Rahm reveals club foot behind short, 'efficient' swing

Sandwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


US Open champion Jon Rahm revealed on Tuesday how being born with a club foot led to his distinctive short backswing.

Rahm is the favourite to win the 149th Open Championship at Royal St George's this week after ending his wait to win a major last month.

The world number two revealed he had "physical limitations" when quizzed on his swing and went on to explain the complications he experienced as a child.

"I was born with a club foot on my right leg," said the Spaniard. "My foot was 90 degrees turned inside and basically upside down.

"So when I was born, they basically relocated, 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.

"So I have very limited ankle mobility in my right leg. It's a centimetre and a half shorter, as well. So 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.

"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 it might create more speed, but I have no stability. My ankle just can't take it."

The British Open returns after a two-year hiatus after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of last year's tournament.

Fans will also be back with up to 32,000 in attendance with restrictions at major sporting events being eased across England.

However, players will still be subject to strict guidelines which prohibit them going to bars, restaurants and supermarkets during tournament week.

They also have to stay in either approved hotels or private accommodation, which can be shared with up to four members of their team, but not other players.

"I'm very excited," added Rahm "We've missed it.

"I did not expect this tournament to be the first one we're going to have full crowds, just because of the lockdown and limitations and all.

"It's always a week I really cherish, I really enjoy. This was my first links golf experience, so it's a little bit of nostalgia in there, too, so I'm excited about it."