He first came to the attention of many with his power shank off the tee with an iron last summer at the Quicken Loans, but what I saw yesterday was a much better move than what I saw back then.
It’s even possible that the shank shot was just a terrible one-off (it was his first PGA Tour event after turning pro), what with him squatting into the address and then having barely any hip turn, which I’ve said before will cause shanks to come out of nowhere.
What I saw yesterday was a powerhouse of a man who is swinging with a little taller setup and who is getting some healthy hip turn, the evidence being that leading heel separation from the ground on the back swing pivot.
I’ve said that some swingers don’t need much of a heel lift at all with their particular pivot and dominant trail arm action, and Rahm is one of those – you have to be really looking to see it, but like targettom emailed me a while back (before I got to see it myself), he is definitely a “floating heel” swinger right now.
Many will look at his shaft angle at the top and say it’s a short back swing, but if you look at how deep he’s gotten into the right hip and that shoulder turn, it’s not the shaft position at the top that matters.
It’s the hip turn and the fact that if the leading heel detaches at all, it’s more hip turn than the modern golf swing advocates, and that’s a good thing for his back.
It’s also the power boost that allows him to smoke that ball.
Is it a perfect swing?
My answer would be, “It doesn’t have to be – he’s young and strong, and that move is more mechanically-sound than most, so why mess with it?”
I hope that doesn’t change, because he was blistering the ball yesterday and nearly won the event, and if I were the rest of the Tour, I would be considering this young man to be a definite threat.
He’s come close to winning his 2nd event in recent weeks (1st win was the 2017 Farmers in January), and at age 22, he’s just getting started.
If he keeps that hip turn and floating heel move, he will be reducing his chance of injuring himself swinging, and that can only bode ill for the rest of the field.