Driving Series

Jordan Spieth Swing Analysis

Many golf fans have including myself have anointed Jordan Spieth as golf’s next superstar. He is a super bright, driven, polite, cordial, polished, mature, grounded, and has the moxie to play and beat the world’s best players.

What’s not to like? Speith just might be what golf needs to flourish worldwide.

The adulation for this young man knows no end. While most golfers will never be able to play as well as Speith, everyone can learn something from his game. More specifically from the Jordan Spieth swing. The world’s number two ranked player must have a great swing to be able to achieve the success at such an early age.

So let’s take a look:

Jordan Spieth swing

Spieth at the top

Here we see Speith at the top of his swing. Notice how he has made a solid turn behind the ball. But his left arm is very bent. How can this be? You must keep your left arm straight to be a good player, right?

The straight left arm is a fallicy in golf teaching. If anything, the idea of straight left arm promotion could cause tension in the golf swing and not grant the golfer the flexibility they need to make an athletic move.

A lot of great players have hit the ball with this type of bent left arm. Look at the swings of Calvin Peete, Paul Azinger and J.B. Holmes. All utilize this technique.

How about South Africa’s Branden Grace? He also swings the club with this “bowed” arm.

The bend reduces strain and makes the swing easier to perform, but on top of all of that, golfers who do this are also giving themselves a mechanical advantage.

A slight bending of your left arm (for rightys) at the top of the swing reduces the moment of inertia (MOI) and allows you to start the club down more quickly. This gives your swing  more speed at the ball – which is always a good thing to have working for you.

Look at this photo from Augusta in the spring:


Spieth at the Masters

This picture is one of my favorite. With Spieth’s game, the ball has launched most likely directly at the pin. However, Speith’s left arm is in the “unfavorable” chicken wing position.

Notice how long Jordan keeps his clubface square, as well.

He doesn’t release the right hand quickly and roll the toe of the club over like so many people in the industry today suggest. He drives that club squarely through the ball and down his target line. This makes consistency for Jordan, much easier to achieve.

Spieth's grip

The Jordan Spieth Grip

Take a look at the unique Jordan Spieth golf grip. He has a interlocking grip without the lock. His left index finger is “flying” off his right hand creating this odd look.

Gripping the club like this shows the ease in which Jordan grips the club and the lack of tension in his hands. He doesn’t possess a death grip on it. He gently grips it and allows the club to work for him.

Swinging with this style isn’t something that will be achieved easily (or necessarily something one should do), but it de-bunks the myth that a straight left arm needs to be employed during a golf swing.

How many times have you heard the following: “keep the left arm straight”, “have a good grip”, “avoid the dreaded chicken wing golf swing,” “keep your grip tight”?

The majority of the people coming through the Elite Performance Golf Academy strongly believe in these statements. Jordan Speith has a bent left arm at the top of the swing, a unconventional grip, and a “chicken-wing” release through the ball. This is the epitome of a “no-no”, however he makes it work for him.

And that is the million dollar answer to the question of this article: “What can you Learn from Jordan Speith’s Swing”?

Being your own person and developing your own swing style is more important than trying to achieve a technically sound swing. The quest for the non-achievable perfect swing is an act of futility. Speith has perfected “his” swing style with his instructor Cameron McCormick, one the world’s best (follow Cameron on Twitter, here). Throughout that process he has never tried to be something he is not.

In the word’s of the immortal Arnold Palmer: “Swing your swing.” Jordan Speith certainly has.