Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Great Swings That Were Slept On - Keith Fergus

My introduction to Keith Fergus was actually through putting. Fergus was one of Dave Pelz’s first students on putting. Little did I know that Fergus’ actual strength was his incredible driving.

In fact, from what data I have his 1980 season was one of the very best years a golfer has had driving the ball in the past 30 years. And he was a top-10 driver of the ball using my metrics in ’81, ’82, ’83 and ’85. And he was a top-25 driver of the ball in ’84 and ’86. He was very accurate off the tee for any golfer, but considering he was quite long his accuracy was even more impressive. Here’s a look at his distance rankings off the tee:

1980: 15th
1981: 30th
1982: 44th
1983: 50th
1984: 74th
1985: 33rd
1986: 45th

At this time he was ages 26 to 32 years old. So there should have been some concern towards his dip in distance over the years. And from judging his GIR numbers; he appeared to be pretty good with the irons from 1980-1982, but his iron play really dipped off after that and he was off the Tour by 1987. Here’s the only video I could find of his swing, filmed recently.

The player he appears most similar to is Robert Allenby. Another golfer who was a very excellent driver of the ball and a good irons player who is rapidly losing clubhead speed, distance and his irons game is starting to regress as well.


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