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Retief Goosen Swing Sequence

Technically sound, but all about rhythm.

People always ask me if Ernie Els and I grew up with the same coach, probably because we're both from South Africa and we've both made rhythm a big part of our swings.

I've known Ernie since I was 14, but we grew up far apart. However, we both learned the game from our fathers - and with the help of golf books - so maybe that has something to do with it.

We were trying to copy what we saw in the books and on television.

Rhythm and timing have been my focus since I got serious about the game. It hasn't really been any more complicated than that. I struggle when my transition gets a bit too quick, and I lose the feeling of smoothness between my backswing and downswing.

My swing hasn't changed much over the last five years, but my mental approach has. I've learned a lot and experienced a lot, and I know how to cope with pressure much better. That's let me hit the shots I know I can hit, and win two US Opens.

No Wasted Motion

I have never had the pleasure of working with Retief Goosen, but I have always admired his swing - and him as a person. Retief is a very strong man at six feet and around 13 stone, and you can see that strength in his golf swing. He starts from an athletic set-up, and he generates a tremendous amount of power with very little effort. It must be something in the water in South Africa, because Ernie Els has the same

As you can see in these pictures, Retief has wonderful fundamentals: grip, posture, ball position and alignment. All good swings must start from good fundamentals, and these are as good as they get.

Retief makes a big shoulder turn over a much smaller hip turn, creating tremendous torque. He stops short of parallel at the top, and maintains a wide arc - his hands stay far away from his head at this point. From this position, he can really turn on the speed coming into the ball.

As in all good swings, his downswing starts from the ground up. Retief transfers his weight to his left side, and then his arms and hands drop into perfect hitting position. Notice how his spine continues to move forward and doesn't back up through impact.

Retief's wonderful extension continues through impact and turns into a perfect, balanced finished. He's totally rotated and facing his target with no energy wasted. Wow, what an elegant, powerful golf swing.


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