Sam Bennett is a golf phenomenon. He won the U.S. Amateur in 2022 and contended at the Masters in 2023. Sam Bennet’s golf swing defies convention and criticism. He doesn’t have a coach, a swing guru or a swing model. He swings his swing, and it works.
But how does his unique swing work, and what can we learn from it? In this article, we will delve into the mechanics of Sam Bennett’s golf swing and uncover the secrets behind his consistent and effective shots.
Bennett’s backswing differs from the norm in several ways. To begin, he brings the club back low and on an inward trajectory, with his hands making a deep and circular movement around his body. At the top of the backswing, his left arm slightly bends, resulting in a narrow angle between his arm and the club shaft. Simultaneously, his right elbow flares outward, pointing away from his body. During this motion, his hips rotate beyond 90 degrees, while his shoulders rotate approximately 120 degrees. Additionally, his head undergoes a slight rightward shift as he coils up.
This backswing may appear unusual and unconventional, yet it offers certain advantages. Firstly, it enables Bennett to generate significant torque and power from his lower body. By rotating his hips extensively, he creates a considerable separation between his hips and shoulders, which he can effectively utilize during the subsequent downswing. Secondly, this unique backswing helps him maintain a square clubface for a longer duration. By initiating the club’s backward motion on an inward path and keeping his right elbow extended, he prevents the clubface from excessively opening or closing too rapidly. Thirdly, it provides him with additional time and space to execute the swing on the intended plane. By swinging the club around his body rather than in a straight line, he achieves a shallower angle of attack that harmonizes with his body’s rotational movement.
Bennett’s downswing is where he really shines. In his swing initiation, Bennett shifts his weight to the left side while aggressively rotating his hips. Simultaneously, his right shoulder drops towards the right hip, preserving his spine angle and creating notable right-side bend. Bringing the club on plane with the ball, his hands descend in front of his body. As impact nears, Bennett straightens his left arm, generating a wide arc and increasing clubhead speed. Subsequently, his right arm fully extends post-impact, facilitating club release and amplifying power.
Bennett’s downswing is efficient and effective for several reasons. First, it allows him to transfer all the energy he stored in his backswing to the ball. By rotating his hips fast and keeping his right shoulder low, he creates a lot of lag and leverage in his swing. He also maintains a good connection between his arms and body, preventing any wasted motion or loss of control. Second, it helps him hit the ball solidly and consistently. By dropping his hands down and in front of his body, he ensures that he hits the ball from the inside and with a slight upward angle of attack. This produces optimal launch conditions for distance and accuracy. Third, it gives him more versatility and creativity in his shot making. By swinging the club on plane with his body rotation, he can easily adjust his clubface angle and ball flight by changing his hand position or wrist action.
Bennett’s follow-through is a natural extension of his downswing. He continues to rotate his hips and shoulders until they face the target. With a fluid motion, his arms swing unrestrictedly around his body, culminating in a high finish above his head. As he does so, his left leg extends and supports his posture, while his right foot rolls onto the toe. Throughout the follow-through, his head remains attentive to the ball until it lands.
Bennett’s follow-through is simple and balanced for several reasons. First, it shows that he has completed his swing without any deceleration or interruption. By rotating fully through the ball and finishing high, he ensures that he has delivered maximum speed and force to the ball. Second, it helps him maintain stability and posture throughout his swing. By posting up on his left leg and keeping his spine angle constant, he prevents any swaying or dipping that could affect his contact or direction. Third, it gives him feedback on his swing quality and outcome. By watching the ball flight and feeling the impact, he can assess what he did well or poorly in his swing.
What You Can Learn from It
Sam Bennett’s golf swing may not be textbook or pretty, but it works for him because it suits his game and personality. He swings with confidence and conviction, trusting his instincts and abilities.
You can learn from Bennett’s golf swing by applying some of its principles to your own swing:
- Swing your swing: Don’t try to copy someone else’s swing or fit into a mold that doesn’t suit you. Find your own natural motion that feels comfortable and effective for you.
- Turn more: Increase your hip and shoulder turn in your backswing to create more power and separation in your swing.
- Drop down: Lower your hands in your downswing to bring the club on plane with the ball and hit it from the inside.
- Rotate through: Rotate your hips and shoulders fully through the ball to deliver maximum speed and force to the ball.
- Finish high: Complete your swing without any deceleration or interruption and finish high above your head.
Sam Bennett’s golf swing may not win any beauty contests, but it has won him trophies and respect in the golf world. He proves that there is more than one way to swing a golf club successfully.
You can improve your own golf swing by learning from Bennett’s example and finding your own unique way to play this great game.