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Arie Jackman’s career on paper might not be remarkable to you yet, but if you’ve come across his swing on TikTok or Instagram, there’s a good chance you’ll remember him.

The 21-year-old is in his final year of college at the Central Michigan University and is planning to turn professional later this summer. However, unlike most college players, he is already pretty well known in the game.

Jackman, who stands at a lofty six-foot-seven, boasts around 18,000 followers on TikTok, with his likes count rapidly approaching the one million mark.

However, it’s the reaction that causes the most controversy.

“I’ve always read the comments on my videos,” Jackman tells bunkered. “I get a lot of people saying, ‘What is that? That’s the ugliest swing I’ve ever seen, that’s not going to work, there’s no way you can be consistent with that.’ People ask if I read the comments and the answer is ‘yes’.

“I find it more humorous that hurtful with what people are saying.”

But it works in his favour. Jackman’s popularity on the social media platform has started to become a bit of a money-spinner.

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“I joke with my friends that I get made fun of my golf swing for a living,” he adds. “It’s changed over time. It used to be that I would get about 95 per cent negative comments. I would say it’s probably more positive comments now.”

The backlash might have been disheartening for other players, but for Jackman it’s only added that something extra to perform well and, essentially, stick it to his doubters.

“It’s not my main source of motivation, but it is fun to play well in tournaments and have cool accomplishments. It’s cool to post about my wins and see what those people have to say after that. People tell me I won’t play good golf, but I can prove them wrong.”

While he admits he’s not hit the heights he wants to yet, Jackman has had success at a regional level, winning the Michigan Medal Play with rounds of 70, 65, 63 and 63, before then competing in the US Amateur for the first time this summer. Of course, that success doesn’t always translate to respect on social media.

 

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So, how did his swing go from looking fairly conventional, to now attracting loads of derisory comments?

“To be completely honest, I don’t know what happened,” Jackman admits. “In 2018, it looked really good, but that was the worst I ever was at golf. Things weren’t working, so I was trying out other ways to swing the club.

“On video, in 2018, it definitely looked the most normal. But, I wasn’t seeing the results with that swing, so I decided I was going to try and change things up.

“I used to struggle with taking it on the inside and taking it over the top, which is a standard mistake that a lot of amateurs make. I basically just decided I wanted to reverse that.

“For me, the feeling had to be so drastic that I actually had to take it outside to shallow it out. When I took it back straight, I was still getting steep. I basically had to reverse my mind to work out how to shallow out the club.”

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Jim Furyk and Matt Wolff are the most common comparisons Jackman hears about his swing, but he says that his main inspirations in his swing rebuild actually were Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. While he knows it doesn’t quite look like those pair, he wants to feel that’s how his follow-through looks.

He knows that he could go to a swing coach, but Jackman reckons that he knows his self-taught action better than anyone. In that, he says, there is a lesson. If it works, then keep swinging your own swing.

“I think it’s also good for people to see that not everyone has to spend $100 a week with a swing coach to get your swing to look perfect.

“At the end of the day, it’s not that important how it looks. People think they need to have a perfect looking swing, but I like to think I can show people that that’s not what it has to be.”

Want to see more of Arie's unusual but effective golf swing? You can follow him on TikTok and Instagram.

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

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