Swing Gallery by Lee: Kevin Chappell 2017 Valero Texas Open Champion Swing Sequence

Chappell turned professional in 2008. In his rookie season on PGA tour, he finished tied for second at the 2011 Valero Texas Open, which was his best ever career finish until 2017 at the same event, where he claimed his first victory. Chappell has a very strong athletic starting position with his knee flexed and the upper body tilted forward. It does not show from this view but he keeps the ball position forward to prevent from swinging too far from the inside.

Chappell starts the backswing by turning his hips, his shoulder and the club rotating around on a parallel plane. This seamless roation insures that he is not lifting his torso and prevents him from swinging down too steeply.

Chappell continues the roation around a single plane. He stays wide and fully loads onto the right heel. He pushes down hard with his right heel and feels the right foot cranking clockwise into the turf. Chappell says that when done correctly, he’ll feel his right glute tense up, a sign that he has loaded sufficient energy into his right side. 

Chappell has a very compact top-of-the-backswing. He completes his late wrist hinge and keeps the length of the swing abbreviated. Such compact swing allows for repeatable swing even under pressure. Notice how his left shoulder drops under and gets tucked under his chin. His head is still centered.

As soon as his right glute tenses at the top-of-the-backswing, Chappell starts his transition into the downswing. His lower body moves toward the target while his upper body stays stable. Chappell says he feels like as if his left hip is pulling up and back through impact, which is a huge key for power.

Chappell gets the shaft to line up with his left arm at impact and just after. He does not want to “roll” his wrists through the ball, rather he tries to unhinge his right wrist and keeps the clubface pointing at the target.

As he swings through the ball, his club moves straight down the target line. Chappell continues to swing his arm through the impact as his right wrist is fully unhinged and extended. His lower body keeps on rotating, and pivots forward without sliding toward the target as his upper body stays more centered. 

As Chappell settles into the finish position, his shoulders have rotated far left of the target while his head stays looking right. This move helps him to keep his swing on-plane and safeguards him again pushes and slices, which he battles time to time.

Lee J.H. Lee is the Executive Director of the Links Times and the creator of Hush Golf. He coaches golfers of all skill levels from the Track Meydan Academy by Troon in Dubai, UAE and at the Cedar Hill Golf Course in Victoria, BC, Canada. Follow Lee on Twitter @leejhl@UAEgolf and @linkstimes. Also on Facebook “Dubai Golf Chat with Lee