How He Hit ThatMay 8, 2017

How to (carefully) crank it up like John Daly

You can swing bigger, but make sure to start the downswing correctly
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Darren CarrollTHE WOODLANDS, TX - MAY 07: John Daly of the United States plays his tee shot at the twelfth hole during the third round of the PGA TOUR Champions Insperity Invitational at The Woodlands Country Club on May 7, 2017 in The Woodlands, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

It was just like old times at the Insperity Invitational. John Daly won for the first time in 13 years, beating fellow oldsters Kenny Perry and Tommy Armour III by a shot to give middle-aged, out-of-shape golfers everywhere a ray of hope.

Despite his bulge, Daly still swings big, with a backswing that coils up and around his head. It's a big reason he's still able to bomb it off the tee -- and it's something you can copy, if you're careful.

"Daly creates massive power because he gets the club all the way back there, but starts his downswing by pulling the club up, toward the sky," says Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Michael Jacobs. "Most players who try to swing bigger get to the top and start to immediately pull the club down, toward the ball. That produces a big, uncoordinated mess."

As long and full as Daly's backswing is, he does it with a very stable lower body, says Jacobs, who runs the X Golf School at Rock Hill Country Club in Manorville, NY.

"He's not lurching back or making a sloppy turn," he says. "His legs are as stable as the foundation of a house. He keeps the structure of his knees intact, and is turning over that stable lower body base."


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