Instruction

‘I’ve been trying that for years’: What swing advice did JT just give Jordan Spieth?

Welcome to Play Smart, a game improvement column and podcast from editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf.

While golf fans may be patiently waiting for Jordan Spieth to return to the heights he once experienced, Spieth has certainly found a new-look swing he can win with. He’s 18th in SG: Tee-to-Green in 2022, which has helped him to a win, two runner-ups and 15th place in the FedEx Cup standings as he enters this week’s FedEx St. Jude.

And yet, the grind never stops.

After his even-par opening round, where he finished 77th and 62nd in SG: Driving and SG: Approach, respectively, Spieth headed back to the range to work out some of the kinks. That’s where he was greeted by his longtime friend Justin Thomas, who just opened with a three-under 67. It led to a really interesting exchange about the golf swing, which you can watch below.

Because we weren’t there and only have portions of the exchange, it’s hard to know exactly what’s being said. We can make out most of it, though, and it mainly revolves around Spieth trying to make his backswing more steep.

(Steep, for those who may be unfamiliar with the term, means the club shaft is more upright, or more up and down, during your swing.)

Spieth says his swing is different than it used to be, but he’s really pleased with the work he’s doing with GOLF Top 100 Teacher Cameron McCormick to get back to his “DNA.” He’s said his downswing feels very “slotted,” and that every day he gets more comfortable with the move that once felt like a big over-exaggeration.

But one key difference remains: At the top of his backswing, Spieth’s club is more laid off — or pointed out to the left — than it used to be. It’s something Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee has pointed out multiple times, and it’s what Spieth seems to be trying to work on in this video.

“You just gotta steepen the clubhead [on the backswing],” JT tells him.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to do for two years, and I still can’t do it,” Spieth says.

One interesting nugget in the exchange is JT saying that he thinks Spieth is trying to “start” the steepening move too early. It gets the club moving too outside, in his opinion, and creates the problem he’s trying to solve.

@PGATour

What JT says instead encourages to get the club “good and set” (which is something JT works on himself) so it’s more inline with his hands during the takeaway, then feel the club move more upright, or steep, as he’s demonstrating here.

@PGATour

It’s a fascinating conversation for us to be a fly on the wall for. It turns out that golfers, no matter what level they’re playing at, are always looking for some advice from their buddies.

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