OWN YOUR SWING
Developing his game in windswept Warrnambool, Leishman had to learn to control his golf ball to play well and has said he does so through the use of his hands. This ‘handsy’ action has made the 34-year-old one of best wind players on the planet and in addition to some unique footwork makes Leishman’s action unlike any other on the PGA Tour and something of a throwback to the swings of days gone by.
Leishman transfers plenty of weight into his right side at the top of the backswing, with a significant hip turn and his left knee flexing more towards the ball than many other modern players, who restrict their hip rotation against their upper body turn.
A classic shift of the hips towards the target starts his downswing, but it is after the ball is gone where the three-time PGA Tour winner makes multiple moves that really set his golf swing apart.
As the club passes his body and releases down the line, Leishman’s left foot almost follows it. The turning out of the left foot is followed by his right knee dipping after impact, both of which are to counteract a lack of mobility in his left hip and results in both feet pointing down the fairway like a runner preparing to start a 100-metre sprint.
While Leishman’s swing might look di erent to most of his competitors, it is extremely
repeatable and reliable and provides one of the best examples of the benefits of learning to swing the club your way, rather than copying someone else’s move.
Here, Marc is doing a tremendous job of maintaining, and if anything increasing, the angle in his wrists to create lag. This move allows him to lead the club into impact with his body and arms rather than the other way around, which is a sign of a major power leak. From behind, you can see Leishman’s legs and arms have almost completely straightened as the force of the ground pushes him up. He makes room for this powerful move by clearing his hips left and maintaining his spine angle. The ball is gone but Leishman’s head is still behind the impact point – a key component in his improved driving – while his left arm and left leg form a straight line which he will continue to rotate around, giving a terrific example of the phrase “hitting into your left side”.
Unlike many other players of today who create a left-to-right ball flight by pulling the club low and to the left post impact, Leishman employs a full release down the line that puts on full display his ‘handsy’ method of controlling the ball flight. Look at Leishman’s left foot, it has turned almost 90 degrees from where it started at address to compensate for a lack of mobility in his hip and his hands have finished high – a position that is rare in modern swings but gives his action a timeless look and one that is all his own. Even though Marc has taken his right hand off the club in the top image, he is completely balanced and has wrapped the shaft around his back. Although a little different to some, there is no wasted energy in this swing.