Golf commentators occasionally complain about the cookie-cutter nature of today’s pro swings. Jim Furyk has never been, and never will be, a target of such criticism.
Furyk’s swing is the very definition of homemade. (Although given that his father is a teaching pro, it is a bit surprising how unusual the younger Furyk’s swing turned out.) It certainly hasn’t held him back. Furyk has been one of the PGA Tour’s best and most consistent performers since the mid-1990s, winning the 2003 U.S. Open and earning multiple Ryder Cup berths.
His swing has continued to confound convention all the while.
Furyk’s signature: A looping swing characterized by hands that are extremely close to his body at address and impact.
Furyk sets up very close to the ball, and even appears to be crowding it. (Think of a baseball hitter crowding the plate.) His hands sit just above the knees at address. Furyk’s takeaway looks relatively conventional, but he soon sends the club straight upward. At the top, Furyk’s left arm is nearly vertical to the ground.
(A quick note: Before some recent tweaks, Furyk’s left arm and the shaft were actually tilted slightly toward the ball as he approached the top, which may well be unprecedented in pro golf annals.)
Furyk reconciles all his odd habits at the start of the downswing. By rotating the left hip and right knee, he drops the club into a more horizontal, on-plane position. From here, though, he’s far from typical. Furyk’s hips and knees continue rotating furiously while his arms pull the club down. At impact, Furyk’s hips almost face the target and his hands very nearly touch his right hip. In fact, the right elbow is actually behind his right hip at impact.
Why it works for Furyk: There’s little point explaining how Furyk makes magic out of such a mishmash of irregular fundamentals. The fact is, he’s developed a swing that is uniquely his own and, most importantly, he repeats it like clockwork.
How it can work for you: Forget trying to emulate Furyk. The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t take perfect technique to hit good golf shots. If you’ve got a funky swing that works, stick with it. If anything, the more you practice and play, the more consistent your swing will get.
That’s not to say a minor change or two isn’t in order, especially if you have a glaring weakness or two. But the bottom line is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Jim Furyk is living proof of that fundamental truth.