February 27 — When NBC’s Johnny Miller suggested during Saturday’s Accenture Match Play semi-final that Martin Kaymer, golf’s newly minted No. 1, had a swing like a girl, how many guys winced at the comparison? Perhaps the same ones who believed that Lexi Thompson’s victory over her male competitors in a recent mini-tour event “humbled the entire male population.”
Miller — nobody’s favorite golf analyst — actually meant it as a compliment when he compared Kaymer’s fluid motion to that of an LPGA player. One network announcer, however, probably spoke for many Y-chromosomes when he tweeted, “HaHa! I think Johnny just said Kaymer has an LPGA swing! Wow.”
Power, grace, timing. Sure would be refreshing if, instead of tittering uncomfortably at the notion, men could graciously accept that some women might actually have better games than they have. One such chap is golf writer, Kiel Christianson, who scribbled after Meg Mallon won the 2004 U.S. Women’s Open at Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley, Mass., about “the power, grace, and perfect timing of the women’s swings.
“From day one, I began preaching to anyone who would listen: ‘These are the swings that 95% of men should copy, not the swings on the PGA Tour,’” wrote Christianson. “Some guys scoffed. Some, however — likely the ones most secure in their own sexuality — nodded in agreement.”
Not convinced? Christianson looked to Cristie Kerr to support his argument, noting that the 5’4”, 115-pound golfer averaged more than 255 yards off the tee that year.
“Do you know how many 6′0″, 200 lb. men would love to average 255 yards off the tee, especially as straight as Kerr hits it?” Christianson asked readers. “(And you know how many guys have embarrassed themselves in pro-ams trying to out-drive her? Get over yourselves, gentlemen.)”
Watch the women. How does a shorter, less muscular woman attain such distance? It’s all about the timing. “If you want to learn about tempo, about using every ounce of energy and speed you create in your swing to its fullest effect,” Christianson concluded “watch the women.”
So, the next time says you swing like a girl, say “Thanks!”
Kaymer, right up there with LPGA star Yani Tseng as the world’s hottest golfer, ascended to the top ranking and the championship round with a 1-up defeat of ball-crusher Bubba Watson. The reigning PGA champ will meet Luke Donald in Sunday’s finale, while Tseng lost her bid for a fourth-straight victory by three strokes when Karrie Webb won the LPGA’s HSBC Women’s Champions event on Sunday.
(Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. Check her out on the Waggle Room, Boston Golf Examiner, and National Golf Examiner, and GottaGoGolf websites. You may also follow Kay on Twitter.)WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?