KPMG Women's PGA Championship: PGA pros break down the game's best

Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

KPMG Women's PGA Championship: PGA pros break down the game's best

Golf

KPMG Women's PGA Championship: PGA pros break down the game's best

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Golfweek asked PGA of America professionals to break down what they’re seeing from some of the game’s best ahead of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, which takes place this week at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.

Ariya Jutanugarn

Here’s a look at Jutanugarn during the final round of the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore in March and what two PGA of America professionals told us about her swing:

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Alison Curdt

  • Master Professional
  • Southern California PGA and teaches at Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley
  • Joined PGA of America: 2006

PGA professional Alison Curdt (Photo by Montana Pritchard/PGA of America)

  • Buzz: “Ariya does an amazing job of maintaining good structure through impact. Notice how through the shot, even though the ball has left the face, she has tremendous side bend and is retaining spine tilt post impact. This will ensure solid contact on an iron shot and improve accuracy into the greens. Staying ‘in the shot’ longer like Ariya does creates an opportunity for repeatable shots that start on line.”

Joe Plecker

  • Master Professional
  • Middle Atlantic PGA in Baltimore, Md.
  • Also serves as the Chief Swing Officer for The Swing Index, a global golf instruction app
  • Joined PGA of America: 1998

PGA professional Joe Plecker

  • Buzz: “I love this image of Ariya’s swing. It demonstrates her classic style of rotating while remaining in posture and extending the club towards the target. Not everyone can do it, because it requires a great amount of flexibility and strength. Notice how far her lower body has rotated open to nearly face the target.“How can she do this? By keeping the pressure in her left heel through impact. Ariya gets more turn and speed by shifting the pressure to her left heel, not the toe, and that is a key to her elite performance. This creates space for the arms and hands to fly, increasing clubhead speed for more distance. Need more rotation? Copy Ariya’s left foot by moving your pressure to the heel at impact.”

Nelly Korda

Here’s a look at Korda putting for birdie during the second round of the Lotte Championship in April. The 20-year-old won her second career title in February at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Alison Curdt

  • Buzz: “I like the stillness of Nelly’s lower body. This position shows how in the follow-through the lower body, including the hips and legs, have remained quiet and still. This solid lower body structure will minimize excessive movement and allow her putting stroke to shine.”

Joe Plecker

  • Buzz: “Nelly demonstrates how to be a pressure-free putter with her balance through the stroke. Notice how evenly distributed her pressure is supported on the arches of her feet. This centers her balance and allows her to relax while putting. Next, see the shaft in alignment with her forearms, all the way from the putter head to the end of her elbows. This reduces twisting of the clubface and helps Nelly control the putter with her upper body, not her hands. Last, I really like the slight head turn to follow the putt without standing up out of posture. Each of these keys are great to copy to be more pressure-free like Nelly.”

Brooks Koepka

Here’s a look at the four-time major winner, who in May successfully defended his title at the PGA Championship:

(Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)

Charlie King

  • Master Professional
  • Rick Smith Golf Performance Center at Trump National Doral in Florida
  • Joined PGA of America: 1992
  • Buzz: “Brooks Koepka has put in a lot of time at the gym, but what I love about this image of him is that he is efficiently using the power he generates by hitting against resistance.“Think about a hitter in baseball. As he swings, his front leg straightens and provides the resistance that his acceleration happens against. That helps him create more bat speed. By keeping his left leg straight and swinging against it, Koepka is doing the same thing. If his front leg were bent or he drifted forward as he turned, he could not generate as much power.“If you lack distance off the tee or with your irons, be sure to keep your front leg stationary and firmly pressed against the ground. You might also want to try making a ¾-length follow-through instead of trying to wrap around your body. Golfers tend to post up on their front leg and create more resistance when they are not concerned about making a big follow through.”

Kellie Stenzel

  • Master Professional
  • Boca Raton Resort and Club, Palm Beach
  • Country Club in Florida
  • Joined PGA of America: 1994

PGA professional Kellie Stenzel

  • Buzz: “It’s easy to look at this image and see the raw power and the amazing technique that Brooks Koepka has. The thing that impresses me most about his swing, and the way he carries himself, is something different. It’s his focus. He is so motivated and exudes determination and you can see it in this shot.“From a golf swing perspective, his balance is outstanding. He is in perfect balance when he starts, throughout his swing and at the finish. Doing that with the speed and power he generates is not easy, but good balance is a key to consistency and something every recreational player can improve. Most of the people I teach can’t swing like Brooks, but everyone can work to maintain better balance.”

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