Golf tip: Waggles from Ben Hogan to Michelle Wie (Video)

Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports /
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While this video focuses on a detailed analysis of Seve’s swing, for our purposes – understanding variations in the waggle – the significant information occurs in the first 5 seconds of the clip.

Compare Seve Ballesteros’ waggle to Jason Day’s and Bubba Watson’s. Like Hogan, Seve’s waggle has a decided wrist action, and like Day, Seve takes his waggle back in what could be regarded as a preparatory rehearsal for his backswing.

But while Hogan’s and Day’s waggles involved multiple back-and-forth club head movements Seve, like Bubba wags only once. It’s quick. It’s precise. It’s exact. And then his swing flows like a pile driver.

Comparing Ballesteros’ 1984 playing stats, at the height of his career, and contemporary stats for Jason Day and Bubba Watson is very problematic.  Equipment changes and different playing conditions are both going to impact some of the basic player performance stats. However, I would suggest that Seve’s abbreviated waggle, like Paula Creamer’s, probably didn’t serve him well and may help explain why he lost form later in his career.

Seve more than made up for loss of accuracy with his legendary shot-making creativity and we can only imagine what might have been had Seve, like Jason Day, more closely approximated Hogan’s waggle.