After Jordan Spieth lifted the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale in 2017, many were predicting a level of dominance not witnessed since Tiger Woods. However, a slide down the world rankings followed and Spieth went 1,351 days before adding to his Open success.
The 28-year-old has been knocking on the Major door once again since winning the Texas Open in April. He’s back, and while the erratic drives that plagued his game during his slump are still evident, his misses aren’t nearly as bad. And with such a sound short game and putting stroke, it was only going to be a matter of time before he turned his form around.
So, what can you learn from Spieth? What’s the key behind this return? Certain aspects of his swing may be considered unorthodox, but there’s a lot you can take away, especially when it comes to his exquisite short game and putting stroke…
I wouldn’t say Spieth’s long game is his strength – he still has a tendency to hit a few wides. One of the reasons for this, I believe, is his unorthodox grip: the left hand is positioned a little too far to the left and the right hand a little too far to the right. If your two palms don’t face each other, it makes it more difficult to square the clubface.
There was a time when he looked for more distance. As a result, and with the hands not ‘matching’, he was creating a slightly deeper downswing plane in order to get into a position that would help him release the club and generate more speed. This encouraged more of an in-to-out swing path, and because of the position of the hands, he was finding it hard to rotate through impact. If his left arm worked, that would be fine, but when he wasn’t getting any release, the in-to-out path would go right.
To play golf well, it’s about keeping the club in front of you, which is something he’s doing a lot better, and with greater consistency. When he starts back down, he rotates well and maintains space between his right elbow and rib cage so his hands stay just in front of his hip, not getting trapped or stuck behind his body.
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