News & ToursMay 5, 2016

Johnny Miller picks at Jordan Spieth swing idiosyncrasy, as instructor once predicted

NBC’s Johnny Miller is paid handsomely to analyze, and on Thursday his analysis zeroed in on Jordan Spieth and what he deems a flaw in his swing.

“He has a tendency with that bent left elbow to come down with the face open,” Miller said in a teleconference call in advance of the Players Championship next week. “He has been doing it quite a bit this year. He really did it [at the Masters]. That was an amazing miss in the water and an amazing fat shot in the water.

“I’m looking forward to seeing if he and his teacher address that bent left arm. It seems like it’s more bent at impact and after impact than last year. It will be interesting to see if we see a little swing change to eliminate that shot to the right.”

Getty Images

Spieth in the third round of the 2016 Masters.

AFP/Getty Images

Spieth in the third round of the 2015 Masters.

Clearly Spieth’s swing was not in sync at Augusta National and maybe the chicken wing was more pronounced (see photos above), though he still tied for second.

But his long-time instructor Cameron McCormick recognized early on that Spieth’s swing is not necessarily textbook and would be open to criticism by … “the Johnny Millers of the world.”

Two years ago, McCormick spoke about Spieth’s swing “idiosyncrasies that give the Johnny Millers of the world something to pick at and criticize,” he said. “We've allowed him to develop these patterns with heavy priority with what the ball’s telling us in terms of function versus some architectural or appearance we want to fit into it. We've let his fingerprint be his fingerprint.”

Last September, Golf Channel’s Michael Breed spoke to Spieth’s consistency with his ball striking and explained the chicken wing in a segment titled, "Learn Jordan's 'Chicken Wing.'"

“His body is carrying the club in through the strike,” Breed said. “Sometimes it appears that he’s got a little chicken wing. And the reason why it appears that way is his body is throwing the energy into the strike.”


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