Top 10 Golf Swings of All Time

April 6, 2007 -

Welcome to the first Bird Golf – Golf School Blog post! The purpose of the blog is to continue the learning off the course and have a bit of fun as well. We encourage you, our golf school students to participate and share your opinions. We will be featuring two main articles/posts each week, written by different members of our staff; to get things started, as it were. We also want your opinions and comments! The new staff posts will be on each Monday and Friday but we encourage you all to check back with our blog often, as there will be new posts regularly.

For our first article, I thought it would be interesting to come up with(and with apologies to David Letterman!), a list of the “Top Ten Golf Swings of All Time”. Fell free to join in and comment, with your own favorites or reason why someone on my list should not be there!

  1. Tiger Woods. Simply the best. Not only is his swing so sound mechanically (I think that he would still be the best player left handed!), but he also has the strongest mind, the best short game; AND he always thinks that he can improve (a lesson for all of us).
  2. Mickey Wright. I never saw her swing in person, but have watched extensive footage of her and seen a lot of pictures. Beautiful. Her balance was extraordinary and her mechanics nearly flawless.
  3. Sam Snead. The Slammer! Like, Mickey Wright, he swung with perfect balance and rhythm. His swing was so sound that he recorded a Top 10 in a PGA Tour event….in his sixties!
  4. Bruce Crampton. Crampton may not be a household name to many of you (although he was a consistent money winner for many years on the PGA Tour) but he swung a club effortlessly and had little or no wasted motion.
  5. Bobby Jones. Graceful. Although his swing would today, be considered much too long (in the 30’s players’ swings had to have a lot more moving parts and hinges because the equipment was not nearly as advanced as it is today (primarily shafts and balls) it is perhaps the most fluid and elegant of all time.
  6. Karrie Webb. Absolutely the finest swing on the LPGA Tour today. Very simple and yet, extremely powerful. I just wish that she would smile more!
  7. Fred Couples. Although there are technical aspects of Fred’s swing that may not be “textbook”, he is perhaps the best “swinger” of the club, of all time. His rhythm, tempo and balance are like listening to a grand master, play piano.
  8. Tom Weiskopf. He does not make this list because of his personality and certainly his volcanic temperament cost him several tournaments that he should have won, but there was no better swing in the 70’s.
  9. Ernie Els. The “Big Easy”. Does anyone look more effortless swinging a club? The tallest player on the list (which makes him even more remarkable because it is harder for taller people to have that consistent balance) but he defines grace with a golf club.
  10. Sharon Miller. OK, I may have a bias here; but I once watched Sharon hit 5 irons for an hour and the furthest any ball was from her target, was 4 yards! You could set Greenwich mean time to the cadence of her swing.

So, there you have it. That’s MY list. Just one person’s opinion. What’s yours?

18 thoughts on “Top 10 Golf Swings of All Time

  1. Vactoria says:

    I vote for Ernie Els.

  2. jbmurphy0468 says:

    Jay, How can you not include Ben Hogan?

  3. golfguru says:

    Sandy Cable, Matt Adler, Byron Nelson, George Knudsen, Mo Norman

  4. Jay says:

    Yup; Ben Hogan was a hard one to leave out. So was Byron Nelson. Both of whom were the authors of the “modern swing”. My rationale would be that Hogan was so mechanical (not there is anything wrong with that); and when I was coming up with the list I conjured up images of the most graceful/fluid/rythymical swings. But Hogan would surely be a good inclusion!

  5. Smokehouse BigDog says:

    Tom Purtzer, Billy Ray Brown, Steve Elkington, Ben Hogan, Gene Littler, Mac O’Grady, come to mind. George Knudsen was very similiar to Hogan. How about Nick Faldo…

  6. Brian_Glines says:

    I was always told that Snead pulled everything… Is this true?

  7. ping blades says:

    Fred Couples gets my vote. Effortless power, not powerful effort. Anyone who can tie and/or set a record for making the cut at the Masters has to possess a smooth, consistent swing.

  8. Jay says:

    SNEAD…….Yes, Brian (and you are obviously a student of the game to know this!). Sam Snead DID pull every shot he hit. He THOUGHT that he was lined up straight or parrallel to his target but he pulled his shots from about 6 yards (with a wedge) to 20 yards with his driver. Remember that these were the days before video etc. was readily available (which is just as well because then Snead might have tried to change the way he played and may have never have been the player he was). The lesson for all of us here is that….he had a “model”; and he stuck with it. He did everything the same way, every time!

  9. Sandy Cable says:

    Thanks Guru for the compliment. I know she lifts her head but I would vote for Annika. It is always the same swing, different club, and soooo effortless.

  10. eighthofamile says:

    Jay, did you forget the smooth swing of Julius Boros!…Winner of the 1968 PGA Championship, beating Arnold Palmer, at Pecan Valley Golf Club, San Antonio, TX. He also had two US Open wins. His catch phrase was “Swing easy, hit hard.” NO doubt he was a DRIVER!

  11. Jay says:

    Shirley… make a very good point; but is there any “bias” in Boros? (those Texas bonds are pretty tight!)

  12. shivasirons says:

    How about; Gene ‘The Machine” Littler?

  13. Carol says:


    What type of rehab is Sorennstam going through?

    I have not read a thing about it.

  14. admin says:

    ANNIKA…….UPDATE. (from the Golf Channel)”I will play less, prepare more and really go for the big competitions,” Sorenstam told Swedish broadcaster SVT.

    The 36-year-old Sorenstam learned last week that she has a ruptured and herniated disk in her back and will miss at least a month from the LPGA Tour.

    “I have seen the X-rays and there’s an injury that has been there for a long time and I have just kept on playing,” Sorenstam said.

    The Swedish golfer said she remained optimistic about another grand slam win despite the injury. She has 69 LPGA Tour victories and 10 major titles.

    “I think it’s realistic. This year I had planned for it, but it didn’t happen,” Sorenstam said. “I trained really hard in February and it is probably one of the reasons why I obtained this injury.”

  15. SubSailor says:

    My vote……….
    Charles Barkley
    His is consistant and very memorable!!!!
    No one else does it like him.

  16. jerry gebert says:

    How about Jerry Gebert—wasn’t he on one of your brochures. The swing was so so–but he is cute!

  17. golfguru says:

    He is alive. JG good to hear from you. The swing is a lot better looking than you. How have you been?

  18. keygolf says:

    eighthofamile: I always liked Boros and his swing, too, but actually he was a Craftsman. His “hit is Hard.” was a result oriented word. He went by the the expression, “You have to swing easy to hit it hard.” That was what Julius had in mind. That’s a bit different from the way a Driver goes about it. He just starts with swinging hard – unless, of course, he knows about clear keys.

    The other thing Julius did that was admirable was to avoid too many practice swings. In fact it often looked like he was making a practice swing only to discover that he was striking the ball.

    He was light on his feet for a big man and he possessed gentleness as well.

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