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From Windmills to Tour Rotation: Fleetwood’s Swing Drills

Tommy Fleetwood Swing Drills

In the competitive landscape of professional golf, players need every advantage they can get. Tommy Fleetwood has honed his swing through hard work, disciplined practice, and innovative training aids. Fleetwood focuses on body-driven motion and rotation to generate power and consistency.

While some drills may be unconventional, Fleetwood’s analytical approach gives him confidence in his swing. His willingness to experiment with new techniques demonstrates how today’s professionals combine art and science in their quest for the perfect swing.

For any golfer, understanding Fleetwood’s methods is invaluable. He has developed a repeatable, automatic move that holds up under pressure. While pros make it look easy, Fleetwood’s path proves success comes from hard work and an open mind. By adopting his analytical approach and commitment to skill-building, golfers at every level can take their game to the next level.

If you are going to practice like Tommy, see our posts on “Swing Training Aids,” “Training Clubs,” and “Putting Aids.”

Overview of Tommy Fleetwood’s Career

Tommy Fleetwood is an accomplished English professional golfer born in 1991 in Southport, England. He had a successful amateur career, finishing runner-up at the 2008 Amateur Championship before turning pro in 2010. He has since established himself as a world-class player.

Professional Career

  • Turned professional in 2010 and earned his European Tour card in 2012 after a win on the Challenge Tour in 2011.
  • First European Tour win came at the 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship.
  • Has won 6 times on the European Tour, including back-to-back Abu Dhabi HSBC Championships in 2017 and 2018.

Ryder Cup & Majors

  • Made his Ryder Cup debut in 2018, going 4-0-0 paired with Francesco Molinari and contributing to Europe’s win.
  • Secured the winning point for Europe’s 2023 victory over the USA with a concession from Rickie Fowler.
  • Best major finishes: 2nd at 2018 U.S. Open, 2nd at 2019 Open Championship.
  • Shot a final round 63 at the 2018 U.S. Open to tie the major scoring record.

Recent Form and Rankings

  • Won back-to-back European Tour events in 2022 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and DP World Tour Championship.
  • Continued strong form in 2023 with multiple top 10s on PGA and European Tours.
  • Currently ranked world #15.

Overall, Tommy Fleetwood has established himself as one of the top players in the world over the past decade, with 6 European Tour wins, stellar Ryder Cup performances, close calls at majors, and impressive recent results. His victory-clinching point at the 2023 Ryder Cup cements his status as a European team legend. At age 32, Fleetwood will likely continue contending for major championships and Ryder Cup glory in the coming years.

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Tommy Fleetwood’s Practice Routine

Fleetwood starts each range session with a carefully planned setup involving alignment sticks and specialized training aids. Unlike many golfers who rely on their hands and arms for power, Fleetwood focuses on body-driven swings. One of his go-to exercises is the “Windmill Drill,” where he takes half-swings with his arms extended to emphasize rotation over hand action.

Fleetwood also incorporates the “Tour Stripe” drill to ensure proper shallowing of the club on the downswing. Each drill is executed precisely, targeting specific swing positions Fleetwood aims to perfect. This level of diligence has paid off, making him one of the most consistent ball-strikers in professional golf.

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Training Aids

Fleetwood uses training aids like the Tour Rotation Stick (TRS) and Swing Plane Perfector to ingrain proper positions. The TRS attaches to the grip to encourage full pivot and prevent getting “stuck,” while the Swing Plane Perfector keeps him on plane in the takeaway and downswing.

He meticulously sets up alignment sticks and boxes on the range to monitor key checkpoints like path, face angle, and swing plane. For more on alignment sticks, see our “Best Swing Training Aids” and “Understanding the Critical Role of Alignment,” where we highlight the Tour Aim as our go-to alignment aid. Due to its versatility, the Tour Aim can play two roles in replicating Tommy’s setup, as it also has an insert where you can use an alignment stick to set up a swing plane guide.

Tour Rotation Stick (TRS)

The Tour Rotation Stick (TRS) is a golf training aid that attaches to the grip to help improve body rotation and swing mechanics. Designed by former European Tour player Liam Bond, the TRS provides feedback on rotation through impact for chips, pitches, and full swings. Over 40 professionals on the European Tour use the TRS, including Tommy Fleetwood and Richie Ramsay. The stick comes in two sizes – red for standard grips and orange for junior/ladies grips. It states that it does not fit a jumbo grip, but I can verify that I am using it with good success along with my JumboMax STR8 Tech Grips.

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Swing Plane Perfector

The Swing Plane Perfector is a portable device designed to help golfers practice proper swing plane and path. It has an adjustable base that allows you to set precise shaft angles for different clubs. The perfector comes with three sturdy alignment sticks that attach to the base to provide swing plane feedback. Tour pros like Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood use the swing plane perfector for practice and warm-up.

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Warm Up: The Tour Rotation Stick

Designed to improve body rotation and swing mechanics, the Tour Rotation Stick (TRS) is a cornerstone of Fleetwood’s practice routine.

