Golf Digest Videos

Why Spieth's Weird Swing Works Better

Jordan Spieth explains why his non-traditional swing works to his advantage.

Released on 6/30/2017

Transcript

00:02
[Narrator] Championship golfer, Jordan Spieth
00:04
defies a long-taught golf fundamental,
00:06
set to promote power and consistency
00:08
with a so-called chicken wing.
00:16
I don't really listen to what other people say,
00:19
but if I had to dissect something,
00:21
they might talk about kinda the left arm staying
00:24
so square, and maybe call you know, a chicken wing.
00:29
[Narrator] Swing coaches encourage
00:31
straight arms through impact.
00:32
And Jordan, on the left,
00:33
would appear to have the disadvantage.
00:35
That's actually a significant advantage.
00:37
And it doesn't maybe look the prettiest,
00:39
but it's a significant advantage that I think
00:42
Cameron would instruct other golfers to use.
00:46
[Narrator] Cameron McCormick has been
00:47
Jordan Spieth's only coach since Jordan was 12.
00:51
In 2015, Cameron was the PGA teacher of the year.
00:54
And is the director of instructor
00:56
at Trinity Forest Golf Course in Dallas.
00:59
You look at a bent left, particularly,
01:01
I guess it's up with the swing
01:02
and then down to impact to through impact,
01:04
it kinda violates convention, doesn't it?
01:06
You can see a bunch of rotation, almost where the club face
01:09
starts, facing the sky over this side.
01:11
And the club faces flipping over,
01:13
closing a full 180 degrees, and it's closing
01:15
that 180 degrees through a very very short timeframe
01:19
at the bottom of the swing, which makes
01:20
for recreational golfers really challenging
01:23
to match where is that face gonna be at that precise
01:26
4/10,000 of a second of where impact is.
01:28
Probably the biggest misconception about Jordan
01:31
is that he's a short hitter.
01:32
Compared to the recent names that have cycled
01:34
through the world number one slot,
01:36
Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy,
01:39
yes, it's true that unlike all of them,
01:42
for Jordan, power is not his biggest asset.
01:45
But he averages over 290 with a driver,
01:48
which is in the top third on tour
01:49
and more than plenty to attack any golf course.
01:52
Like all the best modern pros,
01:54
he's been very dedicated to strength training.
01:56
It's just that his is a swing engineered for consistency,
01:59
rather than total power.
02:02
[Narrator] A club's face at impact
02:03
is as much as 85% responsible for where a shot goes.
02:07
Before the advent of sophisticated
02:09
launch monitor technology, like TrackMan,
02:12
it was believed that path or the direction
02:14
a club is moving left to right at impact
02:17
had a far greater effect at creating hooks and slices.
02:23
For me it's an advantage because it holds
02:25
my club's face so square through impact.
02:27
Club face doesn't rotate much,
02:29
therefore if I'm off a little as I'm coming down into it,
02:32
it's only gonna be off by a degree
02:35
or two degrees, versus four or five.
02:37
[Narrator] Supposing a six iron that flies 190 yards,
02:41
those four degrees translate to a miss
02:43
that flies three yards offline versus 17,
02:47
or hitting a green or not.
02:50
Is Jordan's Spieth's swing
02:51
the new model for straighter shots?
02:53
Has a century of players and teachers been wrong?
02:58
Golfers love history, and so we're always
03:00
looking backwards at these benchmarks of greatness.
03:03
How did this player grip the club?
03:04
How many tournaments did he win by this stage of his career?
03:07
What did he do to find success?
03:10
But the real magic formula in any era
03:12
is finding out how to innovate.
03:14
How can you find a blind spot in convention
03:17
and find a way to do something better?
03:19
We've talked about it being a significant advantage
03:21
and not something that we ever shy away from,
03:24
but in fact encourage.
03:26
[Max] I think it takes a brave soul to recognize
03:28
that what they do is different, but yet logic gives them
03:32
the confidence to move forward and believe in it.
03:35
(energetic music)
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