The images below were taken proceeding the 2nd round of the 2008 Miccosukee Championship. Taken as the result of a chance meeting with Miguel's caddy Juan Lopez who so kindly provided me with shelter during a freak Miami shower. On discovering Juan's position in the game I quickly fired the same question I had been firing at every caddy that week, 'How many players have you come across that can and do work the ball from left to right and right to left and will?'
The now common 'very few to any player' answer quickly cemented a shared passion for the art of shot making and creative golf. He was in full support and shared a keen interest in my mission to re-apply the true fundamentals of this game. Ball flight control from understanding and appreciation of the key basics that ultimately control it. We liked very much what each had to say and continued until the arrival and introduction of Miguel.
Himself very much a natural feel player, growing up in Argentina surrounded by raw flair and a unique sense of instinct for playing with his ball flight he had developed what I like to term, a creative reflex. While such a skill is hugely beneficial to a player, it can go a long way towards disguising and shadowing some real issues that go for a great period of time unnoticed until eventual cracks begin to crumble under the rigour of the tournament spotlight. His ability to manipulate the club within the swing and square the face through impact has clearly saved him on many occasion. His exceptional feel and awareness for the club face within the swing has clearly diverted his attention away from what actually causes the need for such a skill in the first place. As a result his basic fundamentals have fallen out of sink, so causing still further problems as a result.
Within the action of swinging a golf club the hands have the greatest power over everything. While they continue to control it all, they can only go so far in an effort to save anything.
Notice the poorly blended hands.
Right hand is turned to much to the right on the club.
Looking down the line notice the open shoulders.
Hands aren't blended on the club.
Lack of well defined shapes in the address.
Notice how top heavy he looks.
Fails to really get himself grounded into the address.
Looks weak/ open shoulders.
So from the initial analysis you can easily see where Miguel's bad shot is coming from. If the hands shape the shot and the body directs it he has little hope of sending it down his target line with any kind of consistency. From this shoulder alignment he is sending his shots left and with such a strong right hand position he's fighting the club face from turning over and sending the ball straight left in flight.
My advise to Miguel was to simply adjust his shoulder alignment to feel more closed in order to square them up. Making an essential grip change at such a late stage would of proved disastrous. The resulting shoulder adjustment was enough to direct his ball flight with much more accuracy and allow Miguel the confidence to really start committing to his body line swing.
He went onto shoot 70 and survive the cut line.