Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)


Steal My Feel

February 21, 2013

LET SPEED BUILD: To bomb it off the tee, focus on keeping a smooth rhythm, especially in your takeaway.

Last year I led the tour in driving distance, so I'm always getting asked for tips on how to hit the ball farther. My stock answer is to get custom-fit for better equipment. But if you're looking for a simple swing key to pick up another 10 or 20 yards, here's my advice: Don't swing as hard.

That might sound like the opposite of what you should do, but I've found that 90-percent effort yields 110-percent distance. On the flip side, 110-percent effort usually yields less distance than you normally get. How can that be? Swinging harder really messes with your rhythm and timing--and saps your power.

The first few feet of your backswing should set the tone. I tell my caddie to remind me: "slow and low." That's a good thought, but the feel for me is that I'm taking my time getting the club to the top. If you keep your backswing smooth, you'll make a better transition into the downswing. You won't be swinging out of control. As a result, you'll be more likely to make solid contact and take full advantage of the speed you are producing.

ROBERT GARRIGUS averaged 315.5 yards per drive on tour in 2010 and won the Children's Miracle Network Classic.