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Jon Rahm spoke with the media ahead of The European Open and was asked about his uniquely short back swing. He shared that he developed that condensed stroke out of necessity as he was born with a “club foot” that limited his right ankle’s mobility.
This is the first we’ve heard of something like this, but it’s honestly pretty sweet how one of the most recognizable swings in golf came about.
“I have the swing I have, and I’ve gotten more mobile and stronger in some parts of my swing so that might slightly change it, but I have certain unique parts and certain unique, let’s say, physical limitations that let me swing the way I swing, and I don’t deviate from that,” Rahm said Tuesday morning.
“I was born with a club foot on my right leg, which means for anybody that’s sensitive about that, my right leg up to the ankle was straight, my foot was 90 degrees turned inside and basically upside down. So when I was born… they pretty much broke every bone in the ankle and I was casted within 20 minutes of being born from the knee down. I think every week I had to go back to the hospital to get recasted, so from knee down my leg didn’t grow at the same rate.”
Props to Jon Rahm for addressing this
It’s understandable why Rahm was a bit sensitive about the topic since he had to design a unique swing to accommodate his condition. He’s also likely aware that plenty of media members want to pin everything about his game on other physical features like his weight. Rahm plays at 220 pounds, which is about 40 pounds more than the average golfer, so it’s likely fans of golf thought his unique swing came from that.
Well now we know that the No. 2 player in the world is far more athletic than we give him credit for.
“What I mean by limitations is I didn’t take a full swing because my right ankle doesn’t have the mobility or stability to take it. So I learned at a very young age that I’m going to be more efficient at creating power and be consistent from a short swing. If I take a full to parallel, yeah, it might create more speed, but I have no stability.”
Maybe we all should try shorter backswings? I’m kidding — we all just suck at golf.