Justin Thomas: Ball-striking masterclass


World No.1 Justin Thomas is 5ft 10in and weighs just a little over 10 stone, but he still hits his driver a mile.

That he does so should give hope to us all – you don’t have to be built like a brick outhouse to generate big yards with the driver.

Related: WITB Justin Thomas

At 27 years old, Justin Thomas’ career has been mightily impressive. The World No.1 has 13 PGA Tour victories, a Major, two WGCs and the FedEx Cup on his resume as well as Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup victories.

Thomas' game is built on his superb ball-striking, ranking 1st for Strokes Gained: tee-to-green so far in 2020.

Follow his example and you can hit the ball with both force and accuracy.

Justin Thomas

Centred strike

Centre contact is key to distance. It’s measured by smash factor – club-to-ball speed ratio.

A recent test saw Justin Thomas average an awesome smash of 1.51 over 17 drives. His flat left wrist through impact helps here; no sign of it flipping the clubface at the ball.

Repeat this by feeling that through impact both the clubhead and the handle move in the same direction.

Related: Best Drivers 2020

Full extension 

Justin Thomas right arm and left leg are extended. Those are key elements of the width he creates to deliver force into the ball.

Use this as a swing thought next time you go to the range. On the way down focus on straightening your left leg and right arm into and through impact.

When you can control the move and the force it creates, take it to the course.

High launch

At impact Justin’s driver is rising at 4.8º, compared with a Tour average of 1.3º down. It helps him launch the ball at 14.2º (average 10.9º) – ideal for distance.

Recreate this by playing the ball under your left shoulder, and feeling you are swinging the club on an upslope. This keeps your spine tilted slightly away from the target and promotes an upward angle of attack.

Related: Most Forgiving Drivers 2020

Justin Thomas

Quantum leap

This picture shows how golfers have learned to use the ground to boost distance.

Justin Thomas shifts pressure onto his left foot early in the downswing, before raising his pelvis once his hands are about waist high. It’s similar to the move you’d make when jumping as high as you can, using your legs and core.

It allows the Justin to extend powerfully through impact.

Book a session at the Ian Clark Golf Academy at www.ianclarkgolf.co.uk