We Asked the Tour Pros
How they hit it so far and how you can, too
January 07, 2010
What do you do differently when you need a big drive?BUBBA WATSON
To give it a little extra, I turn my front foot out, toward the target. That helps me get through the ball faster. I have to watch that my body and hands don't fall behind, but it definitely adds speed. When I'm playing with my buddies at home and they see that toe go out, they know I'm going at it.
I try to get my body more relaxed. I want to be comfortable and very loose, not only at address but everywhere. I think about my breathing, because it keeps me loose. The more relaxed you are, the more speed you get.
I widen my stance a little and make sure my grip pressure isn't too tight. As long as I keep the tension out, I can swing it through fast without feeling like I'm over-hitting it. I once got a tip from Mason Rudolph, who played the tour in the '60s and '70s: Swing easy and learn to live with the extra distance.
It's basically the same swing for me. I might tee the ball up a little higher, and try to make a bigger shoulder turn on the backswing. A bigger turn is the main thing for hitting it farther. Then I just try to put a little more oomph into it.
What should amateurs do to hit it longer off the tee?SEAN O'HAIR
When most golfers try to hit it harder, they tense up their hands and arms and try to kill the ball. You have to take your time, especially on the backswing. It's a coiling action. Go nice and slow for the first two or three feet, get a good coil, then you can rip it.
Average golfers stop all their motion, all their momentum, at the ball. They hit and bounce back on their back foot. Everything should be going forward on the downswing. Keep turning through the shot, and finish with everything on your front side. If you do that, you won't lose your speed.
Hit 3-wood off the tee. The 3-wood is smaller, but players usually hit it better, which means more distance. Plus, a lot of amateurs don't have enough spin on the ball to get the driver to carry, so they'll actually hit their 3-wood longer. Get a driver that fits you, and work up to it.
You've got to learn to hit it from the ground up, letting your lower body control the downswing. Amateurs tend to cast the club down with the upper body. The legs and hips have to be active to hit it far. Look at a guy like J.B. Holmes: His lower body is super fast.