Play to Your Strengths and Accept Your Weaknesses
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Jon Rahm of Spain plays a shot on the sixth hole during the third round of the Mexico Open.Getty Images
World #2 Jon Rahm is an anomaly. Usually the old adage, drive for show putt for dough, rings true in not just professional golf, but in golf in general. Rahm, who finds himself with the lead going into Sunday at the Mexico Open, is a phenomenal ball striker. He ranks 1st in strokes gained off the tee, 2nd in strokes gained in tee-to-green, and 6th in total strokes gained. However, he ranks 173rd in strokes gained around the green and 132nd in strokes gained putting.
While he doesn’t get it done with the typical recipe for success that we are accustomed to, Jon Rahm proves that there is more than one way to do it. He is ridiculously consistent and hits the ball far and he relies on those traits. Again, he proves that you don’t need to have a robotic, cookie cutter swing to have success in golf.
John Rahm is as consistent as he is because he has complete control of the clubface. His backswing is short, which is a hallmark for consistent ball strikers, and his unorthodox move in setting the club at the top, and how he transitions down from there, allows him to keep the ball in front of him and in play the majority of the time.
Rahm has what we call flexion in his left wrist, or what’s commonly known as a bowed wrist. This gets his face closed at the top. With his short, yet strong backswing, Rahm takes his bowed wrist and shut face and shallows the club in his downswing. Beyond this, a major key in his successful ball striking is the speed he creates coming down and continues to keep through impact. He holds his wrist position as he turns his body, fast and hard, through impact, and on to his finish.
At this weekend’s Champions Tour Insperity Invitational, we got to see names like Nicklaus, Sörenstam, Trevino and Davies play in its Greats of Golf division. Ben Crenshaw said prior to play yesterday that many of these greats became successful by doing things their way. It really goes along with what Arnold Palmer always preached, “Swing your Swing.”
Jon Rahm is yet another very successful golfer that shows us that Swinging your Swing should not be something to shy from. Your local PGA Professional can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, teach you why things happen the way they do for you and set you on a pathway to develop your own unique, and successful golf swing.