2-Time PGA Tour Winner Keith Clearwater Talks Driver Swing with Nick Clearwater

By Ryan Gager

We know this might be an overload of Clearwaters in one video and now a blog post, but at GOLFTEC our mission is to help people play better golf, and that includes everyone from beginners to PGA Tour winners, as is the case with Keith Clearwater. He recently stopped by GOLFTEC to work on his driver swing with Golf Digest Top-50 Teacher, Nick Clearwater.

Complications on the Downswing

The strength of Keith’s game is with his iron play, so the driver is where we focus today, and Nick noticed that on the downswing is where things start to get a little complicated.

With his first swing on the left, Keith has the swing direction moving too straight into the ball. He has bent backward too much at impact with both arms straight, “early extension” is the common term, or pulling up and out of the shot.

On the right, Keith had the shaft farther behind him on the downswing causing his trail (right) arm to be bent slightly before impact, leading to more in-to-out club path which leads to a better strike and ball flight.

On the left Keith is moving too straight into the ball at impact vs. on the right where his path is more in-to-out, leading to a better strike and ball flight.

Accuracy from the Follow Through

As you can see from Keith’s follow through before and after, everything on the right is more in-line as his shoulders are turned and tilted more.

Also notice the shaft position. On the left, the shaft is exiting very vertical, up around his neck. However, on the right the shaft has rotated lower around his body, exiting below his shoulder. This means he has more control of the club, leading to increased accuracy off the tee.

For Keith, as with most golfers we see at GOLFTEC, this has been a long-time, constant issue with his swing, so he was excited to get this feedback and be able to practice more effectively, knowing exactly what he needs to work on.

With the shaft of his club swinging more around his body and exiting under his shoulder (on the right), Keith is able to have more control and be more accurate off the tee.

“We were able to come in here and map it all out and see what’s actually happening. Hit another one, try it, fix it, see that it changed something. You get better. That’s the fun part, you actually see immediate change.”

Keith Clearwater

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