SEAN ZAK Monday, August 27, 2018
Padraig Harrington, 46 years young, came up just shy of his 16th career European Tour victory this past weekend, falling to Andrea Pavan by two strokes at the Czech Masters. In addition to his strong finish, Harrington cemented his legacy as a tinkerer. An elite tinkerer.
Harrington displayed a very interesting (feel free to supply your own adjective) takeaway at the event, in which he pauses just a moment after pulling his club away from the ball. It’s a unique begin to the swing, that’s for sure, but it’s even more than just a pause. Harrington is also lifting his left foot completely off the ground for just an instant.
The Irishman has been known to try different-than-usual things with his game — stepping through his finish was one example — both in his swing and on the driving range. The range is where we could have first seen this recent tinkering. Harrington was testing this latest strategy during a warm-up session at the PGA Championship earlier this month in St. Louis.
The thesis behind the move is to this point unclear, but what is clear is that Harrington is working through some type of swing thought on his takeaway. On the range, at least, he’s pushing one golf ball backward, away from the point of contact, pausing, then continuing with the rest of his swing. It’s mesmerizing. Based on this week’s results, it’s successful, too.