Jon Rahm has had quite a year. The reigning U.S. Open champion is the top-ranked player in the world and posted a whopping 15 top-10 finishes in 22 events last season. For recreational golfers looking for a player to learn from, Rahm’s talent level and ability may seem largely inaccessible, but according to Rahm’s longtime coach, Dave Phillips, there one takeaway from Rahm’s game that it would behoove every player to emulate.
Phillips is one of GOLF’s Top 100 teachers, and co-founded the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, Calif. On this week’s episode of Off Course with Claude Harmon, Phillips and Harmon discussed a range of different topics about Phillips’ star pupil, including the element of his game that we mere mortals should strive to copy.
“People are fixated too much with the plane and the path of the golf club and moving the golf club,” Phillips said. “They should be way more focused on their lower body and how their lower body works. If you look at Jon, he’s got one of the greatest lower bodies, I think, in the game today. He’s strong, he’s stable, it moves. Look at how he loads into his trail leg, look how he shifts and moves into his lead side.”
If you want to generate speed and power, Phillips said, it has to start with the lower body.
“Power, we know, comes from the ground,” Phillips continued. “If you lift your feet off the ground and try and swing a golf club, you wouldn’t be able to do it. You have to have the ground interaction to do that.”
According to Phillips, loading correctly and not being static over the ball is key.
“I think that the lower body should be active,” Phillips said. “Think back to other sports: You’re trying to move something with speed. If you’re going to throw something or swing a baseball bat, look at those athletes and what they do. They don’t anchor their lower body down and not move it. It moves! Look at any great ballstriker’s lower body, and look at Jon’s. If you want to learn something about him, I would emulate what his lower body does.”
For more from Phillips, including what he says Rahm learned from Phil Mickelson, and Phillips’ take on how this year’s major venues will set up for Rahm, check out the full interview below.