Swing Sequence: Gary Woodland
Hot tips for driving the ball miles (commission-free)
June 26, 2014
If you want to know how to pick up some easy yards off the tee, you're catching me at the right time in my career. It has been more than two years since I ruptured a cyst in my left wrist. It's fine now. I've also tweaked my swing just enough that I feel like I can hit the ball as hard as ever without swinging as fast as I used to. I'm straighter off the tee, too. For most of the year I've been in the top 10 on the PGA Tour in total driving—a stat that looks at distance and accuracy.So what's the secret? For starters, I'm more relaxed when I swing, especially in the right side of my body. This lets me really get behind the ball and build speed into impact, like you see here. Do that, and you'll smash it. For more tips on hitting it longer, read on.
GET EXTRA WIDE TO GIVE IT A RIDE
Widen your stance so you can swing without losing your balance. Your feet should be outside your shoulders. I'd suggest closing your stance by dropping your right foot away from the target line six inches. It'll help you turn back and set up a strong downswing.
DON'T RUSH OFF THE BALL
My coach, Butch Harmon, says you can't hit the ball hard from the start. Let the energy build. It's like a pitcher's windup. Be as deliberate with your backswing as you can. Once you start down, then you can go hard.
USE YOUR RIGHT FOOT AS A SPRINGBOARD
To blister the ball, you've got to get your weight to your front side at the very start of the downswing. I turn my right foot inward at address, so I can push off of it when I start down. That keeps me from hanging back.
TURN YOUR CHEST WITH THE STRIKE
Boxers don't throw punches with their arms only. The torso moves with the punch to put more mass behind the hit. Same thing with your drives: Don't stop turning your chest until it's pointing well left of the target.
TAKE TEMPO SERIOUSLY
This might sound weird coming from a guy who carries it 290, but trying to swing harder won't help you. Go at a pace that allows you to complete the swing effortlessly and hold your finish in balance.