PGA Tour golfer Jordan Spieth, winner of the 2017 Open, explains why his non-traditional, bent-left-arm, chicken wing swing works to his advantage.
[Narrator] Championship golfer, Jordan Spieth
defies a long-taught golf fundamental,
set to promote power and consistency
with a so-called chicken wing.
I don’t really listen to what other people say,
but if I had to dissect something,
they might talk about kinda the left arm staying
so square, and maybe call you know, a chicken wing.
[Narrator] Swing coaches encourage
straight arms through impact.
And Jordan, on the left,
would appear to have the disadvantage.
That’s actually a significant advantage.
And it doesn’t maybe look the prettiest,
but it’s a significant advantage that I think
Cameron would instruct other golfers to use.
[Narrator] Cameron McCormick has been
Jordan Spieth’s only coach since Jordan was .
In , Cameron was the PGA teacher of the year.
And is the director of instructor
at Trinity Forest Golf Course in Dallas.
You look at a bent left, particularly,
I guess it’s up with the swing
and then down to impact to through impact,
it kinda violates convention, doesn’t it?
You can see a bunch of rotation, almost where the club face
starts, facing the sky over this side.
And the club faces flipping over,
closing full degrees, and it’s closing
those degrees through a very very short timeframe
at the bottom of the swing, which makes
for recreational golfers really challenging
to match where is that face gonna be at that precise
/, of a second of where impact is.
Probably the biggest misconception about Jordan
is that he’s a short hitter.
Compared to the recent names that have cycled
through the world number one slot,
Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy,
yes, it’s true that unlike all of them,
for Jordan, power is not his biggest asset.
But he averages over with a driver,
which is in the top third on tour
and more than plenty to attack any golf course.
Like all the best modern pros,
he’s been very dedicated to strength training.
It’s just that his is a swing engineered for consistency,
rather than total power.
[Narrator] A club’s face at impact
is as much as % responsible for where a shot goes.
Before the advent of sophisticated
launch monitor technology, like TrackMan,
it was believed that path or the direction
a club is moving left to right at impact
had a far greater effect at creating hooks and slices.
For me it’s an advantage because it holds
my club’s face so square through impact.
Club face doesn’t rotate much,
therefore if I’m off a little as I’m coming down into it,
it’s only gonna be off by a degree
or two degrees, versus four or five.
[Narrator] Supposing a six iron that flies yards,
those four degrees translate to a miss
that flies three yards offline versus ,
or hitting a green or not.
Is Jordan’s Spieth’s swing
the new model for straighter shots?
Has a century of players and teachers been wrong?
Golfers love history, and so we’re always
looking backwards at these benchmarks of greatness.
How did this player grip the club?
How many tournaments did he win by this stage of his career?
What did he do to find success?
But the real magic formula in any era
is finding out how to innovate.
How can you find a blind spot in convention
and find a way to do something better?
We’ve talked about it being a significant advantage
and not something that we ever shy away from,
but in fact encourage.
[Max] I think it takes a brave soul to recognize
that what they do is different, but yet logic gives them
the confidence to move forward and believe in it.
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