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Yani Tseng Hits it Like a Man

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I've heard people say that about the #1 female player in the world more times than I count. I may have even said it once or twice myself.

I've attended a number of LPGA events. I've seen how bad women are at putting and the short game in general. I've seen the conditions under which they play. And I've seen how far they drive the ball.

I sat on the first tee of the U.S. Women's Open at Oakmont in 2007. And I'm convinced of one simple thing: the women are short-changing themselves to the tune of about 10% of their distance across the board. Here's how I'd describe their average swing: "no hip turn, often some arm lifting on the backswing, then SPIN the hips as fast as they can on the downswing." The entire emotion is an upper body motion with the hips spinning - there's little marriage between the two and not enough use of the muscles in the arms and shoulders - too many swing like their arms are simply attached to their bodies.

The women of the LPGA Tour, by and large, need to make better use of their hips and arms. They need to turn their hips on a nice inclined plane on the backswing, push them forward more on the downswing (not too many women really take divots, the Paula Creamer "keep adding side bend on the downswing" types excluded - a lot are hitting the ball just before low point), and swing their arms down faster instead of letting them kind of get dragged along by the twisting of the body.

That's an exaggeration to make a point. Yani Tseng does this much less than other people. She's got a nice athletic move. Vicki Hurst, too. Good use of the hips, swings the arms down.

Here are some Vicki Hurst videos. Not a fan of everything she does in all of them but she does the pieces I'm talking about here better than most women on the LPGA Tour:

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It seems to me the ladies for whatever reason do not get great coaching. I would think a trip to Stan Utley or Dave Pelz would do wonders for their short games. I hardly hear any of them with swing coaches I have heard of. I suppose when unlike the men, who can not win and still make $2mil+, paying for the better coaches in golf becomes tough to do. Sounds like a business opprotunity Erik!

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As far as swing mechanics go, I'm not going to question what Erik says one way or the other.  Just from results, though, I'd agree with the statement about Yani.  In the playoff hole last weekend she put her drive to 290 and a 19˚ 2h 223 that struck pin high and bounced just off the back edge of the green.  Those are distances that any amateur man would be very happy with, and wouldn't even be ridiculously short for a male pro.  Given how big and strong she is relative to men, I'd say she hits it like a man!

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Any chance there is anatomy reasons (wider hips, different center of masses) for why the ladies are swing differently?  There is also the theory that you only get good enough to beat your competition. The depth in womans juniors used to be pretty weak so decent wood/iron play and mediocre short games was more than enough to get you that college scholarship.

Originally Posted by Bo the Golfer

It seems to me the ladies for whatever reason do not get great coaching. I would think a trip to Stan Utley or Dave Pelz would do wonders for their short games. I hardly hear any of them with swing coaches I have heard of. I suppose when unlike the men, who can not win and still make $2mil+, paying for the better coaches in golf becomes tough to do. Sounds like a business opprotunity Erik!



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Originally Posted by x129

Any chance there is anatomy reasons (wider hips, different center of masses) for why the ladies are swing differently? There is also the theory that you only get good enough to beat your competition. The depth in womans juniors used to be pretty weak so decent wood/iron play and mediocre short games was more than enough to get you that college scholarship.

Nope.

I think the lower amount of money and competition plays a big role in why they don't get top-tier coaching.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Nope.

I think the lower amount of money and competition plays a big role in why they don't get top-tier coaching.



Evolvr would be a great option :-)

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Well we are talking about top tier coaching More seriously there is a lot of good coaching out there so it seems odd that 60+ elite female players (in theory some have name brand coaches like Harmon and Leadbetter. Lets not debate if they are any good) all have different coaches that generate the same swing flaw. Seems more likely there is some reason why that happens. Obviously if iacas has increased all of his female members drives by 10% by correcting this flaw that would be useful info (granted I expect the average Evolvr member to have a lot of room for improvement so it isn't a perfect test) to have.

Now short game sucking is pretty much all about lack of need. Coaching in all is good but nothing is as important as spending 3+ hours a day out there from the time your 14 or so chipping and putting. Hell Golf Digest had an article about Jack Nickalaus saying his short game sucked because he didn't need it.


Originally Posted by mvmac

Evolvr would be a great option :-)



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I thought that the girl she was playing with had a nice swing. Yang I think her name was? looked pretty solid from start to finish. nice turn and very well balanced all the way through never really paid much attention but kerr's swing looked weird to me.

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Good analysis of Yani to check out.  Don't see too many LPGA players look like her at 7:27.  If she released more of her right hip flexion on the backswing, arms could continue to keep moving on the arc rather than get "bouncy".

But what do i know, she's only won like every tourney she's played in this year

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the ladies are hitting typically 255-265 yards ... for people that weigh 120 pounds (or so), I'd say thats an outstanding distance to weight ratio  ...

I would love to see that beautiful slow paced swing of Ai Miyazato at 5'1" & maybe 100 pounds soaking wet blast it 30 yards past my drive ... something about watching a woman absolutely smash a golf ball - love it.   This is the most amazing comparison I've seen of her swing against someone with a more "traditional" swing ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykPsqBdjSXc

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Originally Posted by jpalermo

I thought that the girl she was playing with had a nice swing. Yang I think her name was? looked pretty solid from start to finish. nice turn and very well balanced all the way through never really paid much attention but kerr's swing looked weird to me.


Amy Yang's swing is very good as well. And on the broadcast they were wondering why and how she hits the ball as far as she does. Good mechanics and Ernie Els "gathering" and tempo make for a sneaky long player.

