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Ricky Fowler He’s got a new swing, and analysts are flocking to him.
Long a fan favorite on the PGA Tour, Fowler hasn’t been playing his best golf over the past few years. He hasn’t finished in the top 90 in the FedEx Cup since 2019, and in the last two seasons he’s been outside the top 125. He didn’t lose his card in that time, thanks to a variety of exceptions, but his performance on the course was lacking.
Lost in the wilderness seems to have inspired a rocking change.
In a video posted by trainer Travis Fulton, Fowler’s movement is much different than the one we’re used to seeing. It’s a more technical sound, which Fulton said was “the best [he’s] I saw Ricky’s swing.”
The differences are visible even to the naked eye, but the nuances are also fascinating. And to help dissect the finer points of Fowler’s new (and old) movement, we enlisted help Top 100 golf instructors Jonathan Yarwood.
Old Fowler’s Swing
Fowler’s swing was incredibly laid back from the top when he first took part in a run. He started the swing with his club head away from his hands, then dropped the stick under the plane as he reached the top. This caused his hands to track outward on the way down, creating a very steep angle of attack at the moment of impact. This resulted in a hot-and-cold nature and swing that relied heavily on timing.
“It’s really a study in engineering,” Yarwood said. “It is a study in the course of hand and geometry.”
Fowler’s clubhead was an inverted D-shape, tracking straight on the backswing and then tapering low on the backswing.
“Some players got it very shallow,” Yarwood said. And he was one of them. He had a bit too shallow a move in the first downhill segment, which gives the club no choice but to go down too hard in the second downhill segment. It’s great if you’re going to hit short or medium irons, but it’s not great. Because the clubs get longer because you can’t recover the angle of attack.”
New Fowler’s Swing
Fowler swings for the first time this week in Hawaii Many Different. Gone are the rings that defined his old movement. Instead, he is much more on board during the swing and relies less on timing to align the clubhead. This new swing has a more “C” shape than the earlier “inverted D” he used as a younger player.
“He’s got a little bit more club-headed and a little bit more conventional at first,” said Yarwood. “The club president goes more and more. He makes the shaft a little steeper on the way down, but still on board, and then he gets into the shoals of the ball at the bottom of the swing.”
With the clubhead moved back and across a similar trajectory, Fowler is now able to create a higher angle of attack, which should result in more consistency with his long blockers and woods.
“It’s by no means a finished product, but it has a lot of success,” Yarwood said. To change your swing that It takes a lot of courage.”
Sometimes to put things back on track, a drastic change is needed. Fowler has embraced these changes, and now we’ll all wait for the results.