Sometimes I analyze a swing for the first time and am fascinated by things I didn’t expect to see. That is the case with JB Holmes, who does a bunch of cool stuff in his swing that allows him to be one of the game’s longest hitters even with what appears to be a less than full swing. It doesn’t hurt that Holmes is super strong, but it is his extreme sidearm throwing technique that really allows him to turn on the power without a whole lot of obvious ground compression / lowering. Holmes adds wrist cock to relatively un-cocked top of the swing position, bringing his hands well out over the ball and driving his right elbow immediately in front of his chest. He just keeps driving his arms in front with the help of his pivot clearing like crazy, and the amount of forward lean he achieves is monumental and helps make sense of the extreme bend in the left ankle through impact. His strike reminds me of Charley Hoffman and his sustain past impact is one of the best on Tour. He adjusts his set up and backswing to right load much more with the driver, which enables him to hit up on the ball while still driving his hands a fair amount forward.
Another cool thing about Holmes is his setup routine. I go over this in detail and use what he does on the range and on the course as my next Tip of the Week, which highlights the fact that it is a very good idea to practice on the range with the same routing as you use on the course, at least from the point that you step into the shot. When you watch Holmes approach the ball and pull the trigger, then compare what he does with Hedeki Matsuyama (who is incredibly deliberate from start to finish), you couldn’t find two more different approaches to getting ready and hitting a shot. It once again shows just how many ways there are to approach the game and be good at it.