Jason Day's golf swing has evolved into one of the best in the game. It is often regarded as such by his peers on Tour and in the magazines. His swing is also instructive when analyzed on video.
Jason is listed at 6 ft, 165 lbs and he gets the most out of that frame. He averaged 314 yards off the tee in 2015 which was 3rd on Tour! He was also #1 in the All Around Ranking statistical category which makes it easy to see how he won 5 times.
Like most PGA Tour players he has a few signature moves that distinguish him from his peers and their various swing characteristics. Hence, there is more than one way to get the job done. That makes golf fun to watch and play.
On the PGA Tour you see arms dominated golf swings and body dominated golf swings. In the "arms" camp you have guys like Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, in the body camp you have Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, and others. Jason Day definitely uses a body dominated swing motion and it works great for him.
Jason distinguishes himself with 2 moves in particular. The 1st move is actually before he swings and if you take anything from this video it could be the most important feature you can copy. Namely he has the best body driven pre-swing waggle in the business. The second feature is the uninhibited release of the club through impact where the club is literally trying to tear out of his hands. We'll look at that in detail below.
Watch the video below paying close attention to the waggle at the start of the video and the free wheeling unwinding through impact:
Jason Day's pre-swing waggle (5 seconds into the video) is not the traditional "handsy" waggle we've been accustomed to seeing over the years. It is a deliberate move that engages the upper body so it is ready to move in to the full golf swing.
You can see Jason's left shoulder dip as he performs the waggle motion. He is previewing the swing for both his mind and body. He is also tracing the exact path of the club head and shaft for the first 1-2 feet of the back swing so a mental picture is formed in his mind. Then, when he initiates the real swing, that grooved start becomes automatic and his swing is off to the races.
At 1:23 of the video you'll see Jason make the same pre-swing move with the driver. He is rehearsing a wider takeaway and a more ballistic motion for his powerful driver swing. You may also notice that hole is a par 5 so he is loading up to crush one to be in position to hit the green on his next shot. Hence, he was ranked #1 in birdies per round and #5 in eagles per round in 2015!
Next, it's easy to see the tremendous speed Jason achieves with his swing. And being 28 years young lends itself to a faster turn from the ground up. But don't worry, his motion can help golfers of any age and ability as we'll see below.
Jason never looks unbalanced when he swings. He's not coming out of his shoes or falling back like a lot of guys on Tour. Jason's down swing starts gradually and "flows downhill" like a barrel over Niagra Falls, reaching max speed through impact so he can maximize ball speed.
The various clubs and angles in the video show how Jason's arms are being unwound by the body and are flung off the chest as shown below. There is no steering the club head or trying to control the outcome.
Jason's free wheeling swing motion through the hitting zone forces his right hand and arm to straighten as if he is momentarily shaking hands with someone in front of him (see image below). The right hand and the club face match each other and the hands are in front of the chest, signifying his body and arms are in sync with one another (vs. being stuck ala Woods).
The feeling a golfer should have is that the right hand is stretching out to touch the flag or target before it wraps up into the finish position. The legendary ball striker Moe Norman visualized grabbing the flag out of the hole with his right hand.
A long right arm (or left for the lefty) and vertical hand also assures the club face is closing (pointing left for the right hand golfer) through and after impact which prevents the blocked shot (and can dampen any push or slice tendency).
Now what if you don't have Jason's flexibility (i.e. we ain't all 28) or club head speed? Is this extended post impact position something the average golf should strive for?
Absolutely! Even if your driver swing is 80 mph vs. 120 mph like Jason's, achieving the right arm extension post impact is a great fundamental that can add significant distance and keep you in the fairways.
Try posing in the position for 10 seconds and ask yourself "what do my body and arms have to do to have the club head and shaft pass through this point." You'll be engraining the right move with the legs, body, and arms to make it happen. I often like to pose, rewind back to impact, and then move back to the position, etc... It's a great exercise.
Combining the pre-swing waggle with the post impact extension position will sharpen up much of your 1.5 second golf swing. The golf swing is a sum of its parts or "zones"; zones that link together fluidly so that impact is incidental.
As with most great players, Jason Day swings the golf club smoothly and powerfully, and the ball is merely in the way of the club head. If he continues to pass the right message to the ball via the club face, he may find himself atop the golf world again by Masters time.
Enjoy your 2016 golf,
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