Okay, so how about 2015?
1. “First of all, watch his left knee,” Chamblee says. “It will not kick out early.” Rather than bending out over the end of his toes, Spieth’s knee remains more over his laces. This, Chamblee says, gives him more trunk balance.
2. “Now watch then he gets up to the top,” Chamblee says. “Watch where the club goes. You see that. See who it first moves down the club, moves out towards the ball and the shaft lays down? See how the shaft lays down behind it? See that?”
Here’s Chamblee’s argument, boiled down as best I can: In 2015, Spieth’s body positions led to better balance and allowed him to lay the shaft in a better position. He never should have changed. It’s a point Chamblee has been making for at least a year when he pointed to Spieth’s inconsistent ballstriking on Twitter (Side note: Another thing that’s changed? Spieth has lost his “trigger,” both in his swing and in his putter, as Luke Kerr-Dineen outlined here.)
Chamblee implied to Golfweek that either Spieth or McCormick decided to chase distance, which he deemed a foolish pursuit. “You are already doing from 175 what guys hope to do when they get to 150,” Chamblee said. “You have negated the distance disadvantage that you’re at.”
Not so much in 2020, where the ball-striking stats are ugly. 227th in driving accuracy. 221st in greens in regulation. 195th in strokes gained off the tee. 198th in strokes gained approaching the green. Wind back the clock to 2015 and Spieth was 15th off the tee and 11th approaching the green — and those weren’t even his best categories. Plus, he led in a few important ones: scoring average, FedEx Cup points, money earned, world rank. Good categories to lead in.
Enter Chamblee’s critique in Golfweek.
“There’s consequences to these movements,” he said. “You cannot change the engine pattern. [The video from 2015] is how Jordan plays his best golf. Why would his teacher tell him to change that? Why? He’s either being told to do that or whoever’s watching him doesn’t see that he’s doing that. That would take two seconds to fix. Two seconds. But he’s clearly been told that or somebody’s watching him who is not aware.
“Jordan Spieth should be a better player than he was in 2015 by experience alone. What did he need to do to that golf swing in 2015? He almost won every major he played in. So this necessity to always be changing is just, every game is in a constant state of repair or attack of ideas.
“He didn’t need to change anything. All he needed to do was go to the range and work on shots. Did he have every shot in the bag? I doubt it.”
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