How He Hit ThatMay 4, 2015

How He Hit That: Ian Woosnam's little-man power

Not only is Ian Woosnam 5-foot-4 (as he's certainly tired of hearing by now), he's also 57 years old. But even with his relative smallness and oldness, Woosnam averaged 275 yards off the tee last week at the Insperity Invitational -- and more importantly, shot weekend rounds of 66-68 to win his first senior title.

It'd be nice to be 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds with 125 miles of clubhead speed, but the way Woosnam produces his power and accuracy is directly relatable to the average amateur player. Anybody can use some of his technique to get both longer and more accurate, says top New York teacher Mike Jacobs.

"He can still hit the ball a long way consistently because he maximizes the energy he puts into the club," says Jacobs, who runs the X Golf School in Manorville, on Long Island. "His 'virtual spine,' an imaginary line through the center of his body that comes out through the tag on his shirt, is at 90 degrees when his hands get to about waist height in the downswing. He's in a position where his left shoulder can absorb a push from his feet off the ground down through the ball, which creates a tremendous amount of speed."

Here's how you copy this move for yourself. "A great checkpoint to keep in mind is that when your hands get to that point in the downswing--waist high--you want the point of your left shoulder to be centered over your left thigh," says Jacobs. "If you tend to come over the top, your shoulder will probably be forward of your thigh at that point. If you tend to come from underneath and hook it, your shoulder will be behind the thigh. When these pieces get out of alignment, you create a hodgepodge of sequencing and turning problems in the downswing."

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