Golf Swing Video: Masterclass from Mr. 58 (Jim Furyk) aka “Octopus Falling From a Tree”

By | March 21, 2020

Here we take a look at the golf swing of Jim Furyk.

Most people focus on Jim’s very unusual backswing.  And for good reason–you could spot that gyrating motion from half a mile away.  Nobody on tour has a swing that even resembles Furyk’s.  I certainly wouldn’t suggest you set out to emulate his swing either.

David Feherty famously characterized his golf swing as looking “Like an octupus falling from a tree.”  Ah, yes, but that octopus has made some serious coin in his career.  Let’s look a bit deeper.

Jim Furyk is a Reliable, if Unconventional, Ball Striker

Furyk has won a major, a FedEx cup, and $71M (and counting) in prize money.  He is (at the time of this writing) #3 on the all time PGA Tour Money List.  He has the record low round of 58 on the PGA Tour.

So he must be doing something (or many things) right.  No instructor would ever teach you to swing like Jim Furyk.  But it obviously works for him.  Have a look:

The Good in Jim Furyk’s Unconventional Swing

What can the Occasional Golfer learn from Jim’s swing?  Plenty!  Jim does several things extremely well, in order to compensate for his very unconventional backswing:

  • The first thing to notice is Jim’s exceptional balance throughout the swing.  And, if you think about it, he must have exceptional balance to swing like he does and not fall over!  Just try to swing like Jim and keep your balance, and see how it goes!  I guarantee you that if your balance is anything but stellar you will stumble.

    Jim Furyk driver at impact

    Jim Furyk at impact.

  • Jim’s finish is excellent, with belt buckle facing the target, just like it should be.  He looks like the PGA Tour logo guy with his finish!  Again, a sign of a solid swing path and fine balance.  Imagine that…
  • Who better than Jim to illustrate for us that you don’t hit the ball on the backswing?  It’s all about the downswing, the consistency, the release, and so on.  After watching Jim, you say, “obviously”.  Furyk proves the point.
  • Perhaps what I like most about Furyk’s game is that he understands very well that the game is about getting the ball in the hole with the fewest strokes.  It’s not about how long you hit, or how pretty your swing looks.  It’s about the number on the scorecard.

Channel Your Inner Furyk Greatness

So, channel your inner Furyk on the course next time you play, and focus on getting the ball in the hole, not on how you look, whether your left arm is straight, and so on.

Deal with basic things instead, like your balance, your posture, your finish.  Think instead about where you want place your ball on your next shot, not on how your swing looks to your playing partners.

You might just shoot a lower number!

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