Anyone that follows golf social media accounts knows that Akshay Bhatia is addicted to distance. So much so that has gone to both George Gankas and the Dustin Johnson Golf School in Myrtle Beach, SC. If you understand what Gankas teaches, you will know what Bhatia squats in an attempt to gain more power. So, here is his swing:
As you can see here, his backswing lines are phenomenal.
Akshay is a very skinny guy at around 140 pounds while being about 6′ tall. He has tremendous flexibility throughout his entire body because there simply is not a lot of muscle mass. It will be interesting to see if this changes when a few guys on tour jab him about being so skinny. Notice his hips staying on the target line while his upper body is turned; the trail shoulder is broad and moving towards the target as he gets to the top of the backswing.
Also look at his chest turned around his lower body and the trail arm tucked deep under the armpit. This is a world class turn, but then we see where the issues will likely arise. The fact that he has so little mass, he doesn’t have the leg strength to support the speed of the swing, this is why he squats and tries to keep his legs spread.
You can see do the Gankas squat move with his driver here:
His shoulder turn alone is going to generate tremendous speed and power but much like Justin Thomas, having a small frame, especially a skinny lower body, makes it difficult to stay balanced through and after impact. Ideally, instead of squatting, the trail leg would be passive, fall down the target line inside the lead leg and the upper body would drive through. The lead leg would brace and the whip lash would send the club face over his head and torque back and almost hit him in the back when he goes after it. If you want to see this in action, look at Viktor Hovland’s swing.
When you see the most consistent power players on tour you notice they have extremely thick lower bodies. Think John Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day and even Dustin Johnson. Some may think DJ doesn’t have strong legs because he is so tall but if you have seen him hit a driver in shorts during a practice round, you know he has very strong legs. You can see them here:
So when we watch Akshay Bhatia evolve as a golfer we will have to see if he adds any bulk. Ideally, he would add some bulk to his legs and do nothing with his upper body. Also, when he is on he can go low but when he gets a little off with his swing, watch those legs squat and try to stay balanced. He may even develop the habit of trying to get some extra distance with his legs. If he does this, he will be extremely inconsistent and turn into a head case.
Look at the tension and attempt at power with the trail leg here:
He drives it to start the downswing with the squatting motion and then snaps it right at impact. This motion is going to cause some serious joint problems in the future. If he is at the range, every day, pounding balls with that motion, he is going to need knee surgery before he is 28. On both knees!