Golfing is a complex sport. There’s no one right way to hit a golf ball, but you just know when a swing was weird or not. But it doesn’t always mean that when it’s weird, it’s bad. Some unusual swings were successful, some were not, but if you’re a golf fan, all these must be fascinating to watch for you.
Let’s start this list with an athlete but non-golfer. The former NBA legend Charles Barkley has become famous for having America’s most bizarre golf swing. He was one of the best basketball players in his time, but clearly, his athleticism in that ball game did not translate to the club-and-ball game like golf. His swing comes in three distinct parts: backswing stop, downswing stop, and follow-through. When you watch it, it’s like he’s creating a live lag. He explained that a teacher once told him to pause at the top, creating that annoying pause. We are sure he is wearing the Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes as well for his game.
John Daly, a long-hitting American golfer, can go so far over the top on his backswing that it looks shocking. He swings so far past the parallel at the top of his backswing that the club head can almost hit his ear. He became an overswinging legend because of this. Due to a very large hip turn, shoulder turn, and arm swing, He has been pressured to adjust his swing over the years by various osteopaths and surgeons, but he claims that he’s self-taught, so nobody can adjust his swings but him. About 30 years had passed since his run-away win at the PGA Championship in 1991, but his swing did not change.
Miller Barber was a lead player in the 1960s, who became famous in the golf world because of his unusual backswing/downswing. Known as Mysterious Mr. X, the 11-time Tour winner had a disjointed back-on-the-outside swing that was highly criticized. But to those who said that his swing looks like an octopus falling out of a tree or a man trying to open an umbrella in the wind, he said: “The downswing is all that matters.” And it did, as it won him three US Senior Opens before he finally retired at age 73 in 2004.
One says it’s like trying to kill a snake in a phone booth. Another says it’s like an octopus falling from a tree. Another comments that it’s like a cowboy trying to stay on a bull. And another critic said that it has one layer of complication laid upon another. Critics have thrown many hilarious descriptions about Jim Furyk’s swings. In today’s golfing world, Furyk’s swing is probably the best example of an unorthodox swing. It looks extremely repeatable, and he made it his own. It looks like almost a figure 8. The takeaway stays very close to his body (he stands super close to the ball, too), and he lifts the club very vertically. Then, he drops the club significantly and rotates his body quickly through the shot. It’s in, up, around, down, and around.
The shy and eccentric Moe Norman was considered by many as the greatest ball-striker of all time. Besides having an odd personality, his swings are odd. The Norman swing looks so natural, and he was self-taught because he doesn’t want to take a lesson from someone else. He has his club gripped in the palms and not the fingers, his legs are spread wide apart, and he has a very short follow-through and backswing. But when it comes to ball-striking, very few players can compare. His style was reported to have given him supreme accuracy, as he is once reported to have hit more than 1,500 drives at an exhibition that’s all inside a 30-yard-wide landing zone. He could have had a successful PGA career, but he stayed away from traveling too much outside Canada, his home country.
Eamonn Darcy is one of the most successful golfers from Ireland. Though he suffered chronic back problems for years, he was famous for bringing Europe’s first golf victory on American soil in the 1987 Ryder Cup. He actually competed in the Ryder Cup four times and won the European tour four times. But as for his golf swing, it’s one of the strangest everyone has ever seen. Let’s just put it this way: his wild elbow-flying swing looks horrible. You can’t un-see it. He lifts up his arms vertically as opposed to working around the body, and once he reaches the top of his backswing, his left arm becomes very bent and nearly touching the side of his face.
Jim Thorpe, a son of golf course superintendent, developed a golf swing of his own. It’s a fierce pass at the ball, punctuated by a torso-tilt twirling of his club. His swing is so unique that you have to see it understand. Johnny Miller said his swing had “more moves than kung fu.” He has a signature helicopter finish wherein the club ends up in front of him, which no other golfer does. To the people who mock his swing style, Thorpe says, “I can beat all the guys who make fun of my swing.” And yes, he was good at the sport – he won three times on the PGA Tour during the mid-1980s.
Reportedly, Allen Doyle’s golf swing is crazy short and low because he learned how to swing in a room with a low ceiling. Because of that, he had to keep his arms low throughout the swing and maintain a compact motion. He stands unusually far from the golf ball, and he has a loose backswing and a super quick transition. Odd as it may be, it worked, because he became part of the top five in driving accuracy every year from 1999 to 2004. He also won 11 times in it, so obviously, his style works.