Who has the most unorthodox swing in the game?

By Ryan LavnerOctober 22, 2012, 4:22 pm

Tommy Gainey and his homemade swing won this past week’s McGladrey Classic. Does he possess the most unorthodox swing in the game? GolfChannel.com writers weigh in.

By JASON SOBEL

There is nothing orthodox about Tommy Gainey’s rise through the ranks of professional golf. He grew up in rural South Carolina; attended Central Carolina Technical College; worked on an assembly line before trying his hand at a golf career and, of course, wears two gloves for all shots – even putts.

With a background like that, you’d never expect the guy to have a swing like Fred Couples or Ernie Els.

Instead, he owns a maneuver that Brandel Chamblee once said “looks like he’s trying to kill a snake with a garden hoe.” Interesting imagery. With those two gloves, I’ve always thought he appeared more like a lumberjack chopping down an invisible tree. (click to view swing)

Whatever your descriptive terminology preference, it’s clear to see that Gainey is unconventional in the best way. He uses a true baseball grip, bends more at the waist than any instructor would recommend and dips his head like an 18-handicap. He lists his brother as his lone swing coach, perhaps because no one else could teach that move, let alone help him maintain it.

Two Gloves is the antithesis of the cookie-cutter, country-club types who clutter PGA Tour ranges with numerous gurus brandishing the latest video equipment. He’s the most unorthodox player around – and evidenced by his recent McGladrey Classic victory, that’s something to be celebrated rather than disapproved.


By REX HOGGARD

In this cookie-cutter age of swing theory and the sometimes overzealous pursuit of mechanical perfection Bubba Watson is the prince of unorthodox swings. (click to view swing)

In fact, it’s not even a contest. Just consider Tommy Gainey’s take on the big left-hander’s unique action, “I mean Bubba just . . . I mean he slashes at it. That’s about the only word I can use that would come close to the way he hits it.”

This from a man widely known as “Two Gloves,” who admittedly has a hate-hate relationship with the ubiquitous TrackMan machine that dissects players’ actions.

Watson’s swing is long and loose and virtually uncoachable. In the wake of his Masters victory in April numerous swing coaches said they wouldn’t take on Watson as a student because, as one coach said, “there is no way to teach that.”

What appears to be a collection of mutually exclusive moving parts produces the fastest club-head speed on Tour (124.69 mph), the longest driving average (315.5 yards) and, most importantly, the year’s greatest shot.

From 151 yards away, Watson carved his second shot out of the trees right of the 10th fairway at Augusta National, his second playoff hole, to 10 feet for a two-putt par and his first major championship – a historically unorthodox shot from the game’s most unorthodox swing.


By RANDALL MELL

Nobody gets more double takes in golf than Josh Broadaway on the Web.com Tour.

Nobody’s swing gets more snickers and giggles (click to view swing).

That’s because nobody defies convention more than Broadaway, not Jim Furyk nor Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey. Notably, it’s not really the motion of Broadaway’s swing that makes it the most unorthodox in pro golf. If you were watching from afar, you might not notice anything odd. It’s his cross-handed grip that makes his swing radically different from any in golf.

A left-handed batter in youth baseball, Broadaway couldn’t find left-handed clubs growing up, and so as a young boy he put his left-hander’s grip on the right-handed clubs. He tried to change for a time to a conventional grip, but it never felt comfortable, so he went back. Broadaway, 34, was good enough cross-handed to Monday qualify for The Honda Classic last year and make the cut. He barely missed graduating to the PGA Tour last year, finishing 28th in money winnings on the now Web.com Tour, three spots short of a PGA Tour card. He’s 75th in money this year but still determined to someday become the first player to win a major cross-handed.


By RYAN LAVNER

Jim Furyk’s swing draws many comparisons – to actions in other sports, strangely, not necessarily to Rory McIlroy. (click to view swing)

Furyk’s hands are so low, it looks like he’s trying to receive a snap under center. His downswing looks like he’s trying to slap a hockey puck. His lower-body action looks like he’s trying to hula-hoop.

Space is limited, so let’s merely gloss over his ever-changing putting stroke and unique pre-shot routine. Grip and re-grip. Back off and settle in. Hike up the pants. Consult and calculate.

Yet despite all of his quirks, the 42-year-old Furyk has won 16 times on Tour. He’s earned more than $52 million. He’s a lock for the Hall of Fame.

All of which makes him the most successful unorthodox swinger of his generation – and the envy of unconventional players everywhere.

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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.