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Tommy Fleetwood’s Swing Keys: From Windmills to Tour Rotation

Tommy Fleetwood Swing Drills

Tommy Fleetwood is one of the best ball strikers in the world, among the top players on the PGA Tour.  Over the past decade, he has produced 6 European Tour wins, stellar Ryder Cup performances, and experienced many close calls at Majors. His victory-clinching point at the 2023 Ryder Cup cements his status as a European team legend. Fleetwood just posted a T-3 at the Masters, and at age 33, he will likely continue contending for major championships and Ryder Cup glory in the coming years.

fleetwood iron

Fleetwood has honed his swing through hard work, disciplined practice, and innovative training aids such as the Tour Rotation Stick and Swing Plane Perfector. He focuses on body-driven motion and rotation to generate power and consistency. While some of his drills may be unconventional, his analytical approach and willingness to experiment with new techniques demonstrate how today’s professionals combine art and science in their quest for the perfect swing.

Understanding Tommy’s methods is invaluable for any golfer. He’s worked to develop a repeatable, automatic move that holds up under pressure. While pros make it look easy, his 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.” If you want to explore more, don’t hesitate to check out the rest of our “Practice at Home” series and our “Best-Of Guides.”

Tommy Fleetwood: Career Overview

Tommy Fleetwood is an accomplished English 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. Fleetwood’s home club is Hillside Golf Club in Southport.

tommy fleetwood

After turning pro in 2010, Fleetwood earned his European Tour card in 2012, winning the Challenge Tour in 2011. His first European Tour win came at the 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship. Since then, he has won 6 times on the European Tour, including back-to-back Abu Dhabi HSBC Championships in 2017 and 2018.

Ryder Cup & Major Performances

  • 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 World 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 #11 after tying for 3rd at the 2024 Masters.

Training Aids, Drills, and 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 keys is the “Windmill Drill,” where he uses an iron and takes half-swings with his arms extended to emphasize rotation over hand action.

fleetwood practice

He also incorporates the “Tour Stripe” drill to ensure proper shallowing of the club. 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 the world.

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.

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.
tour rotation stickpng

Swing Plane Perfector

The Swing Plane Perfector is a portable device designed to help golfers practice proper swing plane and paths. An adjustable base allows you to set precise shaft angles for different clubs.

The perfector has three sturdy alignment sticks attached 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.

  • Adjustable for any angle to facilitate individuals height and length of clubs.
  • Usable on grass, at the range, or free standing.
  • Easily portable.  Fits into golf bag pocket.
  • No setup time, the Perfector is ready for use instantly.
Perfector web 0012 1

Warm Up: The Tour Rotation Stick

The Tour Rotation Stick (TRS) is a cornerstone of Fleetwood’s practice routine. It is designed to improve body rotation and swing mechanics. 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.

  • 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. The result is proper sequencing of the body before the arms.
  • Using the TRS helps him feel the correct rotational movements and provides feedback on when he is swinging properly or improperly.
  • The lightweight design allows him to make full swings without restriction. He can groove his normal swing mechanics while benefiting from the connection and feedback.

The Windmill Drill

The Windmill Drill shifts the focus to using body rotation to create speed. Unlike conventional drills emphasizing wrist or hand action, the Windmill Drill is about getting the body to do the heavy lifting and letting the swing happen.

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

fleetwood windmill

The Windmill Drill is particularly effective for several reasons:

  1. Body Engagement: It encourages the use of the 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 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 a key to his routine and helps to make him such a consistent ballstriker.  It ingrains 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 or alignment sticks prevent getting “stuck” and encourages shallowing.
  • 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. 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 also emphasizes rotation over hands, shallowing the club, and monitoring swing checkpoints. With practice, the tour stripe drill can ingrain a Tour-quality motion.

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