Rickie Fowler: Before and after Butch
As the dust settles over St Andrews after a fantastic British Open, it also concludes yet another solid performance by young Rickie Fowler. Although not in contention for this major it is still amazing to look at the improvement Rickie has made in the last two years since he began to work with Butch Harmon. When we look at the difference in swing we can see just how much of a drastic change it actually was.
After a disappointing 2013 season Rickie began working with Butch that December and has not looked back since. In 2014 Rickie accomplished an amazing feat by finishing in the top 5 in all 4 majors, an accomplishment only ever achieved by Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, however in doing so he also developed the label of not being able to finish a tournament off and steal that essential victory. Fast forward to 2015 and the murmurs continued, made even more apparent by a pole in a well known sports magazine which labelled Rickie as being the most “over rated player in golf”. This however only merely served as motivation for the young talent and he produced one of the most impressive comebacks you will see at sawgrass to capture the Players Championship, widely regarded as the 5th major. Not to be classed as a one hit wonder he continued his form at the Scottish open by snatching a late victory from Matt Kucher.
Although the camera angles are slightly different, as we look at Rickie’s set up you can see a couple of subtle changes here. First of all he looks a little taller and his hands look much higher in the more recent swing. This will be a key aspect to altering how Rickie takes the club away from the ball. You will also notice he looks a touch closer to the golf ball as well.
This is definitely one of the most noticeable changes to Rickie Fowler’s golf swing. If we take a quick look at Rickie’s old swing you will notice he really “drags” the golf club back away from the ball, you can see his hands are particularly inside the club head which sits above the original shaft angle and as a result of this the club face becomes quite shut. When we look at his 2014 version you will notice the club sits nicely in front of the hands with the toe of the club pointing more up in the air, this will make it much easier for Rickie to hinge the club and keep it more on plane in the back swing, this will also mean he has a lot less work to do in the downswing.