see how much more loaded and powerful BT’s top position is, which is accomplished by letting the leading heel lift and the hip turn to continue while having the head biased right:

Now, let’s look at how quiet the lower body can be even when swinging around 120 mph club impact speed if one’s top position is more optimal and you can shift that weight properly to leverage the club down and through the bottom:

Look at BT’s head stability from top through impact, and the same for the leading foot, in comparison.

I don’t know about you all, but the Scheffler swing could be so much better, while looking at BT’s down move and action through the ball, I see poetry in motion.

So, there is much, much more to being a Masters champion and the #1 player in the world than having a picture-perfect swing, but the better it is, the easier it becomes to do those things.

Scottie Scheffler is young and immensely talented but as you have seen with other young players reaching the top with iffy things in their swings, you don’t see them up there for very long.

Age, injuries and loss of coordination take their toll.

Scottie’s in the driver’s seat for now, but I’d look at a serious adjustment for him as he gets older.

18 thoughts on “Scottie Scheffler’s Good & Not-So-Good Footwork

  1. peterallenby2013

    Gosh, Scottie Scheffler is almost stack and tilting! He seems like a nice guy and so perhaps there is a chance to gain his attention so as to avoid reaching 30 it so years of age and having a chance to break Tiger’s record. His surgical procedures record that is…

    As usual, great analysis DJ!

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      I was going to mention the near-reverse-pivot and it slipped my mind – appreciate you pointing it out now, PA!

      And yes, he’s young enough to make a change now out of choice rather than later out of necessity.

  2. Mark

    That’s funny. When I watched Scheffler on Sunday, after never watching him before… I thought he almost looked stack and tilty. 🙂 I liked his right foot release, but at impact he looked cramped as he tried to merge his good right side with his initially bad left side. He has half a good swing by my very unprofessional eye. These guys at his level are so good that they can compete, at least for a while, with about any ol’ swing.

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      Not very unprofessional observations, Mark! Everything you note is spot-on.

      And yes, just as one can be a not great player with a great swing, one can be a great player with an iffy swing – for a time, being the caveat.

      The problem is he’ll think, “why change my swing when it just won me a major?”

      I said when Jordan Speith was #1 that without that short game & insane putter, he’d be parking sports cars rather than buying them.

      We’ll see what happens!

      1. Mark

        I totally agree about Speith. Sometimes love to watch the guy just for the show. 😮 Never a dull moment. But he has to be superhuman with the pitching and putting to compete. Doubt he can be consistent with that weird action. He’s kinda like Seve, relying on magical hands.

        And BM, that’s it! I kept looking at SS and wondering what looked familiar about him. His swing really does look a like that of an immature junior golfer… and given how big a man he is, it just looks a little silly. SS sorta carries himself like an awkward teenage boy who woke up one morning in a man’s body. Seems like a good guy though. Hope he does well.

  3. BM

    DJ, a really fine analysis. Seems like he has something like a kid’s swing. He has a huge leverage swing but you are right, it is built on sand. Hope he figures it out. We saw in the early part of the round how that swing can falter. But what an overall game! Remember Greg Norman was kind of all over the place in the lower body until Butch quieted the lower body. So assuming he gets some refinement, we could be looking at the next superstar!

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      Cheers, BM – and you are absolutely correct about the swing.

      I heard a comment on a PGA Tour clip (the one I got the swing from) that S.S. grew 9” in high school!!

      So you are golden with that observation- it is a small kid’s swing, nearly out of his shoes at impact, and he’s kept it although with a better back pivot, he’d absolutely kill it now.

      I have to say, the people who read and comment on this blog are better analysts than most of the talking heads!

      I appreciate you, guys! 👍🏼

  4. Chief Cowpie

    Woah! Could not disagree more with some parts of your Scottie Scheffler critique. The mistake you see in his lead foot spin out actually took years of practice and preparation to refine and will be his grand move when he makes the leap from golf to ballet. Golf is small potatoes compared to dance and this is what Scottie has his sights on. If you can see his spin out not as a flaw but as a perfectly executed pirouette, the real criticism is that Scottie is ready to take this leap into dance and why does he even mess around wasting time playing golf?

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      As humorous as your comment is, Chief – you may or may not be shocked that there is similar sentiment out there. Absolutely stunning. Golf is the only game or sport I can think of where deviations from fundamental mechanics are not only accepted but celebrated.

      1. Chief Cowpie

        Golf is very results driven in the now and so whatever peculiarities there are that result in a victory is written up as a “secret key to success.” When the same golfer starts to suffer injuries as a result of their secret formula, then it is the cruel hand of fate.

        1. DJ Watts Post author

          You have no idea how actually on the money you are, Chief – not only that, you might find that an “expert” will actually mock or criticize a move then do a 180 when it works, if even for a bit. See my next post for the example.

    2. peterallenby2013

      Chief! My 19 yr old son is in the pro ballet circuit, training to dance in the bigs next year (hopefully). He played exactly five holes of golf in his life. As an eight yr. old, I took him out to play at the local mini. On the fifth hole, he hit a 150 yd approach shot on the green 20 feet from the home. He then stroked the putt into the hole. Of course, I thought I had my retirement plan sewn up given he’d played exactly five holes and had zero lessons. I told him how cool his shots were and he responded by asking if we could go to the club house. And get a Coke. He’d had enough. He didn’t really like golf. But ballet… 🩰 Golf does lead to ballet… Looking forward to seeing Scottie on the stage!

      1. Chief Cowpie

        Peter, you are a great dad in nurturing your son to pursue his destiny even though it compromised your lounging poolside sipping Margaritas long into the twilight of your earthly days.

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