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Stuart Appleby Swing Sequence
Stuart Appleby & Steve Bann

Once you get your set-up right, the rest of the swing falls into place.

I didn't really get into golf until I was about 14. My parents were taking lessons from a pro an hour-and-a-half from our farm in Cohuna, Australia. When they got home, I'd ask my mum to explain everything they learned -drills and all. Before long, I started taking lessons myself, and when I was about 17 I moved down to Melbourne, where I hooked up with my coach, Steve Bann.

All the big tweaks to my swing were made in the first few years that Banny and I worked together. The top golfers in the world are like Formula 1 cars when it comes to their swings. Well, maybe John Daly isn't a Formula 1 car, but for a lot of us, it's mostly a matter of fine-tuning and paying attention to the fundamentals.

A good set-up with proper alignment is critical to what happens in the backswing and through-swing. When my swing gets going bad, it's usually an alignment issue. When my set-up is in good shape, like when I was winning the Mercedes Championships earlier this year, all I need to do is think straight, because I know I'm going to hit it straight.

When Stuart came to me for the first time as a 17-year-old farm boy in 1988, the first thing I noticed was how far he could hit it. We're talking miles - in all directions. His swing was long, with too much leg action, so we concentrated on creating a more stable base and eliminating the unnecessary movement. Within two years he won the state amateur Victoria, followed by the Australian Junior Championship.

The biggest difference in his swing today is how well-balanced and simple it has become while remaining extremely powerful. He sets up in a 'dynamic' position. Like a tennis player ready to receive a serve, he's totally balanced and relaxed, but ready to go. It's a position -and a mind-set - that's well worth copying.

Now that he's reached the top-20 in the world rankings Stuart wants to improve quality of his shot-making. His stock shot today is very straight, which is rather amazing considering the way he hit it the first day I saw him. Now he is building confidence in hitting draws and fades so that he can be confident in creating the best shot in any given situation.

WHAT SHOULD YOU TRY TO COPY?

Stuart does many things well, but the key positions for you to copy are his textbook set-up and finish. By eliminating his slight reverse-C, Stuart has reduced his risk for back injuries. Modern golfer-athletes have no unnecessary movement; they're efficient machines built for power and control - just like the high-performance race cars Stuart loves to drive.


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