BOMB YOUR DRIVER

The swing keys that make me pound-for-pound the world’s big­gest hit­ter will help you rip it, too.

Golf Australia - - GOLF IS GOOD -

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.

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