LPGA pro Jennifer Johnson back with “Swish”

Posted: May 25, 2015 12:12 am

Tour pro Jennifer Johnson is from San Diego, but she has a long relationship with Lebanon Country Club. Yes, that’s Lebanon, Pa.

On her web site, Johnson lists the club, and Seltzer’s Lebanon bologna, among her “partners.”

The relationship began with her work with Mike Swisher, now the club’s professional emeritus and golf coach at Lebanon Valley College. Swisher began working with Johnson when she was 14.

As an amateur, she won the American Junior Golf Association Tournament of Champions, finished second in the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the NCAA championships, during her one year at Arizona State.

She turned pro in 2011 and has won a tournament and over $1 million. But this year has been a struggle: 10 events, best finish a tie for 30th.

Johnson has worked with other swing coaches and drifted away from Swisher, and Johnson’s father called Swisher before last week’s Kingsmill Invitational and asked him if he’d come to Virginia and take a look at Johnson’s mechanics.

“I was going to go anyway,” Swisher said Sunday. When he got there, he could see immediately that, “her swing didn’t look like her swing.”

The stats back that up. Johnson at her best is a ball-striker, a fairways-and-greens player. She currently ranks 76th on tour in driving accuracy and an unbelievable 110th in greens in regulation.

“I just tried to simplify,” Swisher said. “She was way off plane, and I changed her takeaway a little to get her on plane from the start. She’s a very happy camper right now.”

Johnson shot 69 Sunday at Williamsburg. She played Lancaster Country Club Saturday, made five birdies and, according to Swisher, would have shot 2-3 under par. Sunday at Lebanon C.C., Swisher said she would have been 5-6 under.

This week, Johnson will play the ShopRite in New Jersey, where she shot 63 and nearly won in 2013.

At least for now, teacher and pupil are together again.

“Swish,” said he’ll be in New Jersey, and “will definitely be there for the U.S. Open.”