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Michael Campbell 's Swing Sequence
Johnathan Yarwood

Since exploding on to the world stage at the 1995 Open Championship at St Andrews, New Zealand's Michael Campbell has been a stalwart of European and world golf, and is a hugely popular player with the public and his peers alike. His best season to date came in 2001, eight tournament victories in Europe and Australasia elevating him to No. 12 in the world rankings.

On the back of this success, Michael took the decision to focus on the US PGA Tour for much of last year, which on paper seemed the right thing to do.

Sadly, a shoulder injury hampered his progress and Michael struggled to recapture his form. But he is turning the corner - as he proved so emphatically at Portmarnock with his sensational playoff victory in the Nissan Irish Open. With the help of a golf-specific work out regimen, and nutritional advice from his wife, I believe Michael is now getting back to something like his best form - both physically and mentally.

Let me illustrate some of the things we work on and also identify some of the problems he struggles with.

Like any golfer, he has certain tendencies that he reverts back to when he is swinging badly and a "blueprint" that we have created to help him get back on-track. He is blessed by being very strong, those short Maori rugby-players' legs giving him a low centre of gravity, and he repeats a simple one-planed swing. Let's look at it frame-by-frame.

The first moves

A good start is the key to a good swing, but Michael has to be very careful here, as his tendency is to move his arms too fast which results in his losing 'sync' very early on.
This is his Achilles heel: when the arms move too fast they move away from his body and the club sets late, arriving too far behind him at the top of the backswing. But in this sequence his first move away from the ball looks reasonable with the driver, the motion of the arms and body nicely in sync away from the ball.

A positive note to focus on here is that Michael has not picked the club up early with the hands - a common fault among amateur players. The hands, arms and shoulders work as a guiding unit, which is crucial in terms of creating width, helping you to sweep the ball off the tee later on.


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