Setting aside Dustin Johnson's natural athletic ability for a moment, we went to his trainer, Joey Diovisalvi, and asked if there's anything DJ does in the gym that could help the average golfer hit it farther. Diovisalvi, known to most in the golf world as "Coach Joey D," said there is one area of the swing where amateurs could easily improve with a simple exercise.
"Learn this move and I promise you'll hit it farther," Diovisalvi says.
The move will help improve the transition from backswing to downswing. For most golfers, this split-second change of direction becomes a power leak. The activation and sequencing of muscles is poor, so they can't create and store enough energy to smash the ball the way Dustin Johnson does. He currently leads the PGA Tour with an average driving distance over 313 yards. You're not going to hit it 313 yards, in all likelihood, but if you can improve your transition, you can pick up a noticeable amount of distance, Diovisalvi says.
"The big problem is that a lot of golfers don't know what the transition should feel like in terms of muscle function," Diovisalvi adds.
Diovisalvi is talking about neuromuscular patterning—getting your brain to send signals to the correct muscles in the correct sequence. The goal is to first load the muscles on the right side of the body (for right-handers) during the backswing, which creates then stores a lot of power. Then you should activate muscles on the left side of the the body during the downswing—from the ground up. The order of muscle contractions during that shift is as important as activating the muscles themselves. So to help train for a better transition, Diovisalvi has created a compound exercise that will get you to move like DJ at the top of the swing, which in turn will put you in position to give the golf ball a good smack. Click on the video below to see the exercise.