At just 24, it seems like Jason Day has already been around for a long time. The big-hitting Aussie performed beautifully in both last year's Masters and U.S. Open, notching second-place finishes. Despite not winning any tournaments, he ended up ninth on the PGA Tour Money List with nearly $4 million in earnings.
One of the big keys to Day's success is his prodigious length. Last year he averaged 302.6 yards off the tee, placing him 14th in driving distance. As of press time, this year Day has played in only two tournaments but is averaging approximately 298 yards off the tee. The tee box hasn't been all good news for Day. If he has a glaring weakness, it's his driving accuracy. Day finds the fairway only about 55% of the time, which ranks him near the bottom of that category. Perhaps that's why he's opting to hit a three-wood on this tee box.
We asked John Stahlschmidt to take a look at Day's swing to see where this wiry 6' 0", 165-pound Aussie generates his tremendous distance.As Jason starts his downswing, his hips have rotated independently of his upper body. His shaft is literally about to hit his right shoulder–creating much lag and stored power, which will be applied to the ball at impact. At impact, notice how Jason's belt buckle is literally pointing to the target, a common denominator for power hitters. He's off his back foot, and his weight has transferred successfully to his front foot. A successful weight shift through impact to the left side will dramatically enhance the ability to make solid ball contact. Postimpact, Jason has successfully extended his right arm. This allows for great structure in both the right and the left arm. For those of you who "chicken-wing," make sure your trailing arm (your dominant arm) fully extends just after impact. This will ensure that both of your arms extend properly. Jason finishes in a classic position. The majority of his weight is balanced on the left foot. Notice how he has rotated a bit outside his left heel, a la Jack Nicklaus. This finish position is balanced and is the conclusion of a powerful yet efficient swing.
Sequence analyzed by John Stahlschmidt, PGA. John is a Top-25 Instructor and is the PGA Head Instructor for the TOUR Academy at TPC Scottsdale. To comment, email John at [email protected]