I just read a posting by Golf Digest’s Matthew Rudy on how to “Hit Justin Thomas’ Jump Drive For More Power,” and I’m still trying to figure out how he can tell people to do that, but then say not to try to do what Justin Thomas is actually doing… or you’ll hurt yourself.
Kudos to Mr. Rudy as well for using that tried-and-true non sequitur that for power, he tells us, “Thomas uses the ground to produce maximum clubhead speed…”
Oh boy… I will repeat, please show me a golfer who isn’t using the ground when he swings a golf club.
Please, I want to see this “not using the ground” action that is apparently what the rest of us do when we’re not pirouetting like ballerinas on the tee box.
So, just to be clear, Rudy’s title to the article is nonsensical, as it tells you to copy Justin’s JUMP drive technique, but then he says, near the end of the same article:
To get some of Thomas’ speed, copy what he’s doing with his hips, not what he’s doing with his feet. But be careful, because it’s a good way to get injured if you aren’t strong and flexible.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s someone telling people to do what someone else is doing, and then telling them in the next breath not to, because it’s a good way to get injured.
This guy actually gets paid for this, and Golf Digest actually publishes this stuff, people.
And this has got to be the best non-explanation of what Thomas is doing, that I’ve ever read as Rudy tags Michael Jacobs, who jumps in the ring with the following:
But that move doesn’t come about in the way you might think, says Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Michael Jacobs.
“The jump doesn’t happen because he’s literally trying to jump up in the air from the top of his backswing,” says Jacobs, who is based at the X Golf School at Rock Hill Country Club in Manorville, NY. “It happens because he turns really hard into the inside of his right hip early in the downswing. That internal rotation is what makes his body want to rise and go up on his toes.”
So, the title tells people to jump like Justin, then Jacobs says that Thomas isn’t actually jumping (That part is actually true, wow!), so I guess despite the article, you don’t want to “jump,” and you’re supposed to emulate JT by turning “really hard into the inside of his right hip early in the downswing…”
Sounds good to me, but before anyone tries this, be sure to call around for a good hip replacement specialist.
Because, if you don’t do the same thing with your feet, you’re going to hurt yourself, but good…
Not to mention, if what he’s doing with his swing has to do with the hips, what does that have to do with jumping, or “using the ground?”
For those who missed the shout-out and explanation on a Justin Thomas swing from the weekend:
I’ve already pointed out, as did Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo on Saturday night, that this move is common in people (who are right-side dominant) who aren’t shifting their weight fully to the left foot on the downswing:
And of course, if the hips are turning quickly and you aren’t getting off that right side and foot (watch Thomas’ right toes just dig into the turf on the impact and follow-through), then you have to pull the left hip back and behind you to complete the turn, hence the jumping and twisting left leg.
This, as I’ve said is not a power move, but a body-saving move, because like long driver Jamie Sadlowski at bottom, you’d blow your hips, legs and lower back to smithereens if you didn’t do so:
But of course, the experts at Golf Digest are just looking at the jumping foot and saying, “Of course! He’s using the ground and that’s the secret!”
Of course, this is just another “Let’s all jump on the latest hot player’s bandwagon and tell everyone that the secret this time is what the latest hot player is doing, especially if it’s a swing flaw or compensation…”
And that move is a compensation, to save the swinger from the fact that he’s not releasing his right foot or shifting the weight to the left foot to facilitate and allow the hip turn to the finish.
In fact, the flying left foot violates one of what I called the “3 Stability Factors” back when I was working on the “Kinesiology of the MCS Golf Swing” going on two years back:
This below, my friends, is what a power swing looks like when you transfer the weight to the leading foot the way you’re supposed to, and notice what Greg Norman himself, considered by many to be the greatest ever driver of the ball with a persimmon on the PGA Tour, has to say about this swinger:
I would to chat with Mr. Rudy on how Mike Dunaway could have gotten more power out of his swing by “using the ground…”
Two years ago, you’ll remember, they were telling everyone that Jordan Spieth’s “chicken wing” through impact was something good, and was the reason for his success, and you should try that too, boys and girls…
And don’t look now, but there’s that same dug-in right toe and foot through impact and the subsequent ballet-dance with the left foot, from a swinger you’d never call a long hitter:
It would be nice if these “experts” could concentrate on and teach proper swing mechanics rather than point out the latest hot players’ funky moves, and offer something a little more concrete than “do that – but don’t do that,” as instruction.
These guys have no idea what they’re looking at, and why the swingers are doing what they’re doing, but let’s be honest – there are magazine ads and expensive golf lessons to sell, and those ads don’t come cheap.
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