Swing Sequence: Jon Rahm
Only a few players come to the PGA Tour with the "can't miss" tag. It stems from a top amateur pedigree and the power and polish to compete with the high-horsepower modern stars. Jon Rahm brings it all. Study his swing frame-by-frame.
AGE: 22 / 6-2 / 220 pounds / Barrika, Spain
DRIVER: TaylorMade M2 10.5 degrees
BALL: TaylorMade TP5x
Everything in Rahm's setup—from ball position to stance width—is designed to produce maximum height and carry distance, says Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Shaun Webb of the David Toms Golf Academy in Shreveport, La. "He's set up to gather as much club speed as possible to smash it."
Where do tour players look most different from weekend warriors? Halfway back is a key spot. "Look how extended Jon's arms are. Most amateurs do the opposite and have the club close to the body," Webb says. "And his wrists are beginning to close the clubface. Slicers have the face open and pointing behind them."
Rahm says his miss comes when his hips slide too much laterally toward the target. "Here, he's unwinding but not sliding," Webb says. "He has even more pressure on his lead side, and now he can rotate his body as hard as he wants. This is a big reason tour players hit it so high, hard and straight with the driver."
One hallmark of great ball-strikers: They keep their body rotating through impact. Players who make poor contact tend to stall their body turn and make mostly an arm swing. "My focus is getting my shoulders moving and keeping the club in front of me," Rahm says. "When I do that, everything is usually fine."
To check if you're fully unwinding through the ball, see if your chest and belt buckle are, at least, facing the target when you finish. The speed Rahm unleashes pulls his arms into full extension. He has turned his shoulders beyond the target. They've gone all the way around and are facing left of it.