Swing Like Rory (McLRoy)–The Body Clearance Concept

Recently, I spent a LOT of time observing Rory’s swing – in slow motion, in freeze frames and what not.  Two thing stood out to me – things that Rory does somewhat differently from a lot of tour players. These are his Setup and his TEMPO.  This post discusses a few of my findings.

Rory’s SETUP (Lot of Body Clearance)

I like to imagine two VERTICAL WOOD PANELS – one touching my forehead – and the other touching my butt. The entire body fits between these  two panels.  The FRONT panel (the one touching my forehead) – needs to be a certain distance from the ball. This distance is what gives the ARMS , the CLEARANCE they need to swing freely. Most amateurs have their BODY somewhere in the way of their downswing – thereby, interfering with this CLEARANCE.

As seen below, Rory keeps a LOT of clearance between the tip of his body (forehead) and the ball. This is what allows him to swing FAST and FEARLESSLY.



Rory’s TEMPO

Rory’s backswing is SO fast, that it almost feels like a  YANK away. Lots of instructors spend hours emphasizing a SLOW and METICULOUS takeaway, which IMO, is completely flawed. Thankfully, fast swingers like Rory and Tiger have proven that a SLOOOOOW takeaway is not only unnecessary, but probably detrimental to your overall swing tempo.  When you take your tennis racquet back, you do not meticulously plan out its path – and then swing back. You just swing back. Super fast. That’s how it should be with the golf club.

The only pre-requisite is that with golf, you need to be correctly SETUP – to swing back in this speedy fashion. The SETUP actually has to allow for a lot of CLEARANCE – both going back – and coming back down.

Once Rory finishes his fast backswing, he has the illusion of a momentary PAUSE on the top. From here, he UNLEASHES his downswing.

The TEMPO  here is – fast backswing, (short) PAUSE and fast downswing. This is Rory’s tempo. This is the tempo of ANY non-golf sport (tennis, table tennis, baseball, cricket….).   Shouldn’t it be your golf swing tempo as well?


Rory has one of the most uncomplicated swings of all the pros. This makes it possible to dissect his swing and possibly try and emulate it.

Two pre-requisites  for emulating his swing are :

  1. Setup with a LOT of BODY CLEARANCE.
  2. Swing with a FAST tempo.

Another pre-requisite is – Work out your upper and lower body – especially your LOWER body and CORE. This makes the powerful stance possible – and makes it possible to swing FAST without losing your balance.

Amateur golfer with no real claim to fame (unless club championships count). Sharing knowledge obtained from (far too many) golf lessons – from far too many pros.

Golf Tips – who has written posts on Anuj Varma, Technology Architect.


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