This is the reason for Jordan Spieth’s interesting pre-shot swing rehearsal
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — By now it feels like ancient history, but just last year Jordan Spieth’s swing was in disarray.
He was battling a nasty two-way miss and seemed to have no idea where the ball was going when he stepped up to the ball. His world ranking had plummeted to 92nd, his winless drought was approaching four years and there was little evidence that he was on the verge of a breakthrough.
But just as Spieth’s swing woes seemed to be beyond repair, he found a feel that changed everything.
Once that switch flipped, we started to see flashes of the Jordan Spieth of old. He carded back-to-back top 10s in San Diego and Phoenix and followed it with a strong performance at the Genesis Invitational. The strong play on the West Coast quickly turned into a trend and he got back in the winner’s circle in his home state of Texas later in the spring.
One year later, Spieth has returned to Riviera Country Club looking to continue that momentum, and he’s still relying on the swing feeling that began his transformation in 2021. If you pay close attention you can see him rehearsing it before nearly every swing.
The rehearsal begins with a normal takeaway, but once he gets about halfway back, he picks up the club and begins to get his arms and hands deep behind him. Once he reaches the top, Spieth aggressively lays off the club and so he can swing more around his body on the way down.
“I’m just trying to shallow the club transitionally,” Spieth said after his opening-round 66. “I’m trying to get it steep enough to where I can shallow it on plane.”
A steep swing plane is something that afflicts many recreational golfers, but pro golfers can struggle with it, too. And while Spieth’s swing might have looked no different than his previous moves to the untrained eye, it was causing him tons of issues.
As GOLF.com’s own Luke Kerr-Dineen pointed out last summer, from the position at the top of the backswing, he’s then able to aggressively turn through the ball without having to use his hands to save the shot at impact.
“That’s kind of a freedom move for me because then I feel like I can clear out and hit the trap fade,” Spieth said. “And if I can hit kind of the trap fade, I feel like I can hit any other shot. So that’s been a move from this time last year that I’ve been working to try and get back to where I used to set the club, way back in 2013, ’14 time frame.”
But while Spieth’s swing is miles better than it was at this time last year, he’s not convinced it’s a finished product.
“It’s not quite there,” he said. “I’m reversing a lot of bad swings still over a few years, but there’s been a lot of good ones over the last 12 months and just trying to continue to progress forward with that move.”