People often wonder how much time a player spends with his coach during the season. It can vary, but the relationship I have with Luke is a close one and I don’t think we ever go for more than two or three weeks where we haven’t worked on his swing for multiple days. It is an ongoing process and one that we very much stay on top of. I was on the road with him for 60 days last year, plus the time when he’s at home here in Chicago.
It was back in December two years ago that we sat down and really took a close look at what we needed to do to try and get Luke to the next level. We addressed all the faults that he has in his swing and worked out ways to iron them out. Starting with his posture, Luke has had a tendency to sit too much in his knees and get round with his shoulders, so we’ve aimed to reduce the knee flex and stick the chest out a little more.
His takeaway habit has been to move the club on the inside with the clubface closed. This led to him being closed at the top, flat and rather laid off.
Luke has worked on keeping the clubhead outside the hands for longer, fanning open the blade a bit more and then hinging up more vertically into a higher position at the top. He likes to feel as though the Mizuno logo on his glove points more to the sky as he goes back. Moving his left shoulder lower and under his chin guards against the plane of his swing getting too flat. The trouble is when Luke gets too laid off at the top, the problem tends to get worse as he starts his downswing, which means the club can get left behind and he has to save himself with his hands.
Finally, we have looked at stabilising his legs by keeping them quieter as he starts into the ball. If he gets ahead with his legs then the club can, once again, get caught behind. With Luke’s injury, we’ve only been able to get back on track since last November, but he’s now making good progress, so we’re hoping for a strong end to the year.