After a four year wait, Jordan Spieth is hoisting some sizeable silverware once again.
Spieth collected his twelfth PGA Tour win at the Valero Texas Open, ending a four year winless drought. The three-time major champ’s last win came at the 2017 Open Championship.
Since then, it’s been a fight to find a swing that produces consistent results.
Here’s why he may have finally found his form.
First off, it’s important to point out that Spieth is one of the few players on the PGA Tour who is comfortable working the ball both ways. He can hit a twenty yard cut off the tee, followed by a subtle draw with his approach. That is an art, a lost one at that.
The issue occurred when he started to develop a two way miss. If a player can’t draw the ball, after years of doing so successfully, they can find one swing fault that will help them regain control and focus on that.
If you move the ball both ways, it makes the search for a single swing fault more difficult. Committing to one shot shape could be an option, but then you limit yourself to how you play certain golf courses.
One of the key indicators for how a player shapes the ball is the grip. The old rule of thumb: a weaker grip would produce a fade, and a stronger grip would produce a draw. Spieth can hit both - so is he weak or strong? You could argue he's both.
The 27 year old Texan has a very unconventional grip. Like Collin Morikawa, below, the hands are bunched together, with the left thumb stretching down the shaft, clamped in place by the right hand. The left is in a weak position, the right is strong (no need to change that).
As he turns to the top, below, I like the way he uses his legs to load into the ground. The right leg straightens slightly, and his left knee flexes. The flexing of the left knee produces a loss of height in the backswing, so he can push off the ground in the downswing.
Tiger Woods, above, used to work on snapping the left knee in place to get the lower body moving, Spieth does something similar.
As he reaches impact, below, his upper and lower body have turned together. When he’s playing well, this will feel easy. But during his struggles, Spieth could be seen on the range working on his hand path during the downswing. This would indicate that he feels out of sync, and the hands are outracing the upper body.
I really believe that’s the nuts and bolts of it for Spieth. The fact that he pictures the ball moving both ways, confirms how talented a ball striker he really is. He just needs to find a feeling of synchronicity, with the upper and lower body working together.
He's now got a 'W' to go with the recent good form. There will likely be more to come.