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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Learning from Justin Thomas's Swing (Video)

A couple of years back, David Leadbetter did an analysis of JT's swing for Golf Digest. I'm going to suggest a drill that might help you gain some accuracy without sacrificing distance.

If you compare JT's wrist set at the :13 second mark (top of the backswing) and the :14 second mark (halfway down), you'll see that his wrists are not fully cocked at the top and are only at 90° halfway down.. and they lose that cock very quickly. This is part of the reason why he's so accurate -- at least, he's accurate for someone who swings as hard as he does!

When you eliminate the extremes of wrist cock at the change of direction, you eliminate a lot of your inaccuracy. (I'll come back to this in a moment.)

Then, if you check out JT's lead arm as he nears impact, you'll see that he keeps his upper arm close against his chest. This helps him to better square up the clubface.

What I want you to do, as you make your downswing, is try and get your upper arm close to your side when you hit the ball. Perhaps the best way to do this is to think about rolling your upper arm down, across your chest, so your lead elbow is almost against your side at impact. This not only helps you square the clubface, but it forces you to keep turning your shoulders through to your finish.

This drill -- making a full swing without a full wrist cock at the top and then hitting the ball with your lead arm and elbow close to your side -- will help you learn to square up the club at impact. As you get better at it, you can start letting your wrists cock more at the top. With a little practice you'll be able to create a lot of clubhead speed while still squaring the clubface.

In addition, this can form the basis of a go-to shot (if you don't have one). As I said earlier, this move eliminates a lot of inaccuracy. When you absolutely have to get the ball in the fairway, using this drill just might be the key.



  2. I've been playing with a similar swing thought with great success - point left elbow down through impact. Has done wonders. I realize I am actually rolling my arm down my chest when I do this like you say. Great tip! My only issue is it seems this has caused an old tennis elbow injury to flare up. Maybe doing this puts more pressure on that tendon than my previous, more chicken-wing/sweeping style swing.

    1. Ryan, I don't know if this will help -- tendon injuies can be touchy, I know that from experience -- but you might try focusing a bit more on rolling your lead shoulder. That's where the rolling actually happens, due to the shape of the upper arm bone, but trying to feel the motion there might help reduce the pressure on your elbow. Just don't tense your elbow a lot -- you don't want to overstress your rotator cuff.

    2. I meant tendon INJURIES. Boy, my typing is awful sometimes!