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Swing Sequence

What you can learn from Joel Dahmen’s cornhole technique

November 15, 2022
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Joel Dahmen is described by some as a bit of a cornhole, um, exponent. I hear he’s even considering entering Cornhole Tour School (not to be confused with Korn Ferry Tour school). That said, let’s get to his action.

Joel’s motion is very easy on the eyes. His rhythm jumps off the pages at you. Known for extreme accuracy and controlling his trajectory, he throws every bag like he’s carving a 5-iron into a tight pin.

Looking at this toss more closely and breaking it down, he’s very smooth in his approach, as you can see in the first few photos here. He starts using the ground, lowering his body and allowing vertical forces to come into play—he’s perfectly poised for a quality release.

I particularly like—and this is important for you amateur cornholers to copy—the way his arm starts to go backward in frame No. 3. Look how he gets his right hand in a pronated position and then lets it supinate in frames No. 4 and No. 5. This move takes real talent and hours and hours of practice (and perhaps several adult beverages).

Now let’s examine the secret to his checkmate accuracy. Just before releasing the bag with a flick of the wrist from his right arm, we can see in frame No. 5 that Joel is getting taller. See the upward tilt to his hat as he follows through? Also pay attention to the harmony between his body action and arm swing because this synchronized movement is crucial.

Not to be overlooked is the role of Joel’s right forefinger and how it points at the cornhole as he finishes his graceful toss. This is evidence that he is in total control of the bag. There’s no way this one wound up being a woody. (For those of you who don’t play, that means a bag that is stuck on the board at the conclusion of a frame.)

You should also note his beautifully relaxed finish—being balanced up on his right toes at the end of the toss says it all. This action is going to last for many years to come.

So what can you learn from Joel’s cornhole prowess? Just like a good golf swing, there is no rush or jerkiness to his action and no stress on his body. He looks like he’s doing nothing more than tossing junk mail into a trash bin.

Side note: I played marbles as a kid, and I was good at confiscating my classmates’ collections by knocking them down from about 10 yards out. It’s all in the wrist, as Joel would likely tell you. Or maybe he wouldn’t, especially if you’re playing him for cash. The takeaway for you here: Dahmen is a cornhole shark, and it’s best to be on land when he’s looking for fish. —With Ron Kaspriske