21 for 21: Here are my 21 favorite golf swings I saw in 2021

Every swing is unique.

As 2021 comes to a close and we turn the page to 2022, GOLF staffers are taking a minute to reflect on … whatever they want. Welcome to 21 for 21.

***

Golf swings are like snowflakes: each one is unique. (I know that was corny, relax.) But seriously, one of the fun things about golf is the variety of swings out there. From the pure moves of the Adam Scotts of the world to the eccentric flair of the Matthew Wolffs, there’s room for all of them in this beautiful game.

One of the perks of my job is the amount of golf I get to watch (and play), and 2021 was no different. I covered 10 events in person this season, and carded upward of 40 rounds of play myself, meaning I got to see plenty of swings this year. And with 2021 coming to a close, it’s as good a time as any to do a roundup of some of my favorite swings of the year.

Below are my 21 favorite swings of 2021.

Real-life Happy Gilmore?

If you follow me on Twitter, you know how much I love this crazy swing. Eliezer Paul-Gindiri is the man behind it, and he just took up the game this year, but in the time since, he’s become a viral sensation. Read more about his beginnings here!

Whatever works

Completing the Bethpage Gauntlet was a highlight of 2021, and in the process I got to play with a man whose swing is unlike any other. Despite the odd-looking move, the man had some serious game! Whatever works.

Oops

While warming up for a round at Pinehurst this fall, I heard my co-worker Josh Berhow take a swing behind me, followed by an odd sound. “What the hell?” His clubs must’ve been slightly mishandled on the cross-country flight, because his pitching wedge snapped on the first swing. I regret that I didn’t get a video of the act.

She’s how old?!

Chloe Kovelesky averages over 300 yards per drive. Oh, she’s only 14 years old. That’s some serious pop.

He’s back

Nine months after a serious car accident, Tiger Woods posted a short video that nearly broke Golf Twitter. It garnered over 7.5 million views, and started the hype machine for (another) epic comeback. Tiger pumped the breaks on coming back to the PGA Tour anytime soon in his presser the following day, but it still felt good to see him swinging again. Get well soon, Tiger.

‘I can’t see anything!’

Have you ever seen a pro play in the dark? I sure hadn’t until I covered the Aramco Team Series out on Long Island. Jessica Korda hitting her tee shot into the darkness was pretty wild.

Major-worthy swing

It’s not every day you get to play with a major champ, but I got the opportunity during a pro-am this fall when I was paired with Catriona Matthew. Tons of fun.

Making it look easy

Gabi Ruffels has only been playing golf competitively for six years, but she’s already got one of the best swings in golf. Aspirational move.

Like father, like son

Preston Summerhays, son of GOLF Top 100 Teacher Boyd Summerhays, absolutely smokes the golf ball. It helps when you can get world-class instruction at home.

Tennis-y swing

Rafael Nadal has won 20 Grand Slams on the tennis court, but he’s also an avid golfer. According to fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia, the 35-year-old has some game, even if his swing is a little tennis-y.

New and improved

Charles Barkley’s swing used to be the punchline of many jokes, but since he started working with Stan Utley, he’s gotten rid of that horrendous hitch. No one will mistake his move for a Tour player’s, but it’s still much improved. Good for him.

Rory lite

Watch Yuka Saso from afar and you might mistake her for Rory McIlroy. The U.S. Women’s Open winner takes inspiration from the four-time major winner, and she’s built her swing to look like that of her idol. She did a pretty great job I’d say.

Relatable

When you’ve got the golf bug, it’s tough to shake it. Exhibit A: Matt Hamilton working on his golf swing in the midst of Olympic Curling Trials.

Best of the rest

These swings below need no explanation. Simply watch and enjoy some of the sweetest swings in golf.

Nelly Korda

Patty Tavatanakit

Lydia Ko

Rory McIlroy

Inbee Park

Danielle Kang

Adam Scott

Matthew Wolff

Golf.com Editor

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