January 10 2013
By Travis Fulton, Director of Instruction, PGA TOUR Academy
The first tournament of the year is finally in the books and Dustin Johnson is back on top after capturing the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
You get the feeling that with Johnson fully healthy again this could be a very special year for the long-driving young American.
Not only does Johnson display great power, he can be extremely accurate. One of the positions that sets the stage for this potent combination is when the club shaft gets halfway back during the backswing and parallel to the ground. At this point, Johnson’s club shaft sits relatively parallel to his stance line. This alignment and relationship to the stance line is important for accuracy as he is able to get the entire shaft on plane immediately.
One of the most common errors for amateurs at this point in the swing is to get the clubhead too far behind the hands. This gets the clubhead under the plane and requires more compensation to re-establish the proper swing plane.
With the club shaft on-plane early in the backswing, Johnson also fully assembles his wrist hinge. At this point, his right wrist is bent towards the back of the wrist with the left wrist towards the top of the wrist. In addition, you will also notice how his right elbow is bent to support the wrists, creating significant angles between the club shaft and both forearms. These angles are critical in the creation of power.
This position during the backswing is one that most all of us can learn from and achieve. With a solid wrist hinge and the club shaft on-plane, you, too, can get off to a good start in the swing to produce power and accuracy.
Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.