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Jay Herbert-an intensive swing study of a truly excellent ball striker.

Junius Joseph "Jay" Hebert (February 14, 1923 – May 25, 1997)

Winner of seven PGA Tour events including the 1960 PGA Championship. Jay Herbert played on the 1959 and 1961 Ryder Cup teams and was captain of the 1971 team.

Of Irish and Spanish background(Cajun), he was born in St. Martinville, Louisiana.

Herbert turned professional in 1949.

Herbert Warren Wind (writer of Hogan`s Five Fundamentals) proclaimed him as one of the best ball strikers he had ever seen!

Swing study

The Grip of Jay Herbert

The grip of Jay Herbert tended towards the "weaker" side, with the left hand showing only one knuckle. His right hand was perfectly placed to hold the clubface square at impact with forefinger and thumb ready to take the "blow."

Set up and swing with seven irons.

With a traditional waggle from the hands and wrists, Herbert settles into the set-up. Unsurprisingly as a result of the "weak" left-hand grip position, he fanned the toe outwards, opening the clubface almost immediately. Rather than describe the action of Jay Herbert as short or a three-quarter version it is fairer to complement his overall swing as compact and synchronized. Also, the finish of his movement was high and tall, ensuring he kept firm and balanced throughout.

Set up, routine, and swing with the driver.

Herbert`s driver swing is a natural progression of his iron swing action, except he allows the longer shaft to influence his swing width. At the same time, the hub of the wheel (the body) makes a greater pivot. The routine at the beginning follows the same waggle and foot stomping pattern as the iron but he adds a last move in the legs by widening his stance a little more than the shoulder width he used for the iron.

A still image taken from the Driver swing reveals the outstanding contact of Jay Herbert. His left wrist and arm demonstrate why he was such an excellent ball striker.

Driver swing down the line

Looking at the swing of Herbert from this angle reveals a perfect swing plane. His arms repeat the same path on both sides of the swing with a small flail in the start forward. His balance at the end and throughout is superb with no sign of any upward or downward activity.

From above

The final film is from the less often-seen angle of above. It complements the previously shown films perfectly. Very evident is the importance of the short waggle that simply rehearses the movement before Jay Herbert swings. There can be no doubt that a correct swing makes a semi-circle around the body, and there is no doubt that the swing of Jay Herbert was a perfect example of it.

All material is copyrighted by Bill Knowles and can only be used with his permission.

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John Mule'
John Mule'
Dec 28, 2022

Thanks for posting this Bill. I'd always heard about Jay's swing (Steve Elkington used to speak about it a lot...) but had never actually seen video of nor an analysis of it. I was familiar with his brother's - Lionel (USPGA Champion 1957) - swing as he was friends with our local club pro and used to come by once in a while to hit balls and I would watch him. Both were really good musicians from what I understand.

Replying to

Hi John, thanks for the great info as always. I will probably put something up for Lionel as well in the near future. Funny about the musicians, might be something to do with those Irish roots!

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