Rain­ing Birdies

Mak­ing PARS and BIRDIES starts with a GREAT DRIVE

Golf Digest Middle East - - Contents - by jon rahm

Low scores start with max­ing out your drives. BY JON RAHM

There might be some par 4s where it makes sense to tee off with a 3-wood or an iron, but it’s rare to see me us­ing any­thing but driver. I’m more com­fort­able with it. When it comes to scor­ing, I’d rather hit it as far down the fairway as I can and have a wedge in my hands for the next shot—even from the rough— ver­sus a mid­dle iron from the fairway. My strat­egy seems to work. I’m sec­ond on the PGA Tour in birdie av­er­age (4.5 per round) and third in strokes gained/off the tee. My goal with the driver is pretty sim­ple. I want to load up in the back­swing and then use the ground in the down­swing to gen­er­ate as much power as pos­si­ble. It’s a short-and-fast swing, with my legs and torso do­ing most of the work, so there’s not a lot that can go wrong. If you’re like me and would rather hit driver ev­ery chance you get—I bet you do!—here are some tips to help sim­plify your swing and make it your most ef­fec­tive scor­ing club.

get your hands out of the swing

▶ This back­swing po­si­tion you see ( above) is a check­point for me. I want to make sure I haven’t whipped the club­head in­side the tar­get line with my hands. Tak­ing the club back like that is a real power-and-ac­cu­racy killer, and if I think about what my hands are do­ing, I as­sure you my driv­ing won’t be good. In­stead, I want my torso, arms and club mov­ing back to­gether. You’ll know you made a good back­swing if you feel it in your right hip. That’s the main thing for me. I want to load into that hip. If I don’t, it feels more like a stack-and-tilt swing where your weight stays on the left foot. You can’t hit it far from that po­si­tion. In­stead, I want to feel my weight on the in­side of my right foot and thigh. When it gets there, I’m ready to swing down.

push down and turn hard

▶ To start the down­swing, I want to push into the ground with my legs, which lets me turn hard and left with my hips and then the up­per body. When I do this, it feels like the club is just be­ing pulled into a great im­pact po­si­tion. Again, I’m not try­ing to hit the ball with my hands. One thing to re­mem­ber: You’ve got to keep turn­ing— even af­ter im­pact ( right). I feel like I’m pow­er­ing the club through the ball with my body ro­ta­tion. In other words, don’t stop un­til you can’t turn any­more. For me, this pro­duces a fade that feels re­ally solid com­ing off the club­face. I guess you could say I just think

aim left and swing hard left. Do that, and the ball gets out there a good way. Then just grab your wedge and go make birdie.

‘MY AD­VICE FOR AM­A­TEURS? PLAY THE BALL FAR­THER FOR­WARD AND TEE IT HIGHER. TAKE AD­VAN­TAGE OF THAT DRIVER.’

Pho­to­graphs by Gio­vanni Reda

novem­ber 2018 golfdi­gest. com

“if i think about what my hands are do­ing, i a ssure you my driv­ing won’t be good.”

Pho­to­graph by First Last­name novem­ber month 2018 golfdi­gest. com

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