Golf Pro Phil Mickelson: Tighter Swing Under Harmon’s Tutelage Video
Now, a few a years ago, when he was really playing in his prime, Phil Mickelson was probably one of the most exciting golfers to watch on the golf course. I'd love watching him on the TV because you literally never knew what you're going to get. Mickelson might turn up and hit these bombs, 300-yard bombs, straight down the middle every single fairway. And then in the next couple of holes, he might be spraying it off sideways and then hitting these miracle recovery shots. And that was part of his makeup, the way he played and part of the makeup really of his golf swing.
Obviously as a left hander, his swing looks the mirror image of mine, but if I can show you his mistakes, I'm going to show you as a right hander if it that's okay. Mickelson had a very long back swing. He would sort of really turn back quite a long way past the parallel position which is the convention on the PGA tour to swing to three o'clock, Mickelson would often get it around here to four o'clock. He would also accompany that movement by dipping his right knee or my left knee as a right-handed golfer throwing this front knee in quite a long way and even lifting the left heel quite a long way to really get that big old back swing.
Mickelson's other move that we don't often see on the golf course was he'd sway back a little bit this way away from the golf ball and then reach out for the ball. All of that disconnection and extra moving parts in his swing, but when he hit the ball, he hit the ball 300 yards dead straight. But when he was off, it could go any different which way and a lot of it relied on timing and sometimes under pressure, his timing would break down.
Mickelson then made a change in his approach. He went to work with Butch Harmon, renowned swing coach, Tiger Wood's swing coach from previously as well and Mickelson's swing got a lot tighter. We now see that generally, Mickelson has a slightly shorter more controlled swing, less of that body sway and less of that left knee action. And as Mickelson makes his swing, he's a little tighter to the top and much more conventional movement. And what you see in the way he plays and what he scores like is he's generally hitting more fairways and the fairways he misses are generally not so bad. So, he has less penalty shots, he has less double bogus, he has less chipping out sideways from the trees.
It's a little bit more if you're like a boring approach to playing golf, but generally the guy that plays the most boring golf is the guy that wins the tournament because he's fairways, greens knocking it in. The guy that's playing exciting sort of outside ways and chipping back on is often the guy that's not necessarily going to score the best. But Mickelson now plays a slightly tighter swing, much more of a Butch Harmon model if you like, a tighter better set of tighter to the top and better turn through the golf ball.
So if you feel in your game, you're sort of playing balls left right and center and not really been able to control it, maybe your good shots are good, but your bad shots killing you, think about the length of your swing, how you can tighten it up, how you can move your bottom half less and gain a lot more control in your action. Try and play simple straight down the middle boring golf and not the old exciting Phil Mickelson golf that we're used to seeing.