Work with your fade...
When swing coach Steve Bann met KJ Choi in September 2006, it did not surprise him to learn that Choi got a lot of his golf instruction from reading a Korean version of Jack Nicklaus' book Golf My Way. Choi was doing some things with his swing that Bann felt did not suit his body type, and the instructor suspected it was a case of something getting lost in translation.
"I don't know whether he misinterpreted it or got bad info, but the first thing we did was set him up right," says Bann, who has helped guide Choi to four of his seven PGA Tour victories and into the top 10 in the world rankings.
Bann says they started by improving Choi's address posture, making him stand taller with his left hip higher than his right. This set-up helps provide effortless power. Then the two focused on the takeaway. "He was starting the clubhead away first and keeping his right arm straight as long as possible," Bann says. "That's a fairly unique thing to do. He often hit a pull or a weak cut because of this. Now I'm trying to keep his left arm connected to his chest as he takes the club back. I want him to use the big muscles on his turn."
Then came the most important ingredient to Choi's recent success (three wins and a second in a 12-event stretch from 2007 to early 2008): With Banns help, Choi started playing a power fade by allowing his body and arms to work in sequence on the downswing and through-swing. Bann correctly assumed this type of swing would come naturally for Choi, who has a very strong core and lower body and can use those muscles to power the ball down the fairway.
The fade also gives him consistency because Bann believes it requires less co-ordination to repeat. "We've eliminated all the things that didn't need to move," Bann says. "And combined with the earlier changes, the fade gives him all the distance he needs. Now when the shot calls for a draw, KJ many times still plays the fade. He trusts it so much, there's no course that's too narrow."
KJ Choi Swing Sequence...