Brandel Chamblee wants to make golf instruction easier.
The former PGA Tour player-turned-Golf Channel analyst’s book, The Anatomy of Greatness: Lessons from the Best Golf Swings in History, tries to do that by examining the game’s top players and discovering what they have in common.
“The average golfer can learn a great deal from it,” Chamblee said. “Golf instruction has gotten very technical and hard to digest.”
The book details all aspects of the swing, from grip to posture to completing the backswing. It also focuses on the greats of the game from Harry Vardon to Tiger Woods.
The biggest takeaway is that the overwhelming majority of top players lift their front heel (left for a right-handed player) during the swing. That allows for a bigger turn that generates more power.
Chamblee points out that of the 17 players to win multiple Masters titles, 15 lifted their front heel. The two exceptions? Woods and Nick Faldo. Of the top 50 tournament winners of all time, 47 used that move, Chamblee said.
The analyst takes issue with some of the game’s current teaching philosophies.
“Most of instruction today centers (on) resisting the lower body and torque,” he said. “I think it’s a big lie. I think this book was my attempt at swinging golf instruction back to a more rational narrative.”
None of the current top players is included in the book.
“This era has suffered from a permanent blind spot,” Chamblee said. “You’re seeing injuries at a younger age among professional golfers. I think they are hindered by it. It’s sort of me telling this generation that you’re making a mistake by not paying attention.”
Chamblee points to the classic swings of Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Jack Nicklaus as among his favorites. Of golfers still competing, he likes the swings of Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Woods circa 1996-97.
“Sam Snead and Byron Nelson do more of the things (in the book) than anyone else,” Chamblee said. “Sam Snead does every one of them. There is a reason why his swing’s so beautiful, so rhythmical.”
Chamblee will be busy this week working for the Golf Channel. He’ll speak from experience; in 1999, he opened with 3-under-par 69 to share the lead with three others. He finished tied for 18th in his lone Masters appearance.
“Just playing in the Masters is at the top of every professional player’s experience,” Chamblee said. “I still look back very fondly on that week. I had a lot of fabulous moments in my life, but that is still certainly in the top 10.”