Justin Thomas has one of the best golf swings in the world. It’s athletic and – despite only weighing 165 pounds, very powerful. It’s a swing that has claimed 15 tour titles since turning pro in 2014, and three of the last four PGA Tour money titles.
Photographer Ezra Shaw picked up a sequence of seven images of JT’s swing yesterday during a practice round at Torrey Pines, ahead of the 121st U.S. Open.
In the past, Mike Thomas, who is Justin’s father and coach, has highlighted five key factors to JT’s world-class swing.
1. Looking Athletic
“I always tell my students that good players look like they’re going to hit a great shot at setup,” Mike has said.
2. Creating Torque
Keeping his legs still – and bending only his left knee while slipping his shoulder under his chin creates JT’s patented torque. “This is the sign of a stable lower body and the creation of torque,” said Thomas. “Also notice his head tilts to the right – that’s just part of the personality of his swing.”
3. Generating Power
Justin’s hips also remain fairly quiet on the backswing but his shoulders rotate a full 90 degrees. “That resistance of the upper body against the lower is a huge power generator,” Mike says. “The golf swing is from the waist up, and the lower body supports that.”
4. Delivering Personality
Getting ready for impact, Justin’s right heel comes way up and delivers what has become his signature move – a move that many youth golfers are now copying. “It’s another part of the personality of his swing,” says Mike. “We worked on keeping it down, and he couldn’t hit the ball at all. So we forgot about that.” Even Justin’s front foot comes off the ground. “He keeps his spine angle and head position. And you can draw a line from the clubhead up the shaft to his left shoulder.”
5. Styling Finish
Justin’s finish always looks like he hit a good ball even if he didn’t. The twirl signals whether it was truly a good shot. “His position past impact shows extension and speed,” Mike Thomas says. “The ball is gone, so the finish doesn’t influence anything. But balance is an indicator of a good swing. As in the setup, Justin looks athletic, like he just hit a great shot.”