Golf School: A Look a Marc Leishman’s Winning Swing

At 18 years old, Marc Leishman met his swing coach Denis McDade and joined the Victoria Institute of Sport in Australia, a government-funded program that has produced players like Geoff Oglivy and Stuart Appleby. Years later, McDade sees the hard work pay off as his student becomes one of the top players in the world.

Golf Digest takes a look at Leishman’s swing that earned him the BMW Championship last week and will certainly net him several more in tournaments to come.



In his setup, Marc Leishman is balanced, athletic and tension-free, with his head well behind the ball. “All great keys for driving it long and straight,” says his teacher, Denis McDade, director of coaching at BannLynch Golf in Melbourne, Australia.

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“Marc is swinging his arms and the club away in sync with his upper-body rotation, and his lower body is providing a stable base,” McDade says. “Look at how the ratio of arm swing, upper-body turn and lower-body turn are in balance with each other.”

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At the top, Leishman is coiled but shows no stress. Note the relaxed look of his arms—he even lets the left elbow bend—which allows a free-wheeling motion down and through. “Amateurs tend to tense up going back,” McDade says. “Marc’s as tension-free as they get.”

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Starting down, Leishman shifts toward the target and starts his move into impact. “His upper body is still closed to the target, his arms are still relatively soft, and his head is staying back,” McDade says. “Those positions are perfect for driving with power and control.”

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Leishman looks balanced, tall and strong at impact. His body has rotated open relative to address, which supports the impact position of the hands leading the clubhead. “Impact is the only frame where Marc looks like he has any tension in his arms,” McDade says.

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It’s all about rotation here. “In every frame of the downswing Marc’s head is turning forward,” McDade says. “He’s a little inflexible in his left hip, so to make a full release and stay in balance, he lets his left foot rotate out. It’s another way of matching his swing to his physical capabilities.”

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Watch it soar…

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