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Simplify Your Swing to Win Like Tony Finau

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on
Tony Finau of the United States plays a shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the Cadence Bank Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course on November 13, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Tony Finau of the United States plays a shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the Cadence Bank Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course on November 13, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Strokes Gained is a comparison measure used on the PGA Tour to evaluate a player’s performance against other golfers. In Tony Finau’s last three wins (since July!), his Strokes Gained: Total average is 18.2! He’s almost twenty strokes better than the field in those victories. Not since the days of Tiger’s tremendous wins have we seen numbers like these. 
We all think of Tony as a fantastic driver of the golf ball. In those three wins, his average SG: Off the Tee was 5.0 ahead of the field. Upon a deeper dive, it’s not just the driver that does it. On approach, his SG:Approach is 6.3 strokes better than the competition and add another 4.4 with his putter.
So, how can Tony’s consistent ball striking be translated to improve YOUR Strokes Gained?
What did you see in Tony’s swing?
As a PGA Coach, I love how this video emphasizes the simplicity of what is happening. Here are the keys you need to copy. 
  • On the takeaway, follow Finau’s lead. Keep that clubhead outside of your hands. Many times, amateurs will flip that clubhead back around them. Watch your first few feet going backwards. Make sure that clubhead looks like it is farther away from you than your hands as you look backward. 
  • At the top of your backswing, get that shaft to go through your trail shoulder. Some critics feel as if Tony’s swing is flat. Watch it again, he uses his height and body structure appropriately. Get the shaft going up and around you. Create Tony’s look in the mirror. 
  • Coming down, let the clubhead fall behind your hands. This simple move is the key to all great golfers. Where most of you pull down in transition on the handle, the best allow that club to fall. It feels strange at first, but once you’re used to it… it’s go time!
  • Finally, follow through like Finau. Look at his extension toward the target all while keeping his spine stable and not standing up through impact. 
Tony Finau of the United States plays a shot on the eighth hole during the final round of the Cadence Bank Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course on November 13, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Tony Finau of the United States plays a shot on the eighth hole during the final round of the Cadence Bank Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course on November 13, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
The simplicity of Tony’s swing is why he has been so good. Add those moves in your swing and soon enough your Strokes Gained numbers will be as fantastic as Finau’s.  

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