Rickie Fowler has always had a unique swing, with its signature “flat” arm position at the top and the hard sling through the ball. He’s one of the guys you can recognise from two fairways over – even if he isn’t wearing technicolor Puma gear.
Given that the 175-centimetre, 68-kilogram Fowler averaged 281 metres off the tee while winning the Honda Classic by four over Morgan Hoffman, it’s natural for the average player to want to try to get some of what Rickie has.
But if all you try to do is make your arms and the clubhead go flatter on the downswing, you’re missing the boat – and you’re probably going to make your game worse.
“Everybody talks about him ‘Laying the club down’ or ‘Holding lag’, but that’s not what he’s doing,” says Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Michael Jacobs, who runs the X Golf School in Manorville, New York. “On the downswing, the hands move on a certain plane, and so does the clubhead. The players who produce the most efficient speed swing on a ‘magic angle’ – where the clubhead and the hands move toward being on the same angle.”
What does this mean in English? Trying to make the clubhead go “flatter” by pushing it towards the ground, or trying to make it “lag” by preventing it from moving towards the ball messes up this “magic angle” that Fowler uses so well.