Approach Shots

Don't Hit Your Next Shot. Throw It.

August 31, 2016

You're probably focusing all of your attention on hitting the ball hard -- which means you aren't doing all you can to make the clubhead go fast. And speed is really what makes the ball go far.

PGA Tour player Kevin Streelman says the right sensation to feel in a swing is that of a slinging sidearm throw, not the smash of an axe going into a tree. He extrapolated that advice from Ben Hogan's timeless swing.

"Hogan frequently compared the golf swing to an athletic throwing motion," says Streelman. How do you do that? "With your arms in front of your chest on the downswing, you're in position to compress the ball while rotating out of the way. Most amateurs have too much space between the right elbow and right hip at this point, and that's a recipe for a chunked or thinned shot. I want my right elbow tucked in close."

The key? Getting the right elbow in the right position, and turning the upper body aggressively enough to get the speed benefit of the clubhead slinging out like a throw. Do it right and you'll produce distance and accuracy. Streelman is 25th on tour in greens hit this year, and has earned nearly $15 million in his career.