This article was created by Steve Thomas and featured in Today's Golfer magazine for their September 2020 (July 30th – August 26th) edition - Issue number 403.
The article content:
TOP 50 TEACHER Steve Thomas
www.stevethomasgolt.com, Senior PGA Instructor
at Three Hammers Golf Academy, Wolverhampton.
Role model… COLLIN MORIKAWA
The postponement of the Ryder Cup may have caused problems for the European Tour, but it looks like it could spell trouble for the European team too. Shifted to 2021, the event gives Collin Morikawa the chance to gain another year of Tour experience and press his claims for a place on the team. This young American won four points from four at the 2017 Walker Cup. Aged just 22, he already looks set to be a thorn in the European side for many years to come.
With victory at the Workday Charity Open, Morikawa joint one T.Woods in winning his second PGA Tour event before missing his second cut. His impressive blend of technique focus and intensity has taken him to 13th in the world in just 28 events. Central to the success is his ability to flush irons at will. Here, we strip down his technique to see how he does it… and how you can too.
TRAIL ARM NOT YET FULLY EXTENDED
Note how Collin’s right (trail) arm is slightly flexed a beat after impact. This helps produce a ball-first contact. Club golfers often straighten this arm too earl, causing casting and a low-compression strike. Imagine your trail arm is a piston; as you swing through, that piston should extend to a point beyond the ball. Feel pressure in the lifeline of your trail palm as you do this.
TRAIL-HAND GRIP CREATES PRESSURE
Notice Collin’s right-hand grip. He’s alignment some key points with the rear side of the handle, notably the index finger and the lifeline of the palm. By maintaining pressure through these points, he can compress the ball at impact because the club is well supported. To find a similarly effective hold, place your trail-hand lifeline against the side of the lead thumb.
BALL FIRST, TURF SECOND
Collin makes contact with the ball first and turf afterward, beyond where the ball was lying. This indicates a descending angle of attack, an essential part of iron play as it promotes clean, powerful contact with a ball resting on the ground. To hone this, draw or picture a chalk line on the floor and place a ball on it. When you swing, try to get your divot hole-side of that line.
SPEED DELIVERS COMPRESSION
Higher impact speed means greater ball compression. Collin uses the ground to help his pelvis rotate dynamically through. Most club golfers do not use the ground well and have lower speeds as a result. To improve this, hit shots barefoot. It gives a sense of the pressure you should feel when making a swing. Feel pressure under your lead foot – not trail – at impact.
COLLIN’S 2020 BY NUMBERS
Strokes gained (green approach) 1.084 (1st)
Driving distance 296.7 yards (T108th)
GIR percentage 70.006 (19th)
World ranking 13th
Written by PGA Professional Steve Thomas
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