After capturing the 2017 Omega European Masters, Matt Fitzpatrick became the sixth fastest player ever to claim four victories on the European Tour. Professional golf is overflowing with bright, young talent and Fitzpatrick’s future is as promising as any.
While Fitzpatrick might not yet be getting the media attention of his PGA TOUR counterparts, he’ll be a mainstay in professional golf for years to come. We thought this would be a good opportunity to familiarize ourselves with his center of pressure trace (courtesy of The Golf Centre in Coalville, UK and MIA Sports Technology).
A few observations about his swing and pressure trace:
- Fitzpatrick loads ~75% of his pressure into his trail leg on the backswing. This is consistent with the majority of Matt’s professional peers, most of whom load around 80% pressure on their trail leg in the backswing. However, Matt’s position at the top is worth noting where he showcases a trait often observed in elite golfers: the ability maintain a quiet lower body while shifting pressure. Many amateurs – especially high handicappers – lack the hip mobility and stability to load into the trail side without swaying off the ball. Next time you’re working with one in your facility, have them try to emulate Matt here. Many amateurs won’t be able to load 80% of their pressure without losing posture. It’s an excellent biofeedback drill and an opportunity to emphasize the importance of physical capabilities.
- Fitzpatrick initiates the change of direction with his lower body. If you notice around 0:10, Fitzpatrick’s pressure starts to shift to the lead side just before the club begins the downswing. This is a characteristic that’s consistent with the best players. Elite players begin building pressure on their lead side as the backswing is ending (which is a common misconception among high handicappers).
- On the downswing, Fitzpatrick quickly shifts ~60% of his pressure into his lead side. What’s especially interesting, however, is that his center of pressure remains in roughly the same place for the majority of his downswing (from before lead arm parallel until just before impact). As you can see in the video, Fitzpatrick pushes into the ground, bracing with his lower body and posting around his lead leg (compare his trace to someone like Kevin Kisner, whose trace moves throughout the downswing).
- At impact, he has a little over 70% and he finishes with 85%+. One of the most basic things an amateur can learn from observing pressure trends in elite golfers is that they all finish with 80%+ pressure on their lead side. Bottom line, you don’t play great golf “hanging back.”
Fitzpatrick’s coaches Mike Walker and Pete Cowen refer to him as one of the straightest hitters in the world. Fitzpatrick doesn’t have the raw explosiveness of Rory or JT, but he’s long enough and is able to tame big courses with consistency. Thanks to The Golf Centre and MIA Sports Tech for sharing his trace. We’re looking forward to watching his fluid swing for years to come.