Now we have Jon Rahm (although he likely didn’t write the piece with his name on it) calling Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, and Tiger Woods (among others) nothing short of “weekend players.”
Not directly, but then again, that’s what happens when you either let others do your writing for you, or when you don’t really know what you’re talking about – take your pick.
In his Golf.com piece on power, Ram says a lot of good things, like letting the big muscles power the swing and not arms or hands.
But one thing stood out in his take on the stance (pictured below, from the piece), in which he says:
You want to feel more weight in your rear hip, but you shouldn’t tilt your upper body to get there…
… My No. 1 key is to concentrate at least 60 percent of my weight in my right leg. But I don’t tilt to the right to set my weight, like some weekend players do…
Hmmm… “some weekend players” tilt their upper bodies to the right, Jon?
So, let’s take a look at the G.O.A.T., who retired from PGA Tour golf with 73 Tour victories and 18 majors (including 19 runner-up finishes in majors), one Jack Nicklaus at address, both during his early dominant years and in his instruction to others on how to stand over the ball:
Nicklaus 1960’s Beside The Standard MCS Setup
Jack Nicklaus’ Stance With Different Clubs
How about Sam Snead, the current winningest-ever PGA Tour player (Tiger Woods is currently 2nd and will end his career in 2nd with both total wins and majors won), and his address stance over a ball:
How about Tiger Woods, when he was the greatest amateur player the world has ever seen (3-time Jr. US Am, 3-time US Amateur), and at the beginning of his pro career, how about his stance over the ball at the time?
Let’s see how he stood over the ball at address with regards to body tilt and being over the right side:
Looks like another one of Jon Rahm’s “some weekend players” who happens to be either the greatest ever golfer or the 2nd greatest after Jack Nicklaus, another apparent “weekend player…”
All kidding aside, Rahm does have some valid points on the swing along with some other things with which I’d disagree:
My teacher in Spain used to tell me to let my big muscles do the work.
That’s why my backswing turn is powered mostly by my back and shoulders.
Strongly disagree – the strongest muscles are in the hips and legs, and I hope Rahm just misunderstands what he’s doing because if he’s using his back to power his swing, he isn’t going to last long.
The last thing you want is any lateral movement on your backswing. Sway is not your friend.
In the sidebar below, you can see how resisting and sequencing your downswing with a shorter backswing can pay huge dividends.
Strongly disagree – if you’re “resisting” the back swing, you’re restricting the hip turn and relying on violent change of direct like Jason Day to power the swing, and while you can do it that way, no one has yet shown that you can do it for long before injuries begin to pile up.
Now, I have seen Rahm swinging in the above manner with the severely-resisting and restricted back swing, but when he was swinging that way, he was more known for an infamous shank than for anything else… just saying…
Not to mention, while Rahm does show a planted and hip-restricting back swing above in the Golf.com piece, which shows a really twisting lower back and a left thigh not even close to vertical:
However that’s not how he was swinging when I profiled him in May, where you can see the full hip turn to the extent that his leading heel separates from the ground:
And remember, it doesn’t have to be a huge and high lift like Nicklaus’ – any heel separation shows that the hips are turning past where they would turn with a fully planted and frozen leading foot.
So, some hits and misses in this Rahm piece, but I was especially amused to read that “some weekend players” tilt the upper body to the right at address!
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