Welcome to Play Smart, a game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Game Improvement Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen (who you can follow on Twitter right here).
If there’s one message golf coaches have been screaming from the rooftops recently, it’s that there’s no one “best” golf swing. There is only the golf swing that is best for you, based on certain things you can repeat.
It’s led to a flowering of spells for the “swing your swing” movement. And now, one artist on Instagram is here to help you celebrate your own, unique move.
His name is Justin Bryant, and he runs “The Good Bogey” Instagram account (which you can follow right here). Back in 2020, while watching golf swings of professionals on YouTube, he came to a realization.
“All of these great players got to impact in a great position but they all had very different ways of getting there,” he says. “Golfers obsess over the mechanics of the swing but there really isn’t one right way to do it. It gave me peace to own my action knowing there were so many successful people doing it their own way.”
The light bulb went off. What if he were to capture these motions in a piece of artwork? He began experimenting by picturing the swings of golfers by removing the club and golfer. He began tracing only the path of the club takes from setup to the top of the backswing, then back to impact.
Quickly he realized no two images were the same. Some were more upright, others more flat. Some had a bigger re-route at the top and others less so.
Sure, this could reveal certain things about your swing technique. But that’s not the purpose of the series. It’s to showcase every golfer’s individuality, and the beauty of the golf swing within.
“I love how you can recognize a friend or a famous pro far off in the distance by just their swing,” he says. “It’s as unique to them as their thumb print or handwriting.”
It started as a project mainly out of interest, but people began taking notice and reaching out. They were asking for custom designs to give as gifts to their loved ones, or just for themselves. When I came across Justin’s work on Instagram, that was my first question: What does my swing signature look like?
All he asks for is a down-the-line video, and which colors you want for a background, backswing line and downswing line. Prices range from $45 to $90, based on whether you want a digital version or framed print.
Here’s the video of my swing I sent along, and the swing signature that came of it.
And if you think your swing isn’t good enough to get one for yourself, take solace in that even if Charles Barkley’s swing signature looks cool, yours probably will, too. And before you start trying to change your swing to make your signature look a certain way, remember that this isn’t intended to be or should be used in a teaching way (you’ll need a coach and a launch monitor system for that) . It’s a piece of art, one designed to showcase the unique way you swing a club. It’s something to be celebrated, whatever its shape or form.
You can check out the entire Swing Signature series on Instagram right here.