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At 145 pounds, Justin Thomas can probably lay claim to being the longest hitter, pound for pound, on the planet. He most certainly is the hottest player on the planet, having won three of his last five PGA Tour starts and, just last week, becoming the youngest player to record a sub-60 round on the PGA Tour. He also led the field at the Sony Open in driving distance (319.6) and percentage of 300-plus drives (69.6%). Thomas’ swing is reminiscent of an early Tiger Woods in that you see a lot of air under his trail foot during the early part of the downswing. Check out the photo gallery and GCA lead coach <a href="https://golfchannelacademy.com/ron-philo-jr/" target="_blank">Ron Philo</a>'s analysis to learn more.
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Perfect angles and balance. The length between the back of his head and his tailbone promotes a full shoulder turn and very wide backswing arc.
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Justin initiates the backswing with a turning of his chest and shoulders. There’s little movement to his thighs, and his hands are very quiet.
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FAVORITE MOVE No. 1: Picture perfect. The shaft is above his trail forearm and on-plane, his posture is still intact, and his hands remain in front of his knees.
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Justin has made a huge shoulder turn to this point. You can see almost all of his chest, even though his hips have only just begun to turn.
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The angle of Justin’s trailside forearm isn’t overly steep, which allows him to swing his arms down in front of his body and really fire his hips through.
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FAVORITE MOVE No. 2: Justin’s shoulders are closed to the target and yet we can already see the yardage book in his back pocket. That’s holding the angle (and speed) well!
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By tucking the elbow in and going narrower on the downswing he’s able to generate more clubhead lag and speed without having to rotate his body any faster.
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FAVORITE MOVE No. 3: There’s no letdown in speed. Justin’s arms are fully extended and his belt buckle has rotated all the way through, giving the clubhead something to chase.
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There’s a little bit of hang back in Justin’s swing here but that’s typical with a driver, as he’s trying to catch the ball on the upswing and launch it higher.
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An amazing amount of rotation! Justin’s left shoulder blade has turned all the way back so that it’s facing the original ball position and his chest is left of the target.
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Ron Philo, Jr. is Director of Golf & Club Operations for Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, VT. For more information about Ron, winner of the 2006 PGA Professional National Championship, and to book a lesson, please <a href="http://golfchannelacademy.com/ron-philo-jr/" target="_blank">click here</a>.
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