Power ToolsFebruary 11, 2016

Jessica Korda: Try My Distance Keys

Stretch your muscles–and your drives
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If you start talking swing positions to me, I'm probably going to zone out, because that's not how I play golf. I respect the technical approach to driving the ball a long way, but my swing is about flexibility and rhythm—and letting good things happen from there. This simpler mind-set is working for me. At my win in Malaysia last fall, I reached every par 5 in two (if you count landing in a few greenside bunkers as "reaching"), and I hit a ton of wedges into the par 4s. Over the weekend, I deliberately avoided getting mechanical, because I knew that would get me uptight and make my swing worse. I relied on a handful of non-technical swing keys. It's like placing a plane on auto-pilot: You still have to push a few buttons but then you can sit back and enjoy the flight. Even if you're a feel player, it pays to know how your swing works. That way you can bomb your driver knowing you're going to keep it in play. Here are a few tips. —With Guy Yocom


FEEL LIKE YOU'RE LOADING A SPRING
Don't make special allowances or tense up just because you're hitting driver. Your feet should be slightly more than shoulder-width apart, to maximize your range of motion and help you get through the ball more easily.

Swinging back, keep the weight on the balls of your feet at all times. Feel the stretching of your core muscles in your torso. I call it "the wind," which is like loading a giant spring as you go to the top (pictured). I make my backswing to a slow count of "1."

DRILL: LIGHT IS RIGHT
Stay loose by swinging back with three fingers of your right hand (below). The club should feel almost weightless at the top.

If it feels heavy, keep trying until you get the balance figured out.


LET THE CLUBHEAD PICK UP SPEED
Every move I make is designed to give me maximum clubhead speed just before and after impact. I start down to a slow count of "2," making sure I don't pounce too quickly. Keep your arms loose and envision hitting slightly up at impact, really turning on the speed. Don't just throw the clubhead at the ball.

Remember, a key part of the distance equation is making center–face contact. Stay in balance, and you'll nail it on the sweet spot—and feel it through your body.

DRILL: THE BIG SQUEEZE
To feel a good weight shift, place a ball against your rear instep and imagine squeezing the ball against the ground on the downswing (see below).


ARE YOU SMARTER THAN AN LPGA TOUR PRO?
Watch Jessica Korda take on Paula Creamer and Anna Nordqvist in Golf Digest's first episode of "Are You Smarter Than an LPGA Tour Pro?"