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Judy Rankin-swing story

“All grown-ups were once children... but only a few of them remember it.”― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,

(nee Torluemke; born February 18, 1945)

A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, she joined the LPGA tour in 1962 at age 17 and won 26 tour events.

Teachers were father, Bob Toski and of course herself.


One of the most impressive features that Judy Rankin displayed throughout her successful career was focus. If you study the early films of the nine-year-old peewee Judy you will be left with no doubt that she brought it with her and it was a natural gift.

"Daddy told me I could win, and I believed everything he said."

At just 8 she played in Florida and won the National Pee Wee Championship, for children 10 to 12. At 9 she won the Pee Wee again. By the time she was ten Judy weighed 60 pounds, still not very large even by 10-year-old standards, but she could drive a golf ball 170 yards, shoot consistently in the 80s, and had won her third straight Pee Wee Championship.

This is the Rankin swing taken in 1971. The famous strong grip was now fixed. At some point, probably not long after her nine-year-old swing, Judy created a much stronger position with her left hand. She lost the leftward tilt of her body on the backswing but her knee action and swing form remained pretty much the same as that of her childhood.

If you look at the film of Judy as a child there are two prominent parts of her swing. One is in the address or "position to the ball" as Irv Schloss would call it. After creating a firm and alert posture she takes a slow look at the target before swinging. Even at this very early age, this was already natural to her.

The second outstanding habit was Judy`s full commitment to holding her finish at the end of her swing. This may have been emphasized by her teaching father at the time. With her serious focus and total commitment to continue past the ball, Judy had two of the most important ingredients which were needed to help her become a special player.

Judy developed a closed clubface in her backswing. Any advice she sought in the early tour days would always focus on her grip. She tried to change it, with no success. It was not until Judy was introduced to Bob Toski that she found a way of playing a high fade with more spin, while still using the same grip. For the Tale of how this was done go to Judy Rankin`s lesson with Bob Toski on the Bob Toski page.

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Mike Killian
Mike Killian
Apr 08, 2023

Bill, this is another example of a great teacher teaching a compatible move in the forward swing to match or compensate for the errors in the backswing. Instead of fixing the backswing and ruining a possible star you give them compatibility in the forward swing. Think of Trevino, Furyk, Palmer, Nelson, and Rahm! Don’t pay if they don’t explain compatibility!

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Isn`t it just Mike- great comment-thanks

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