Zach Johnson recently claimed his second major, the Claret Jug and the title “Champion golfer of the year” with an impressive playoff victory over Louis Oosthuizen and Mark Leishman this week at the British Open. However Zach’s swing would generally be one of the lesser talked about movements in golf despite its consistency and accuracy. Zach has worked with his coach Mike Bender over the last number of years and could definitely be described as one of the most efficient players on tour.
Zack definitely has some nuances and unusual quirks to his set up. The first thing you will notice is that Zach sets up with the ball lined up significantly off the toe of the club. This is partially due to his impact position which we will talk about later. The second thing to look at is his often spoke about grip. You will notice he grips the club in a particularly strong position. Most people would associate this with a leftward miss but one thing that Zach constantly works on is matching his release up to this grip and other positions up with how he releases the golf club.
As Zach takes the golf club away from the ball you will notice the club face is in a slightly shut position due to his exceptionally strong grip. One other thing you will notice with Zach is he has very little lateral movement on both the backswing and follow through. If you keep an eye on his head and his hips they stay perfectly in line with each other on the backswing in particular.
When Zach began working with his coach Mike Bender, Zach would have had a particularly upright back swing. You will often hear Mike mention this as the biggest change they made to Johnson’s swing. You will see now that Zach has a more rounded and quite a flat backswing with the club. As you will see the club points just inside the golf ball indicating it is nicely on plane.