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There's more to copy about Beef Johnston than just his beard

September 19, 2016

R&A via Getty Images

It will probably come as no surprise that Beef Johnston isn't concerned with "perfect" swing positions. But that doesn't mean America's newest golf sweetheart--he got a PGA Tour card for 2016-2017 with a top-5 finish in the playoffs this weekend--doesn't do things the average player would do well to copy.

Namely, making a swing and not just a collection of swing parts.

"You can't forget about the fact that a swing is an athletic motion," says Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Shaun Webb, who is based at the David Toms 265 Academy in Shreveport, La. "That's what makes Beef so good to watch. He's not trying to hit perfect positions--but he is trying to stay athletic and make a powerful weight shift."

Just about everybody who has played some has heard about "weight shift"--and most players even try to do it. But even players who understand how to shift often do it at the wrong time, says Webb. "By the time Beef is halfway into his backswing, he's already shifting his weight back to his lead side," Webb says. "This natural motion lets him generate maximum clubhead speed, and helps him with the timing of his release. Most players wait way too long to make that shift toward the target, which gets the chain reaction of the swing all out of sync. It leads to pulls and slices, and even if you hit it square you aren't producing much speed because you broke that speed chain."