The influence of Spain on the game started with five-time major winner Seve Ballesteros. It then flowed through two-time Masters champ José María Olazábal, then Sergio García, with the baton currently in the strong hands of Jon Rahm, just 25, but with three PGA Tour wins and a Ryder Cup victory under his belt.

Rahm played collegiately at Arizona State, so his game is more Americanized than his Spanish predecessors. He drives it long and straight with a little bullet fade. A lot has been said about Rahm’s compact backswing (especially for a player who stands six-two) and bowed left wrist at the top.

It works for him.

In the past, several coaches have tried to change his swing, with disastrous results. The problem was that there was no thorough investigation of his body limitations and strengths. Thankfully his current coach, Dave Phillips at the Titleist Performance Institute, figured out through TPI’s intense screening process that Rahm can rotate his spine only so much—he can’t coil like most Tour players. It’s a critical lesson for players at all levels: Build a swing that suits what you can do. Compact or not, Rahm’s swing is dripping with moves that can help send drives farther down the fairway.

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