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Jonathan Byrd


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Is anyone else very impressed by this knockdown no-wrist cock swing he has been using on alot of shots this week.

Makes me think about hitting this type of shot ALOT more.  Also makes me thing of teaching this type of swing to a beginner.

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From the flat plane to the hands-high finish to the rapid tempo, that's about as close as you can get to Ben Hogan.  Just an absolutely great striker of the ball.  I hope to see a lot more of him on TV this year and, based on his past two tournaments (both wins), I think I will.

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Hips more open and a bit less forward than Hogan. Rate of closure a bit higher than Hogan's too. Haven't seen enough to say anything more than that.

He won, so whatever it looks like, it worked in his last two PGA Tour starts. ;-)

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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

A couple of questions come to mind whenever I see Byrd.

First, why hasn't he had a better record on tour?  Five wins is good, but not as good as one would expect, given his swing fundamentals.  I don't know whether his putting or short game has let him down in the past, or whether he has just not been comfortable at the top of the leaderboard.  Maybe he has crossed that hurdle now, I hope so.

Second, why have there been so few players on tour that have had a "Hoganesque" swing? As one of, if not the best ball striker in the history of the game, you would think that there would have been numerous successful tour pros throughout the years who were Hogan clones.  They say George Knudson from Canada came very close but, until Byrd, there isn't anyone I can think of that looks even remotely like Hogan.  Many pros have said they hold Hogan's "Five Lessons" up as their Bible.

From a physical standpoint, could Hogan do things that no one else, then or now, could do?  Although his book lays out in detail how he tried to swing the club (except for his elusive "secret"), could it be that he was a physical anomaly? I guess there's no answer.  Anyway, as a Hogan aficionado, I enjoy seeing a controlled ballstriker win a tournament, rather than the bomb and gougers.

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Originally Posted by Harmonious

First, why hasn't he had a better record on tour?  Five wins is good, but not as good as one would expect, given his swing fundamentals.  I don't know whether his putting or short game has let him down in the past, or whether he has just not been comfortable at the top of the leaderboard.  Maybe he has crossed that hurdle now, I hope so.



A very good question considering the fact that he lead the PGA tour in ballstriking the last couple of years!

I've been paying attention to Byrd for sometime now mostly because he is a Mizuno Staffer (due to my love of my MP-57s and mizuno irons, I follow the Mizuno staffers ) and noticed he had a fantastic swing the few times that I saw him on TV.  Hopefully a lightblub has gone off in his head the last two wins which can hopefully get him to the winners circle more often.  If so, we are in line for a great PGA season!

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He is notorious for getting off to slow starts in the season.  I think with the exception of Tiger and some of the other big players, the players that you remember having great years or have a lot of wins, start the season off on a good foot and play well at the beginning of the year.  They too however tend to tire at the end of the year and fizzle out a little (stricker being a good case from last year or the year before from what I can remember).  The other guys tend to focus more on the majors and don't play as much and therefore seem to stick out later in the year for the bigger tournaments.  Perhaps with Byrd winning back to back tourneys he can start this year off on a good note and win some.

I would agree he is one of those players that should have won more up to this point in his carreer.

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I just did a quit stat check at pgatour.com.  In 2010, Byrd was 212th in total putting.  In 2009, he was 163rd.  That could explain it.  Looks like he should have a chat with Dave Stockton.....Also, Derek - Isn't it interesting that two of the best ball strikers on tour, Byrd and Luke Donald, both play Mizunos.  As as MP-57 player myself, I'd like to think the clubs also have something to do with those stats.  Wish that ball striking magic would rub off a little on me.

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Originally Posted by Harmonious

I just did a quit stat check at pgatour.com.  In 2010, Byrd was 212th in total putting.  In 2009, he was 163rd.  That could explain it.  Looks like he should have a chat with Dave Stockton.....Also, Derek - Isn't it interesting that two of the best ball strikers on tour, Byrd and Luke Donald, both play Mizunos.  As as MP-57 player myself, I'd like to think the clubs also have something to do with those stats.  Wish that ball striking magic would rub off a little on me.



Haha...good point on the irons!  As for the putting, that definitely sums it up.  While Byrd putted well throughout the tournament, it was certainly evident that putting is an issue on the two birdie putts he couldn't make under pressure on the 18th and the 18th again during the playoff.  Put Graeme McDowell, Tiger, Phil in there, even Ian Poulter and they make one of those two putts.

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Ive become a huge fan of his after the JT event and this coming week. Great swing and overall looks like a great guy too. It's also nice to see two different styles of players in the playoff and see the shprter hitter win haha.
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Everyone was so horny for Byrd's wedges...yet Stevie Stricker's been 'deadhanding' it for years.

Seriously, though - I love Byrd's game. Doesn't hit it super long, but carves it like crazy. I know he had some injuries and some issues when his dad died. I don't love his putting that I've seen in the past, although he obviously rolled it well last week. He doesn't have great length, but there are a few guys in the game now (Furyk, Z. Johnson, etc.) without great length who are doing some nice things. Wait and see. If he can get the ball rolling and win a FEW times this year...then the conversation could get more serious.

Major-wise, wouldn't the US Open suit him best, followed by a British that sets up right for his length?

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Originally Posted by Harmonious

First, why hasn't he had a better record on tour?  Five wins is good, but not as good as one would expect, given his swing fundamentals.  I don't know whether his putting or short game has let him down in the past, or whether he has just not been comfortable at the top of the leaderboard.  Maybe he has crossed that hurdle now, I hope so.



I think Byrd is a perfect example of just how difficult it is to consistently contend and win on the Tour.   There seems to be no end of players who come on Tour who are fantastic ballstrikers, yet many of them not only fail to win but also fail to survive.   In addition to ballstriking, the top players need to have the whole package of a magical short game, incredible putting touch, a steely-tough mental focus, and the personality makeup to live life on the road week after week.

In a recent issue of Southland Golf, a freebie publication in Southern California, Paul Goydos was quoted as saying last year he was 3 shots away from having the best year of his career and 3 shots from going back to Q School.    I think that's a great testimony on how competitive it really is.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clambake View Post



hink Byrd is a perfect example of just how difficult it is to consistently contend and win on the Tour.   There seems to be no end of players who come on Tour who are fantastic ballstrikers, yet many of them not only fail to win but also fail to survive.   In addition to ballstriking, the top players need to have the whole package of a magical short game, incredible putting touch, a steely-tough mental focus, and the personality makeup to live life on the road week after week.

In a recent issue of Southland Golf, a freebie publication in Southern California, Paul Goydos was quoted as saying last year he was 3 shots away from having the best year of his career and 3 shots from going back to Q School.    I think that's a great testimony on how competitive it really is.



Well Said.  A lot of amateurs lurking around who arbitrarily comment about their "ability" to make it on tour have absolutely no concept of how difficult it really is.

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