Anthony Kim’s 2024 swing reminds top teacher of this major winner

anthony kim swings side-by-side with a silhouette of rory mcilroy

GOLF Top 100 Teacher Terry Rowles says Anthony Kim's swing reminds him of four-time major winner Rory McIlroy.

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We officially have an Anthony Kim sighting.

The last time we saw the cult hero in action was at the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship, where he played the opening round before withdrawing (his third WD in a row).

Then…he vanished.

A decade has passed since that balmy Thursday, and plenty has changed in the world of golf. Tiger Woods made a comeback (a few of them, actually). Speed training became all the rage. The PGA Championship has a new spot on the calendar. And the sport has been split between two leagues.

The newer of those leagues — LIV Golf — has provided Kim the stage for his return to the spotlight. On Tuesday, that reemergence became official when the now 38-year-old was spotted on the range in Saudi Arabia preparing for the third event of the LIV Golf season.

But while plenty has changed since Kim’s last competitive reps, much has stayed the same. Rory McIlroy still hits towering draws. The U.S. Open still makes pros whine. Bernhard Langer is still winning. And Kim’s swing looks…well, remarkably similar to the last iteration we saw more than a decade ago.

“Even now he looks pretty similar to what he used to be,” GOLF Top 100 Teacher Terry Rowles said Tuesday. “It looks pretty good.”

After a 12-year layoff from professional golf, Kim having a swing that looks anything close to what it did at the peak of his playing career is cause for optimism.

“I always found that his arm swing — his upper-body swing — was very similar to Rory whenever he was winning majors,” Rowles said. “What that means is the way that the trail elbow works is the key. It works behind him, deeper. So the left arm plane at the top of the backswing is lower.”

This deep trail arm, combined with a strong grip, allows McIlroy — and presumably also Kim — to hit big, sweeping draws. Assuming players rotate properly during the downswing, this move can generate tons of power.

“Kim has always had really good rotation through the ball,” Rowles said. “He sort of covers it because of that weaker trail hand grip style.”

The result? High draws and bombs — just like McIlroy delivers.

Will this swing be enough to return Kim to his competitive heyday? Time will tell. What is certain is that it will be a ton of fun to watch.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at