quick coaching

Grab a Medicine Ball to Copycat Jon Rahm’s Turn

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

Jon Rahm of Spain plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 02, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Jon Rahm’s consistency over the summer has been extraordinary. 
Most players look at Rahm and wonder how he does it with such a short backswing? The key move isn’t the length of his backswing, it’s the movements his body makes. Rahm is an extremely powerful golfer and that comes from his ability to turn throughout his golf swing. All players can copy this move. Variations in flexibility, length of swing, grip type, etc. won’t matter. It will bring consistency and power to everyone’s game.
To get a feel for how Rahm moves his body during the golf swing you will need to grab something heavy. A training/medicine ball is perfect, but if you don’t have one of those, grab something about that size with some weight. If a medicine ball is too heavy, please grab something you can hold without putting too much strain on your back or body like a basketball.  
Once you have the item, take your stance and pretend like you are addressing an imaginary golf ball on the ground. Hold the “ball” with both hands instead of using a club. Start to make a backswing. If the ball gets heavy, then you are not turning your shoulders and torso with your arms. Go back to your address position and try again. Start to move the ball or item back by turning your ribcage/torso and not by just moving your arms. The item will feel much lighter as you move this way. You just felt Rahm’s magic move.
Continue to practice this move in three ways.
  1. The drill described above will cover the backswing. Many golfers disconnect their arm swing and their body movement in the takeaway. Learn to move the torso with the object keeping it in front of your chest and feeling light.
  2. Once you become efficient at the takeaway, you’ll need that transition move next. Using the same ball or object, feel your weight and torso switch directions together. Pretend like you were going to throw the ball from a coiled backswing position. That’s the feeling we want in transition. Shift the weight through your lower body and turn that torso back toward your usual impact position.
  3. Most golfers would stop turning at impact. Continue to carry the item or ball through to the target for a full finish. Your body should face the target when you perform this stage of the drill. All of your weight should be on your lead leg and your arms and the ball will be extended in front of you directly toward the target.
Notice in this video from the Tour Championship how much Rahm moves his body back and through such a short shot. If he creates this much turn for a simple bunker shot, consider how much he’s moving to hit driver.
Go back through the three stages of the above drill and practice at home or at the gym. Get comfortable moving your body. Using a training ball is key because once you get comfortable with the movements, you can start to release the ball and throw it forward. Use a solid wall as a target so you don’t have to chase it.  Learn to use your body properly and the new power and athleticism will have you feeling like the world’s #1 golfer. 

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