Fred Couples and the 20 Sweetest Swings in Golf History

Immer Chriswell@@immerrangeCorrespondent IJune 24, 2011

Fred Couples and the 20 Sweetest Swings in Golf History

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    AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 10:  Fred Couples hits from a bunker during the final round of the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    There's something that sets professional golfers apart from us. It's not just their game, but their swing. Be as good a golfer as you want; as an amateur, you will never reach the level of consistent perfection that a professional does.

    However, some swings on tour are just too smooth for even a tour pro. Here's a look at the 25 sweetest swingers in golfing history (women are included). I also had to consider the era and what they had to work with.

    I tried to base it on a few things: tempo, fluidity, transition, face manipulation and swing plane. Feel free to tell me who you would have where or what I missed.

No. 21: Arnold Palmer

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    His swing is irreplicable, and it may not look too good, but it is going to remain a classic and a sweet swing to watch unfold. His success isn't due to a good swing, but one that consistently worked.

No. 20: Babe Zaharias

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    Babe is one female player that many women associate with great golf. And her swing wasn't too shabby either. She was multitalented when it came to sports and excelled with the golf swing.

    Babe's swing was by no means a perfect motion, but it was played very well.

No. 19: Michelle Wie

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    She burst onto the scene at a young age, and for a reason. She has a lot of power in her swing, but not much game to boot. Swings may be good, but they have to come with a package to succeed.

No. 18: Rory McIlroy

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    We just watched him dominate at the US Open. Regardless of course conditions, his swing still stood up, and McIlroy matched his game and his swing. Both great.

    This swing will move up as it gains momentum, and that will take a few more majors.

No. 17: Tiger Woods(Butch Harmon Edition)

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    You may never want to see him succeed again, but his swing with Butch Harmon was perfectly on plane, and he kept it together for having some additional moving parts.

    We now can see a correlation between being on and dominating majors.

No. 16: Luke Donald

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    The current best player in the world has the best tempo in the game bar none. His pause at the top is awesome, and his finish is something that exemplifies balance in a golf swing. You won't ever see Luke Donald fall over from his swing speed.

No. 15: Seve Ballesteros

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    Seve's game was like magic, and he will be a greatly missed player. His swing was very fluid albeit fast, and he, along with another Spaniard, crack the top 15 on this list.

No. 14: Sergio Garcia

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    Sergio is hailed as one of the best ball strikers in the game right now. I'd say he's probably in a position tied for the top. As great as his swing has been, and how many greens he hits, he created an achilles tendon in his game: his putting.

    But this is about swings, and Sergio's is a very good one.

No. 13: Tom Watson

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    It's a timeless swing, and it's brought some timeless moments in his career. That's why it's not a shock that Watson had a revival at the Open Championship just a short while ago.

    It isn't perfect, but that's impossible to do in golf.

No. 12: Retief Goosen

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    This list was so hard to compile. Watching Goosen swing is so easy to do; his swing is so smooth it's hard to set it outside the top 10. However, it's just a little bit less sweet than watching the ones past him.

    The next 11 or so swings are all great, and separating them wasn't very easy. Not that up to here has had much separation.

No. 11: Ernie Els

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    Seeing this swing close up, there isn't anything better than watching a golfer set a swing stick in the ground to keep himself on plane, then swing perfectly up and down that plane.

    Els' swing is very nice and has produced a lot of success. 

No. 10: Steve Elkington

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    A lot of people tout this swing so highly, but to be honest, I'm not that impressed. It's a great golf swing, but it has a few errors which make it look a little off to me. I'd say without a doubt, the next nine swings are leaps and bounds ahead of Elk

No. 9: Payne Stewart

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    Payne Stewart's swing is a little upright, but very much in control. His tempo is some of the best there ever was, and as always, it's a shame to look around and not see the knickers still on the course.

No. 8: Nick Faldo

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    The first major golfer to go instructional on the swing, Sir Nicholas Faldo's swing is very controlled, and the position at the top (short of parallel) is very admirable at a point where longer swings are what everyone else thinks is what you need.

No. 7: Adam Scott

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    According to most instructors, Scott's golf swing is the best on tour right now.

    Perfect proof: The swing doesn't make you a professional golfer. If it did, he would be the best in the world.

No. 6: Jack Nicklaus

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    No wonder he won so many tournaments. Jack's game was awesome, and his swing is still one of the best to see the course.

    Jack may be caught by Tiger in majors at some point, but his swing will remain better, and less changed, of course.

T4: Sam Snead

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    He is normally higher on most lists, but I chose to move Snead back to tied fourth on this list. It's not that his swing isn't good; it's just that some of them are more appealing. Snead's swing was very smooth and balanced, and the next swing is just as impressive.

T4: Mickey Wright

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    Until I started looking around for some swings outside those I knew, I had no clue who Mickey Wright was. By and far away, her swing is better than any woman to make the list. The move she makes for her through motion has a resemblance of a professional male golfer's swing. Not the best on the list, but certainly close.

No. 3: Bobby Jones

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    Had he not decided to be faithful to his family and do what was financially right for himself, Jones could very well be the greatest golfer in the record books. Instead, he is the greatest golfer ever to leave the game so soon.

    The key? Jones' attitude, and a swing that took what little he had at the time (equipment wise) and turned it into a winning move.

No. 2: Fred Couples

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    It may not be technically perfect, but it's so smooth and rhythmic. I could watch Fred Couples hit a golf ball all day. Whether you have realized it or not, he does have a reroute in his swing, although not quite as famous as Jim Furyk's.

    The thing that makes this sweet is just how relaxed and easy Couples can make hitting a golf ball seem.

No. 1: Ben Hogan

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    Despite what anyone may say, Hogan's swing will aways be iconic. He laid a great foundation for the future of golf with his swing motion. Certain coaches still try to teach the position Hogan had at impact, a highly difficult but extremely rewarding move.

    Hogan's swing is yet to be paralleled and will be tough to beat, all things considered.