Payne Stewart had one of the greatest classic swings of all time – at the beginning of the ‘modern’ age of golf swings.
This made his fluid and syrupy swing him almost an anachronism as the ‘X-Factor’ style swing started to dominate during the 90’s and early 2000’s.
Stewart is one golfer I point to when people ask me who swung like Mike Austin. While Payne did not employ the lateral windup of the hips in the backswing, nearly every other aspect is identical to Austin.
Have you ever heard as pure of a sound as Payne Stewart flushing 2 irons? To me, watching this swing is like looking at a Rembrandt painting.
Study the footwork closely here – it is impeccable. The feet roll in while the heels detach. Even the right foot drag post impact is identical to Austin’s.
The left hip and knee swing down and around the posted right hip. The reverse occurs in the downswing.
The hands throw the club starting near the top of the swing freely. There is no attempt to guide or control the clubface, nor delay the uncocking of the wrists. If Stewart was to ‘let go’ of the club at the bottom of the swing, it would helicopter down the fairway with a very tight spin. The ‘lag’ is created by the strong forward pivot.
This is a shallow sweeping swing that will hit up on the driver, for maximum distance. The divots will be skinny, or may only sweep the grass without digging up a divot at all.
Last but not least, study the tempo and rhythm of Payne’s swing. It is relaxed, unhurried, and even. Can you get your hands and arms this loose and supple? Can you swing a club with this little effort?
Payne actually worked with Mike Austin in his front yard in Woodland Hills, Ca. before one of his U.S. Open wins. Knowing Mike, I’m sure he would have been very complimentary.