Andrew “Beef” Johnston ….. keys to a more “athletic” golf swing?

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ENGLAND’S Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston has had a meteoric popularity impact on the world golfing scene and that will only increase now he has a brand new US PGA TOUR card.

Golf fans have taken an instant like to the 27 year old, a big guy with a big, bushy beard and an infectious smile.

Johnston won admirers around the world in July at the British Open when he enthusiastically interacted with galleries while finishing eighth at Royal Troon.

The love affair – and the crowd chants of “Beef” – have continued and have now crossed the Atlantic with Johnson shooting a final-round three-under-par 68 at the Web.com Tour Boise Open on Sunday to finish in fourth place and earn an instant TOUR card for the upcoming season.

“Very happy to come over and get what I was trying to do,” said Johnston. “It’s big. I tried my best and that’s what I did.”

While chanting “Beef” and applauding his antics golf fans should also note some other characteristics of Johnston’s play.

We reckon smiling and having fun is a good start to winning at golf but there is more.

Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Shaun Webb says it should come as no surprise that “Beef” Johnston isn’t concerned with “perfect” golf swing positions.

What he does do, says Webb, is make a full swing and not just a collection of swing parts.

“You can’t forget about the fact that a swing is an athletic motion,” says Webb, who is based at the David Toms 265 Academy in Shreveport, La. “That’s what makes Beef so good to watch. He’s not trying to hit perfect positions–but he is trying to stay athletic and make a powerful weight shift.”

Just about everybody who has played golf has heard about “weight shift”, says Webb, but even players who understand how to shift often do it at the wrong time.

“By the time Beef is halfway into his backswing, he’s already shifting his weight back to his lead side,” Webb says. “This natural motion lets him generate maximum clubhead speed, and helps him with the timing of his release. Most players wait way too long to make that shift toward the target, which gets the chain reaction of the swing all out of sync. It leads to pulls and slices, and even if you hit it square you aren’t producing much speed because you broke that speed chain.”

Webb’s comments appeared in this Golf Digest article, along with the suggested weight shift drill video below.

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Brian is a former Sydney journalist who didn’t have a skerrick of interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded Australian Senior Golfer in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association.

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