  • He places the TRS in the butt end of his golf club grip to connect his arms and body as one unit during the swing. This promotes proper sequencing of the body before the arms.
  • Using the TRS helps him feel the correct rotational movements in his backswing and downswing. It provides feedback on when he is swinging properly or improperly.
  • The stick encourages full shoulder turn and hip rotation while keeping his arms and body connected. This allows him to maximize power and consistency.
  • He incorporates the TRS into his warmup routine on the driving range before tournaments. He will take 10-20 practice swings with the TRS to ingrain the proper rotational feel.
  • The lightweight design allows him to make full swings with the TRS without restriction. He can groove his normal swing mechanics while benefiting from the connection and feedback.
  • Fleetwood focuses on brushing or missing the TRS in different ways to fine-tune his swing plane. The stick helps keep him from getting too flat or upright.
  • He has used the training aid for several years as part of his warmup and practice routines to maintain excellent ball-striking consistency on Tour.

Why the TRS Works

The TRS offers multiple benefits:

  1. Backswing Plane: It provides feedback if the takeaway is too inside or outside, promoting a solid impact.
  2. Downswing Sequence: The stick indicates if the body gets ahead of the arms or if the club gets “stuck,” aiding in efficient energy transfer.
  3. Rotation: The stick visually shows the amount of body turn through impact, helping to shallow the club and increase speed.
  4. Low Point Control: The TRS helps golfers learn proper weight shift to compress the ball, leading to crisp contact.
  5. Swing Path: It guides the proper path from inside to out, maximizing power and accuracy.
  6. Initial Use: Start with partial swings like chips and pitches, then gradually work up to full swings.

The Windmill Drill

The Windmill Drill is one of Tommy Fleetwood’s go-to exercises for honing his swing, and it’s a drill that focuses intensely on body-driven rotation. Unlike conventional drills emphasizing wrist or hand action, the Windmill Drill is about getting the body to do the heavy lifting. Golf Digest has a good article focused on this drill as well.

How It Works

In this drill, Fleetwood takes half-swings with his arms fully extended, almost like the blades of a windmill. The key here is to emphasize rotation over hand action. This forces the golfer to engage the core and hips, teaching the body to power the swing rather than relying on the arms or wrists.

Why It’s Effective

The Windmill Drill is particularly effective for several reasons:

  1. Body Engagement: It encourages the golfer to use their core and lower body, which is essential for generating power and consistency.
  2. Rotation: The drill improves body rotation through the swing, a critical factor for both distance and accuracy.
  3. Swing Plane: By keeping the arms extended, the drill naturally helps maintain a better swing plane, reducing the chances of coming over the top or getting stuck inside.
  4. I like to take this drill further by using the Tour Striker Smart Ball while executing the drill and hitting balls into a net. For more, see our post “Master the Connected Swing: Ben Hogan’s Wisdom Meets the Tour Striker Smart Ball.”

Tour Stripe or Block Drill

The tour stripe drill is an innovative swing drill used by Tommy Fleetwood and other top pros to ingrain proper positions and motion. It involves placing alignment sticks, the Swing Plane Perfector, and a box in a very precise setup. You can use the Tour Aim for two pieces of this drill – the alignment aid and swing plane guide. Then, you’ll need a box or another alignment stick to round out the drill. Here is a good piece by Golf Digest that breaks the drill down further.

Tommy Fleetwood Swing Drills

How It Works

The key checkpoints the tour stripe drill focuses on are:

  • Takeaway – The box outside the ball prevents taking the club too far outside on the backswing.
  • Downswing – The swing plane training aid prevents getting “stuck” and encourages shallowing out the downswing path.
  • Impact – Swinging between the box and stick encourages an ideal swing path and face angle at impact.

Why It’s Effective

The tour stripe drill helps Fleetwood reinforce ideal motion by providing instant feedback on swing errors. It trains his body to shallow out the club automatically for pure ball striking. The name comes from Fleetwood visualizing a “stripe” between the training aids to swing through.

While very difficult, the drill’s lessons can help all golfers. It emphasizes rotation over hands, shallowing the club, and monitoring swing checkpoints. With practice, the tour stripe drill can ingrain a Tour-quality motion.

Key Takeaways

  • Focus on body-driven motion and rotation – Fleetwood emphasizes core engagement and hip turn to generate power, rather than relying on hands and arms. Drills like the “windmill” develop this.
  • Use of innovative training aids – Fleetwood incorporates aids like the Tour Rotation Stick and Swing Plane Perfector to ingrain proper positions and motion. They provide instant feedback.
  • Analytical approach to the golf swing – He meticulously analyzes and sets up checkpoints for key swing positions. This analytical mindset creates total confidence.
  • Disciplined practice routine – Each range session follows a careful setup and regimented drills. This discipline develops repeatable, automatic motion.
  • Willingness to experiment – Fleetwood tries unconventional techniques like the “windmill.” His openness to try new things helps him continuously improve.

Wrap-Up and Take Action

That’s a wrap on our comprehensive look into Tommy Fleetwood’s unique approach to swing training. We’ve dissected his techniques, training aids, and even his mindset. But remember, knowledge is only power when applied. So why not take a swing at some of Fleetwood’s drills yourself?

If you want to explore more, don’t hesitate to check out the rest of our “Practice at Home” series, as well as our “Best-Of Guides.”

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