What this fascinating video of a legendary bomber’s golf swing reveals

Swing Thought: Stretch, drop, turn


Welcome to Play Smart, a game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Game Improvement Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help raise your golf IQ and play smarter, better golf.

In terms of pure distance, Jamie Sadlowski is probably the best pound-for-pound driver of the ball in golf history.

If that feels like a bold claim, it’s probably only because his subsequent attempt to chase the dream on the PGA Tour has made you forget just how freakish Sadlowski’s long-drive talents were. At a lean 5’11” and 165 lbs, Sadlowski was surpassing 150 mph of clubhead speed and dominating the long drive circuit before it had even registered to most golfers that was a possibility.

GOLF Teacher to Watch Lucas Wald has spent hours studying Jamie Sadlowski’s swing, and recently the two have begun working together. Earlier this week, Wald shared on his Instagram account a fascinating 3D look at Sadlowski’s golf swing showing, among other things, his ground reaction forces (a fancy way of measuring how golfers use the ground as they swing).

And when he did, Wald said Sadlowski does something interesting in his swing.

“If you look closely at the red dot, you’ll notice that it drops towards the ground in transition,” Wald says. “And when you drop in transition, there’s a very brief where there’s a momentary partial freefall towards the ball.”

You’ll be able to spot it if you watch closely in the video above. There’s a slight drop of the pelvis before he starts pushing up — hard — on his left foot through the ball.

As for how this can help your own game, Wald suggests working on the transition move of your golf swing, which you can see him demonstrating below.

Swing Thought: Stretch, drop, turn

Lucas Wald demonstrating hip turn. GOLF
  1. Stretch: Make a big turn, with your arms stretched to the sky, your left heel raised, and your right leg straightening.
  2. Drop: Next, feel like your body freefalls back down to the ground.
  3. Turn: Then, when your left arm is about parallel to the ground and your feet have replanted, it’s time to stop freefalling, and to start rotating through to the finish.

Wald calls this sequence the dance move, and if you nail the steps, you wont just hit the ball longer. You’ll be adding one of key ingredients from one of the longest hitters of all time.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.