There’s two “O’s” in smooth. The golfing world has been envious of Louis Oosthuizen’s amazing swing ever since his seven-stroke victory at the 2010 Open Championship. Back then, we didn’t know who this 28-year-old golfing phenomenon was out of South Africa. Since that time, his metronome move has helped him earn almost fifty million dollars combined on the European and PGA Tour. He has won 10 times, made 74% of his cuts and hasn’t finished outside the Top 40 in his last 8 US Open appearances.
We can see the simplicity of his tremendous success every time he swings the golf club. His smooth move is controlled, coordinated and powerful. Although we may not be leading the 121 st US Open Championship, we can all create the same style of fluid motion in our own golf swing.
Louis statistically leads the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained Putting. When you watch his stroke, you are immediately drawn to the swinging balance his stroke possesses. His back and through are almost identical. Given that level of steadiness in his stroke it’s no wonder he’s a great putter. So many golfers putt to hit the ball the ball rather than stroke it.
Next time you are on the practice green, try this drill. Choose a hole and then place a ball at 2, 5, 10, 15, and 20 feet from the hole. As you hit each putt, try to make your backswing the same length as your forward swing. Very soon you will notice that the strike of the ball becomes less important, and your speed will become very consistent.
Around the Green
Oosthuizen’s short game is world class. Many touring professionals have been quoted as saying his pitching motion is the best in the world. We all have our struggles trying to hit crisp short yardage shots off tight lies. In closing the US Open today, we will surely see Louis’ expertise on display several times.
To copy his move, try this trick the next time you practice pitching. Take a golf towel and tuck each end under your arms. Make sure the towel is held tight across your chest once each end is lodged. Grip the club and make a couple practice swipes at the ground. You will quickly notice how connected your chest turn and swing feel. Now hit a couple pitches with the towel in place. Take the towel out and hit some more. Bring that smooth turning feeling into the real shots from the drill and you’ll have Louis secret.
We all could watch Louis Oosthuizen hit balls on the practice range. His repeatable fluidity is amazing. Believe it or not, you can share in his amazing ability to consistently swing within himself. That’s the essence of what make Louis so successful. The average golfer is consistently off balance when they attack the ball.
Get to the practice range this week and put into practice this fun exercise. Place the ball on a tee just off the ground. Take a 7 iron and setup with your normal address position. Start the drill by swinging forward as if it feels like you follow through past the ball. Once you get just past hip height, begin swinging back to the top of your backswing. Be careful not to hit the ball. From the top of your backswing transition back and strike the ball then through to a full finish. Incorporate the smoothness of starting the swing with a little motion into your normal move and you’ll feel less prone to pull the club and just swing it.
Louis may or may not win our national championship, but it won’t be because he made an uncharacteristic move at the ball. Follow his unique ability to be synchronized in all aspects of your game. You will be amazed how powerful and consistent you can become by just keeping yourself coordinated and smOOth.