This is the fatal flaw in Tom Brady’s golf swing

Brady flips and rolls his wrists to try to square the clubface, Manzella says.


Tom Brady is a good golfer, a single-digit handicap who’s been playing the game most of his adult life. But on Sunday, during the Match II, there’s no way around it: He struggled. He struggled big-time.

On the 1st tee, Brady hit a nasty hook. On the 2nd hole, a big block. It was a pattern that repeated itself throughout the day; Brady didn’t look comfortable with his swing at all, even asking Charles Barkley (!!!) at one point for swing tips during his round.

We’ve all been there.

So, what was going wrong for Tom? Enter GOLF Top 100 Teacher Brian Manzella (who you can follow on Twitter here) who identifies what causes Brady to hit that dreaded two-way miss.

Brady’s left hand grip rotated too far left (a “weak” grip)

HOBE SOUND, FLORIDA - MAY 24: Tiger Woods. former NFL player Peyton Manning, NFL player Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Phil Mickelson warm up on the range prior to The Match: Champions For Charity at Medalist Golf Club on May 24, 2020 in Hobe Sound, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for The Match)
Brady’s hand is rotated too far left, into a “weak” position”, says Manzella. Getty Images

Manzella says the root cause of Brady’s directional issues is the result of his left-hand grip, which is too weak (if you need to learn more about the difference between a weak, strong and neutral grip, read this).

“When you have a left-hand grip that is either too weak, not enough under the heel pad or both, every really good swing you make should go dead right. Why? Because a weak grip will promote an opening of the clubface.

And it’s Brady’s left-hand grip, Manzella says, that causes him to flip and roll his wrists as he attempts to square the clubface at the last minute — a move that’s easy to fail under pressure.

“But, if you make it to a single digit handicapper like Tom Brady, you’ve learned to compensate enough to get it around the course sufficiently. In Brady’s case, he approaches the ball from the inside, but doesn’t twist the shaft closed from the top, so he relies on a late twist with his wrists and a flippy release as he tries to square the club. Under the heat of millions of eyes it’s a less than ideal move. Either Tom’s torso gets a bit more juiced under the heat and his left arm comes out of transition and leaves the clubface open (fore right!), or he slows his body turn and arch-rolls his wrist (fore left!).


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A better, stronger left-hand grip, with the heel pad more on top of the grip and some extra emergency strategies for down twisting from the top should make him the player he obviously has the talent to be.

Brady has made at least one positive swing: a wedge on the 7th hole that landed just past the stick and zipped back into the hole for a heroic birdie.

Through nine holes, he and Mickelson were 3-down to Woods and Manning.


Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and 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.

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Brian Manzella