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Watching Matt Kuchar swing should be enough evidence for anyone paying attention to prove that just about any combination of backswing arm, hand and wrist positions can be utilized to play great golf. Just compare Kuchar with Steve Marino, for example. Could there possibly be a greater discrepancy between left arm angles at the top of the swing? You can go back to Nicklaus and Hogan and see the same diversity. That said, we wouldn’t be bothering to look at these swings if the players employing them weren’t highly successful. You have to get to the ball and control it, so watching different swing types gives us an idea of what needs to be done from different swing patterns.
Kuchar is one of the few modern players who stays on the shaft plane until the left arm is parallel to the ground, passing halfway back in what I would refer to as a very “deep” arm and hand position. Where most golfers who take the club back in a similar fashion get into trouble is in combining that movement with a shallow (flat) shoulder or upper trunk movement. Kuchar bends quite a bit from the waist at address and keeps his shoulder turn relatively steep by angling the movement close to perpendicular to his spine. Any lifting of the body in the backswing would be a huge headache, and as you can see, he doesn’t lift. In fact, as do most top players, he lowers considerably going back, which adds to his spine angle. Thus, he is not “maintaining” his posture as many golf instructors would conventionally refer to, he is rather increasing it.
Kuchar’s ability to take such a deep movement and not get it “stuck” behind him lies in his use of the right arm, and his exemplary “in the box” lower pivot action. After moving into an extreme position halfway into the backswing the upper right arm stops and reverses direction in precisely the correct manner to bring his arms back into the hitting area on the shaft plane. Kuchar’s right leg drives inward as he adds to his spine angle, allowing the arms to work more vertically against his body. All in all, a very cool swing to watch and to study.