Ian Poulter Swing Analysis

ian poulter swing analysis

Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach Paul Foston offers his Ian Poulter swing analysis, taking a closer look at the swing of the Englishman to see what you can learn

Ian Poulter Swing Analysis

Ian Poulter is renowned for his incredible touch around the greens but a close look the mechanics of his golf swing shows there is a lot to admire here too. This is a great swing to watch, and copy, if you are someone who struggles with an over-the-top move at the start of the downswing. If your regular shape is a weak fade that verges on a slice – take note!

Before we reach impact, let’s start by looking at the foundations. Ian has a beautifully balanced address position. He stands relatively tall to the ball in comparison to some other top players with minimal knee flex but his posture is perfect. His hands hang naturally down beneath his chest and he looks both relaxed and athletic. This is exactly what you should be aiming for.

As he starts the swing the club is kept outside the line of his hands. It’s a technically sound, ‘passive’ takeaway in which the club moves on the right path naturally and there is no unnecessary lower body moves. It is both simple and effective. One of Ian’s trademark positions is at the top of his backswing. Notice how high his hands are – this offers him the room to drop his hands into a great delivery position. As he starts down his lower body moves first. By shifting his hips towards the target at the very start of the downswing he again creates room for his arms to drop down into position. For anyone who is prone to coming over the top – sending the club outside the right line on the way down – this is position you should be trying to copy. Again, half way through the downswing you should notice from the ‘down the line’ angle, how the shaft of the club dissects his right forearm. This is a great checkpoint to see if the club is working on a good path.

There are two other key points to notice about how Ian moves through impact. Firstly, at the moment of impact notice how Ian’s hips have already cleared and are almost pointing at the target. This illustrates perfectly how the lower body leads the upper body through the downswing. Secondly, Ian stays down over the shot nicely. Even as the club releases into the follow through he maintains the same spine angle he set at address. This is an essential ingredient to good ball striking.

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X