There is one swing in the PGA that I admire the most; Fred Couples. It’s so smooth that it appears effortless to me. It’s the swing that many of us are trying to emulate. I think one of the reasons I admire it so much is because I see myself more in him than I do the other pros; I am built a lot more like Couples than I am built like Tiger, Rahm, or Finau. Those guys have great swings, but they aren’t all the same and I certainly wouldn’t be able to achieve the same speeds and swing shapes they can. That is a crucial fact to take note of. Rahm in particular is known for a shorter backswing, but he still has a ton of power. His swing is unique, and it’s built around his body’s specific needs. Even the highest-ranking players in the world have swings that look slightly different when you compare them, and the rest of us aren’t much different.
Couples is known to have a long backswing arc which helps him find power in his shots and hit it long as highlighted in a recent Golf Digest Article. Another big part of his swing success is his consistent tempo and rhythm, which over the decades have helped him hit great shots on a consistent basis. His backswing, tempo, and rhythm are just a few aspects of his swing that enable him to hit great shots, but what’s most important in his swing is that it is consistent for him–and it works. Because he is so consistent, he has a better chance of making swing modifications that result in the desired outcomes, and it all comes down to being comfortable.
The key to an effective swing is being comfortable over the ball and understanding your Swing ID tendencies so you can hit more consistent golf shots. This is why we are so excited about Golfshot’s Swing ID feature. Swing ID breaks down your swing into fundamental KPIs so you can better understand the mechanics and tendencies of your swing. Dialing in your Swing ID consistency can offer more effective ways to improve and even create better experiences on the golf course.
- Hand Speed
- Swing Path
- Backswing Arc
One common issue many players have is too many swing thoughts when striking a ball. You shouldn’t have too many thoughts in your head when you are standing over the ball, and knowing your swing is consistent can reduce thought noise and improve your mental game.
As Couples’ swing has developed through the years, it has changed a bit. In various public interviews, he highlights some key reflections about his swing progression. After leveraging great swing timing for much of his career, Couples says it was time spent with Butch Harmon that really upgraded his swing. He has a wider takeaway these days, and that all has to do with keeping the club on the right swing path; this has been one of the biggest changes to Couples swing over the years. His old tendency to hit a snap hook had a lot to do with his club moving right off the target line at impact. This created too much spin on the ball to hit targets consistently. Sure, he could play that shot by aiming right off the target, but often the ball was just moving too far left to hit his desired landing area. By bringing the club back to the ball more centered on the target line, he was able to reduce spin on the ball, ultimately hitting it straighter.
Couples has become so comfortable with the mechanics of his swing that he has been able to modify it on the range and he has only one thought when it comes to hitting his driver–smash it. Because Fred has such great consistency, he allows himself to let swing thoughts escape his mind. Instead, he focuses on what matters most, hitting the ball as hard as he can, and boy is that fun.
Achieving a consistent swing can also enable you to modify the swing and hit more creative shots. However, there is no point in trying to shape shots when you have an inconsistent swing. Once you are comfortable with your own personal Swing ID, you’ll be able to focus more on just hitting the ball hard.
The truth is, there is no perfect swing. There are certainly some parameters you want your swing to fit within, but there is no perfect metric in each aspect of a swing that fits all golfers reasonably. We are all built differently. Some players are tall, some are short, some are strong, some are… well, we don’t all play the tips. The point is, we can all improve in our game, and it all starts with an understanding of your personal Swing ID and making sure you have consistency with it.
Swing ID is currently in Beta. Download Golfshot Pro today to find your Swing ID.