DURING THE build up to the US Open I've been receiving some images from Golfmagic's contributing photographer Mark Newcombe to see what we can learn from some of the competing players as they practice ahead of the opening rounds.
And as a pro, the first thing I noticed was the fabulous practice facilities tournament players get to use, not just ahead of a major but usually at any event on the European or US PGA Tour
There's a common factor in these images of top players practising at the US Open and what I think all these pictures can teach us is the importance of balance in the swing, whether its Graeme McDowell (top right) playing from a bunker shot to Ian Poulter hitting his driver.
From backswing to through swing, in every picture all these players are balanced.
Golfers I see and teach often wonder how much they should 'bend their knees' when playing golf. The answer is that knees should be flexed not bent.
Flexing is crucial to the flow of your swing; as soon as either knee is locked your body stops turning and your hands take over. It happens when players get nervous and their bodies naturally tighten up.
Notice how Justin Leonard chipping from the fringe, Jim Furyk pitching from a tight lie, Poulter and McDowell all have balance and have good spine angles at whatever stage of the shot they are in. This can only happen with flex in the knees allowing the body to pivot.
Tell us on the forum what you're learning from watching the US Open - that will help your game - and not just a reminder to buy yourself a good set of waterproofs!