Choi Ho-sung and His Bizarre Swing Arrive on the PGA Tour

Choi, 45, has become a bit of a YouTube star for his unorthodox tee routine. On Thursday, he made his debut in the United States at Pebble Beach.

Comments: 16

  1. The only thing unusual about his swing is the follow-through, that is, after he has made contact. Otherwise, the swing is fairly conventional.

  2. Best line of this piece comes from Rodgers: "He's not a sideshow. He can play and that is really good for golf." There isn't just one swing in golf. Just look around at some of the pros (okay, older pros...) like Palmer, Trevino, Chi Chi, etc. They were unorthodox yet they won a lot! Trevino, who is probably the most quotable golfer in history, said, "My swing is so bad I look like a caveman killing his lunch." Also, "Who can say I have a bad swing? The only thing that matters in golf is the score you put on the board. You don't have to look pretty out there, you have to win." Finally, and this is the thing I tell myself each time I golf, Trevino said, "make it comfortable." I golf often with my brother-in-law and when he lines up to hit his driver, he is pointing 30 degrees to his left. He has the worst banana slice I've seen and he knows it. Rather than try to perfect his swing, he uses that slice to his advantage. I take it back. There is only one swing in golf and it's your own.

  3. It appears that Choi Ho-sung's follow through during his golf swing puts less strain on his back that does a conventional follow through. Perhaps Tiger Woods and other golfers, professional and amateur, with a history of back problems should emulate it.

  4. What fun. Choi sounds like a great guy with a good attitude and a good sense of humor. I follow golf not at all, but it's nice to see someone having fun with it, while also taking it seriously.

  5. And, replying to myself. This reminds me of Eddie the Eagle from the ski jump competitions in the Olympics. I remember when he first started, the commentators would poke fun at him (nicely) and muse about his very odd jump style, because he jumped with his skis spread apart in a V formation whereas everyone else at the time kept their skis together. Well, lo and behold, that V later became the standard. Granted, he wasn't very good at it, but still!

  6. @Tasha Agreed! What a fun story on an interesting character. More, please!

  7. My very first thought when I watched a video of his swing was the movie Happy Gilmore. Great to see someone who seems to be a great person, having a great time, and having real success by doing things in ways that he's figured out work for him, rather than being bound by convention.

  8. Agreed with @notker How you get to impact, or what happens after impact, are not very important. (See: Furyk, Jim). What matters is your position at impact, and Choi's looks pretty solid.

  9. Highly accurate high speed measuring techniques have shown that the ball remains in contact with the club head for one-half of one THOUSANDTH of a second. The only thing that matters to where and how the shot goes is what the club face is doing during that at most 1 millisecond. The unusual follow through motions are pure shtick. Good for Mr. Choi. If left handed baseball players adopted that swing follow through they could accelerate their first step, with their left leg, towards first base. I wonder if anyone has ever tried that?

  10. Great story. As an addicted (but poor) golfer, I'm pleased to learn that the less-than-text book look in the backswing and at the top of the swing (left arm is not straight) doesn't preclude someone from performing at the highest international levels!

  11. Clearing the hips and proper weight shift are both key. His follow through ensures both!

  12. The golf-as-religion crowd will never accept this guy until Jack Nicklaus is quoted as saying he's OK with Choi's unorthodox swing and irreverent demeanor. And only then maybe.

  13. I cannot help but think of Adam Sandler and chuckle that this is really good for golf. The tradition swing isn't always good for everyone. One must learn and feel a good swing, like baseball and tennis...and I will add throwing a frisbee really well.

  14. My first thought when I saw Choi's swing was of Arnold Palmer. Arnie had one of the ugliest-most-beautiful swings in golf history! Choi seems to match Arnie's chutzpah and enthusiasm for the game, too. Here's hoping he keeps making solid contact and keeping those balls flying long and straight!

  15. As some of the pro players on tour have noted, "the ball doesn't care how you finish after impact." His position at impact looks pretty solid. I actually think his swing puts less pressure on his lower spine and knees after the follow through. He looks really comfortable in that swing...

  16. I join others below in saying more power to this man - for making golf more popular to watch on TV. If you did not know any better - in today's golf - you can't tell one player apart from other - because all "execute" text book swing. The only time you notice a difference is in the green. And I share the comment below about Mr Palmer's "ugliest most beautiful swing" . That was a swing no card carrying PGA pro would attempt today.