Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club

Ball go Far

This teenager just set a new Drive, Chip and Putt record—4 things you can learn from her swing


Maddie Meyer

If you think the current generation of golfers is powerful, just wait until you see what's coming up next.

Ariel Collins provided a taste of it at the 2024 Drive, Chip and Putt National Final at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday. Competing in the Girls 14-15 age group, the Locust Grove, Ga., native smashed her first drive of the day 264.8 yards, re-setting the previous record of 251 yards from the first 10 years of the event and finishing first in that category. Collins' drive was so far that she would've finished inside the top five of the Boys 14-15 division.

And her swing is something to behold. Here's a video of her record-setting drive.

There's a lot here that amateur golf's shouldn't try to replicate, and probably couldn't even if we tried. Collins has the youthful flexibility and athleticism that left the majority of us as soon as we started spending most of our days behind a desk.

"Don't try this at home," wrote Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher Erika Larkin on Instagram.

But there are a few basics that golfers can learn, so let's break them down.


First, you'll notice that Collins has a very strong left-hand grip, with her left palm rotated so it's more on top of the grip. Many players would hit a hook with this grip, but because Collins has so much rotation, the two match-up.

It's an example of how everyone's best grip is unique to them, based on how their body moves. You can learn more about that here.



Collins' backswing may look shorter than you might expect from an outsized pound-for-pound driver, but notice how stretched her arms are here. It's a move that's growing in popularity on the PGA Tour, because many players feel the wider they stretch their arms on the backswing, the more it activates the muscles in their back, shoulders and arms, which sets up a powerful release into the ball later in the downswing.



Golf Digest No. 1-ranked coach Mark Blackburn talks here about the power that comes from pushing your body weight into your lead toes between your backswing-and-downswing, which you can see Collins display below. Pushing into your lead toes doesn't just help transfer your weight, it sets up what comes next.


Rotate and Rise

Notice Collins' lead leg straightening. That's the result of an initial hard push into her lead foot. That push sets up what Golf Digest Best in State teacher Joe Plecker calls a three-part sequence, which is present in any good downswing: shift, rotate, rise.