Over the years, golf has produced many talented and smoothswinging South Africans. Major champions such as Gary Player, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Retief Goosen. The list is long, but the game has never seen a springbok like Wilco Nienaber.
Nienaber, 21, is blessed with raw power and distance that you just can’t teach.
Check out the six keys to his power below.
WiIco’s hand position sits on the low side, which gives him a “squatty” look and lower center of gravity. This helps him remain athletic and “attached” to the ground — a true power base.
My favorite piece of his swing. Wilco keeps the club in front of him on the takeaway. The club’s center of mass is outside his hands, which scientists have said is the most ideal way to achieve consistency.
Wilco’s swing is pretty short for a guy who hits it as far as he does. You see a lot of bombers pick up their front heel, but Wilco remains stable to the ground, à la Jon Rahm and J.B. Holmes. There’s zero wasted movement in this wide yet compact swing.
A full shoulder turn gets Nienaber to the top. Most people who create a full turn like this swing a bit too long. Notice that despite the full body turn, his arm swing is “short” and in control throughout his backswing.
His forearms and right wrist are perfectly straight at impact. Copy this! His glove hand is barely visible— evidence that he’s held nothing back. Also notice how his feet are in full “push off” mode.
Wilco’s finish is extremely balanced, especially for a guy who just reached 140 mph. It’s anything but a “Bryson finish.” This is the epitome of controlled power.
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