BOMB YOUR DRIVER
The swing keys that make me pound-for-pound the world’s biggest hitter will help you rip it, too.
When I was younger, I was very small and couldn’t hit the ball very far o the tee, so I had to swing as hard as I possibly could to get it out there. I’m not much bigger now and so, within reason, the same is true today. I have to go at it in order to keep up with likes of DJ and Rory. However, fast and wild is no good to anybody, so my driver swing is based on hitting good positions. If I hit them, I can swing as hard as I want and know it’s going straight and long. Let me show you the swing keys that are important to me. I’m sure, they’ll help you, too.
Think basics, basics, basics
I’m constantly double-checking that my lines are good with my hips, legs, feet and shoulders. I also keep a close eye on my ball position, which has a tendency to creep back. I like it right in line with my left heel. Think legs flexed, weight distributed equally on the middle of both feet, as opposed to on your toes or heels, and arms extended naturally.
Shaft bisects my right elbow
My first swing checkpoint is at hip height when the club is parallel to the ground (see sequence below). I like to have the clubhead and my hands aligned squarely to my toe line. Once the club starts to move upwards, you’ll see the shaft bisects my right elbow. If I hit this position, I know my swing plane is where I want it.
High hands create leverage and power
I don’t obsess over the top-of-thebackswing. If I’ve hit my first two checkpoints, all I’m thinking about is creating a nice, wide arc and staying balanced. My left arm is a little steeper than you’ll see with some other players. I like this because it gives me the room to create speed.
Maintain the hands/club relationship
On the way down, I check the same things. Where is the clubhead in relation to my hands If I’m hitting a cut, it will be a little outside coming into the ball. If I’m hitting a draw it will be slightly inside. For a straight shot, it’ll be right on it. Use a mirror or video to check your positions.
Fire your right side through the ball
My dad, who is a PGA professional, has never really talked to me about using the ground to swing and create power, even though you hear it a lot these days. If you want to create swing speed, you’ve got to fire your hips at the start of the downswing and really extend your right arm and shoulder through the ball.
I keep my arms a good bit extended away from my body. I don’t want to feel I’m reaching for the ball but if my arms are too close to my body I’m dead.
Maintaining the relationship between my hands and the clubhead is the foundation upon which my swing is built.
Other than paying close attention to the basics, my key swing thought is to make a wide arc and stay balanced all the way to the top.
It’s easy to get the clubhead out of position starting down. I work a lot on ensuring the club doesn’t drop too far inside or move outside my hands here.
Safe in the knowledge that your basics are good and your swing is on plane, you can go after it as hard and as fast as you like through impact.