A model of how to manage exceptional power with balance and athleticism
by GT Editor
Saturday 28th of December 2019
Spain’s latest superstar provides a model to all young players of how to manage exceptional power with balance and athleticism. He also happens to be one of the game’s finest ambassadors
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology I sat down with Alvaro Quiros during the rain delay during the WGC at Doral and showed him the driver sequence you are about to enjoy on my laptop. Overall he was pretty happy with the look of his swing, and particularly the poise and balance displayed throughout which, as he was quick to acknowledge, is what enables players of his calibre to recover and hit good shots even when the swing is not technically 100% where they want it.
Quiros works with Jose Rivero, the former Spanish Ryder Cup player who himself was known for the silky rhythm and tempo with which he swung the club. I see this quality in Alvaro’s incredibly powerful swing; from start to finish he exhibits exceptional athletic balance, which is the first thing I would hope all the young and ambitious golfers out there would seek to copy.
Looking at the sequence face on, particularly, the early moves in this swing certainly reveal the benefit of being supple and athletic as Quiros winds his upper body over the stability and resistance of the hips and legs; he is notably limited with his hip rotation, while the shoulders move through a full 90 degrees and the arms arrive at a compact, almost three-quarter position. He then explodes through the ball, maximising his speed with long levers that give him such tremendous clubhead speed.
You cannot become a long hitter copying all that Quiros does, but you can certainly be the longest YOU CAN BE if you pick up on four key positions that I have highlighted here and through the copy. Ok, now let’s go and enjoy the sequences in full.
Width + coil
Shoulder rotation & fantastic width is the secret to Alviro’s immense power
As good as they are, one thing these images cannot convey is the tremendous arm speed Alvaro generates during his swing – to stand next to him and watch him launch a tee shot really is quite an experience.
Of course, that arm speed has to be matched with the body motion, and that requires not only strength but balance in the swing. When he gets it spot on his power is unbelievable. But it is this facet of the swing that he has to keep a close eye on, because when things go off…
Interestingly, as he was looking at these images Alvaro explained to me that as a kid he learned to play with clubs that were a little too long and heavy for him, which may explain why his swing is dominated by the strength of the arms. As a youngster he had to physically work harder with his arms to move the club around his body, which explains some of the positions you see here and overleaf.
(Sandy Lyle is another immensely powerful player who learned the game with clubs that were a little too long and heavy for him – and he is another example of the way the arms sort of do their own thing at times.) Of course, had Alvaro been introduced to the game with clubs suited to his frame he may have enjoyed a better balance of arms and body…and we may never have heard of him!.
To gel the arm and body motion Jose Rivero has clearly drilled into Alvaro the importance of ‘athletic balance’ from start to finish. That is perhaps the greatest lesson for all young players here. He is limited in his hip rotation to the top of a compact backswing, and then explodes his arms and his body down, across and around.
With every power hitter you are going to see incredible leverage in the swing, and you certainly appreciate that here. What is harder to detect is what I term the ‘twitch muscle’ speed that is generated in the way the upper arms work with the shoulders.
That’s just pure athleticism. You can look at as many images as you like, you will never get it if you haven’t got it. All you can do is make the best of what you have as a golfer – and there is plenty here to get working on.