Thursday, January 5, 2017

Driver vs. Driver: Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson Swing Comparison - Which Style Is Better For You?

Every few weeks this season I'm going to look at the swings of two players on Tour, and show you why one swing might be better suited for your game versus the other. 


The player swing comparisons will at times surprise you.  Like this week, when we look at Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson off the tee at the SBS Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.

Each swing has its own, unique, strengths and weaknesses.  And if you're looking to tune up your swing, or maybe even completely overhaul it, understanding these distinctions will help you construct a swing that's best for you. 

Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson: Face On View 

The face on view reveals a number of things.  Both swings display great body rotation.  But Johnson's swing generates more torque, and a later release, the primary reason for his prodigious power.  Johnson is also quicker than Spieth in transition. 

So as a starting point you should consider which swing is closer to your natural swing.  Yes, Johnson hits it farther than Spieth.  But are you flexible enough to rotate like Johnson?  Is it comfortable for you to hold the angle longer in your downswing like DJ? 

Trying to swing like a player who's physical ability is unlike your own is a recipe for disaster.  Even Spieth would probably admit he'd like to drive like DJ.  But you're only going to unlock the full potential and maximize the benefits of your swing by first understanding your own capabilities. 

Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson: Down The Line 

Again here in the down the line view, note the differences.  Spieth and Johnson share almost identical plane angles at address and impact.  But Spieth keeps his swing more on plane during the backswing, while DJ is more upright, meaning he'll need to drop down more during his downswing. 

A one-plane swing like Spieths is theoretically more repeatable and reliable under pressure than a two-plane swing like Johnsons.  However Spieth's swing (with his left arm connected to the body longer) makes it harder to generate speed from a wider, more powerful arc (like DJ's) without supplying more rotational force in the downswing

You also always want a trigger to start your swing if it's comfortable.  It reduces any tension that might exist in your body, and allows you to rotate freely throughout the swing. 

Spieth uses a subtle thumb tap, forward press, and left hip bump to trigger his swing.  While Johnson uses a more pronounced forward press.  Neither of these are better than the other per se, but trying both triggers to discover which is more agreeable will help you find greater consistency off the tee. 

As always, if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email here, or a message on twitter or instagram.

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