Honestly I think Yang's swing might be better than Tseng's. I didn't see too many slow-mo videos of her swing, though.

Originally Posted by inthehole

the ladies are hitting typically 255-265 yards ... for people that weigh 120 pounds (or so), I'd say thats an outstanding distance to weight ratio  ...

Well the median player, #76 currently, is 247.9 yards, but okay. They do hit it farther than some would think but they hit it shorter than some others would have you think, too.

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just curious Iacas - what is your opinion of Ai Miyazato's unorthodox slow swing ?    I don't know what to make of it, but she certainly is able to generate enough downswing momentum with effectively no upswing momentum ...

Originally Posted by iacas

Amy Yang's swing is very good as well. And on the broadcast they were wondering why and how she hits the ball as far as she does. Good mechanics and Ernie Els "gathering" and tempo make for a sneaky long player.

Honestly I think Yang's swing might be better than Tseng's. I didn't see too many slow-mo videos of her swing, though.

Well the median player, #76 currently, is 247.9 yards, but okay. They do hit it farther than some would think but they hit it shorter than some others would have you think, too.



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Originally Posted by inthehole

just curious Iacas - what is your opinion of Ai Miyazato's unorthodox slow swing ?    I don't know what to make of it, but she certainly is able to generate enough downswing momentum with effectively no upswing momentum ...


No problem with it. I do think a big part of what makes it look weirder is that she adds no wrist cock until the start of her downswing, and even then it's not much at all. She could probably do well to work in a *little* more wrist cock during the backswing or at least in the transition. She's not super long (246.0 yards, 94th I think).

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Originally Posted by inthehole

the ladies are hitting typically 255-265 yards ... for people that weigh 120 pounds (or so), I'd say thats an outstanding distance to weight ratio  ...

I would love to see that beautiful slow paced swing of Ai Miyazato at 5'1" & maybe 100 pounds soaking wet blast it 30 yards past my drive ... something about watching a woman absolutely smash a golf ball - love it.   This is the most amazing comparison I've seen of her swing against someone with a more "traditional" swing ...  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykPsqBdjSXc


True...but size isn't everything in distance

I've seen 300 pound guys hit it 180 yards. I've seen 150 pound guys hit it over 300

Anyway, I'm off topic

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Yani Tseng is definitely a born-and-bred champion.  She was surrounded by coaches at a very young ages, and have dominated the field since she was an amateur, long before turning professional.  She even beat Michelle Wie during her amateur days before all the hypes started.  Her game play is unique and more attractive than other players because she has been taught to swing the club aggressively since her childhood.  Her strength is a big advantage on LPGA Tour, but don't forget that she is also an extremely (if not the most) accurate player on tour.

Judging by all the trophies she snatched this year alone; you can't deny that Yani is practically owning the LPGA Tour.  While many ladies put a lot of effort on their long games and trying to perfect the art of using hybrids ---- Yani is hitting wedge into most par 4's and hit long irons into many par 5's.  With these convincing wins, she is still being seen on the range until dark, surrounding by coaches and fine-tuning her game.  This is why I honestly can't think of any particular player on LPGA tour that can take her on right now.  She is on one of those streaks Tiger have had during his haydays in 2000, and will be in serious contention in every tournament she attends.

Already named as the youngest player to win 5 majors in professional golf career; I'm sure she will be up for more checks, more trophies, and more success; at least for a year or two from now., assuming that she stays injury-free and keep away from any possible sex scandals.

Say what you want, but I am now rooting for her to surpass Jack's majors record.

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I just wish she would wear more "flattering" clothes - she desperately needs a fashion consultant

Originally Posted by CPT

Yani Tseng is definitely a born-and-bred champion.  She was surrounded by coaches at a very young ages, and have dominated the field since she was an amateur, long before turning professional.  She even beat Michelle Wie during her amateur days before all the hypes started.  Her game play is unique and more attractive than other players because she has been taught to swing the club aggressively since her childhood.  Her strength is a big advantage on LPGA Tour, but don't forget that she is also an extremely (if not the most) accurate player on tour.

Judging by all the trophies she snatched this year alone; you can't deny that Yani is practically owning the LPGA Tour.  While many ladies put a lot of effort on their long games and trying to perfect the art of using hybrids ---- Yani is hitting wedge into most par 4's and hit long irons into many par 5's.  With these convincing wins, she is still being seen on the range until dark, surrounding by coaches and fine-tuning her game.  This is why I honestly can't think of any particular player on LPGA tour that can take her on right now.  She is on one of those streaks Tiger have had during his haydays in 2000, and will be in serious contention in every tournament she attends.

Already named as the youngest player to win 5 majors in professional golf career; I'm sure she will be up for more checks, more trophies, and more success; at least for a year or two from now., assuming that she stays injury-free and keep away from any possible sex scandals.

Say what you want, but I am now rooting for her to surpass Jack's majors record.



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Originally Posted by inthehole

I just wish she would wear more "flattering" clothes - she desperately needs a fashion consultant


I guess she never could make it to any shops since they usually close down before she leave the range.  Surely she is more concern about some putts missed during the round than what's new in the spring collection....

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Eric,

I'm not sure I understand. Are you advocating that these women need to more actively swing down using the muscles in their shoulders and arms? In swinging down, wouldn't they want their arms to remain passive and to only feel the pull and leverage from the manipulation of their lower body? Wouldn't the arm muscles complimenting this swing-action slow the rate of speed? Maybe I've misinterpreted your original post.

Thanks,

Mark

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