SANDWICH, England – Jon Rahm’s notably abbreviated back swing has produced six PGA Tour victories, a major championship (last month’s U.S. Open) and countless memorable shots.
It’s also produced plenty of speculation as to why his back swing is so short. On Tuesday at The Open Championship, the Spaniard explained how his unique swing evolved.
“I was born with a club foot on my right leg, which means for anybody that's sensitive about that, my right leg up to the ankle was straight, my foot was 90 degrees turned inside and basically upside down,” Rahm said.
Rahm went on to explain that doctors had to “relocate” numerous bones in his leg and ankle and he was in a cast for months following his birth. As a result, the mobility and stability in his right ankle is poor and his right leg is slightly shorter than his left leg.
“I didn't take a full swing because my right ankle doesn't have the mobility or stability to take it. I learned at a very young age that I'm going to be more efficient at creating power and be consistent from a short swing,” he said. “If I take a full-to-parallel [swing], yeah, it might create more speed, but I have no stability. My ankle just can't take it.”
Rahm said it was a trip to the Titleist Performance Institute with the Spanish Golf Federation as an amateur when he learned about his physical limitations and how to maximize the other parts of his game.
“My wrists don't have much mobility this way [internally], but I'm hypermobile this way [externally]," he said. "That's why I also naturally turn to bow my wrist to create power in every single sport I do."