It seems like yesterday: Keegan Bradley, PGA Tour rookie, beating Jason Dufner in a playoff at the 2011 PGA Championship, in one of the more exciting major finishes in recent memory. In reality, Bradley, now 36, followed his PGA win with just two other victories. His recent triumph at the 2022 ZOZO Championship, however, hints that Bradley is rounding back into form.
Keegan stands six-three. Like most tall players, he’s battled address posture and shoulder-tilt issues that shorter golfers usually don’t have to deal with. In general, the taller you are, the more you have to bend forward at address to reach the ball. Simply turning around the spine angle you establish at setup — as taught — creates a steeper-than-ideal swing plane. As a young golfer, Bradley fought the issue by consciously turning his shoulders “flat” and leaning his torso to the right as he swung back. While this resulted in an overly inside-out swing and unpredictable pushes and hooks, he tempered it, in large part, with the help of GOLF Hall of Famer Jim McLean early in his PGA Tour career.
Today, Bradley’s swing has morphed into a nice balance of more orthodox turns and tilts, coupled with a free-arm swing. As you can see from the sequence above, it’s no wonder he’s back in the winner’s circle.
Here are the six keys to his swing.
Attention tall golfers: The more bent over you are at address, the more you’ll need to swing around your body to keep from getting overly steep.
A wide one-piece takeaway—as taught—is tough to make when you address the ball like Keegan. That’s why he sets his wrists relatively early and rotates the clubface to more of a toe-up position. The adjustment works.
Players who set their wrists and rotate the face early tend to lay off the club at the top. Bradley fights this with a Johnny Miller–esque upright and slightly across-the-line position.
Keegan is pulling, rotating and lowering his arms into a solid delivery position, letting his hands lead the club. And check out that right elbow: nicely tucked, which shallows out his downswing and keeps the face from closing too early
Notice how Keegan’s hips are much more open than his shoulders, a move that helps keep his right arm bent and his hands forward. The result: a power-rich inside attack.
Talk about letting go! To get this type of extension, keep your upper chest back while straightening your right arm and wrist post-impact.