Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)


How to (carefully) crank it up like John Daly


Darren Carroll

It was just like old times at the Insperity Invitational. John Daly won for the first time in 13 years, beating fellow oldsters Kenny Perry and Tommy Armour III by a shot to give middle-aged, out-of-shape golfers everywhere a ray of hope.

Despite his bulge, Daly still swings big, with a backswing that coils up and around his head. It's a big reason he's still able to bomb it off the tee -- and it's something you can copy, if you're careful.

"Daly creates massive power because he gets the club all the way back there, but starts his downswing by pulling the club up, toward the sky," says Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Michael Jacobs. "Most players who try to swing bigger get to the top and start to immediately pull the club down, toward the ball. That produces a big, uncoordinated mess."

As long and full as Daly's backswing is, he does it with a very stable lower body, says Jacobs, who runs the X Golf School at Rock Hill Country Club in Manorville, NY.

"He's not lurching back or making a sloppy turn," he says. "His legs are as stable as the foundation of a house. He keeps the structure of his knees intact, and is turning over that stable lower body base."