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Andy Ogletree is about to start the season as part of Phil Mickelson’s LIV Golf team, but if it wasn’t for a major swing rebuild, he wouldn’t be playing golf at all.

The 25-year-old spoke to bunkered about his ordeal after a torn labrum required surgery and a lengthy break from the game, in a wide-ranging interview.

For those of us interested in the mechanics of his swing, the interesting part comes after Ogletree’s surgery, where the former US Amateur champion had to completely change his action.

“I had to get a lot stronger, learn the new move and motion and trust it,” he said.

• Dr Golf: Add this move to your warm-up for a better start to your round

“It was a long process, but it’s made me a lot more aware of my body and positions in my golf swing. I learned more about the golf swing and what’s the safest way to swing.

“Learning all these things at a young age is huge. Most people my age haven’t been able to learn as much as me. It’s a blessing in disguise. I’m only 25-years-old and I hope to play golf for 20-plus years, and it can only help me.”

Andy Ogletree swing
Andy Ogletree has worked on getting more rotation in his new swing. (Credit: Getty Images)

So, what did Ogletree have to change after hip surgery? In essence, he had to reduce the amount of side bend in his swing. To think of that in simple terms, it’s the way your body moves to the side in your swing. In the backswing, right-handed golfers are going to experience side bend to the left, and vice-versa.

Some side bend is inevitable, but create too much and you could be looking at lower back and hip problems, like Ogletree. Instead, you want more rotation in your swing. If you want another high-profile example of this, look no further than Will Zalatoris, who is still getting to grips with playing again after lay-off from surgery.

“I would get my hands really high at the top position and then lean back and throw my left hip out of the way,” Ogletree explained.

“I have a very hyper-mobile body so that’s always been tough for me – trying to tighten everything up. My left hip would just fling out of position and eventually that tore my labrum. I played in some pain for a long time and realised I couldn’t play against the best players in the world like this.

Andy Ogletree swing
Andy Ogletree underwent surgery on his hip in 2021. (Credit: Getty Images)

“Coming back from injury I changed my golf swing. I was trying to get less side bend and more rotation. Trying to take pressure off my back – all the longevity goals. But it took me a while to trust that, to learn the new move and to trust that I wasn’t going to have pain after playing in pain for so long.

“It’s a longer process than I would have liked. Most people think if you have hip surgery then your hip isn’t going to hurt and you’re going back to swinging normally. I couldn’t keep doing the things I was doing, or I would have re-injured it.”

• Do this the next time you play with a scratch golfer

Ogletree, who was low amateur at the 2020 Masters, now has three International Series wins to his name, accolades that helped him into Phil Mickelson’s HyFlyers team for this year.

He’ll be hoping that a rejuvenated swing gets him back to his best golf, similar to that which saw him turn pro with an incredible record.

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

Performance Editor

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