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The Tour Report

May 29 2012

11:16 AM

Tip from Travis: Zach's shut clubface

Live Report Image
Halleran/Getty Images
Zach Johnson is known for his very strong grip on the club.

Zach Johnson kept his great year going with a win at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.  Just when it looked like Jason Dufner was going to go on and win yet another title, Johnson stepped up and captured his eighth career win on the PGA TOUR.

Johnson displays a golf swing that could be considered a bit different when compared to the fluid motions of Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and others; however, it is a golf swing that is compact, efficient and most importantly understood by the player. Johnson has always seemed like a player who really understands his golf swing — from what he needs to do to hit his patented draw to understanding his misses.

Johnson is considered a “shut” clubface player meaning the club face is closed at the top of his backswing. A closed clubface at the top is when the face is looking more towards the sky versus open where the toe of the club is pointing down to the ground. Over the years, rather than trying to open the clubface so it is closer to square — angle of the clubface matches the angle of the left forearm — Johnson has built his swing around this shut clubface to create the ball flight he likes to see.


Oftentimes, I will use Johnson’s golf swing as an example on how well he rotates his body through impact and maintains his wrist angles. For those that struggle with hooking the ball these are two things that will allow the golf club to exit more to the left through impact.

What’s interesting is players that struggle with a hook to the left will counter by swinging more to the right. But oftentimes the fix needs to see the player swing more to the left through impact.   This can be achieved by keeping the hands more passive and by rotating the torso aggressively through impact. This combination will rotate the swing direction more to the left and decrease the amount of clubface rotation through impact, resulting in a straighter shot.

Although this tip may not apply to everyone, those that struggle with a push-hook combination, this pattern that Johnson demonstrates and understands so well is a great visual and progression for you.

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.