Pro Tips Interview with Gary Woodland

The professional golfer breaks down how he maximizes distance and approaches tournament play.

Gary Woodland has become one of the premier golfers on Tour thanks to his long drives and solid approach to the game.

Pro Tips caught up with the professional golfer on the course. Woodland shared some advice on how to maximize distance. He also discussed his approach to tournament play.


The ability to hit the ball over long distances is something many golfers crave. Woodland says there are three keys to improving your long game.

The first is to hit the ball in the center of the clubface. Some golfers may think they just need to add more power to their swing. But by making solid contact with the sweet spot, you can help improve your chance of hitting long and accurate drives.

When he does want to add some extra power to his swing, Woodland makes sure to widen his stance. When your legs are too close together it creates a narrow base that can cause you to lose balance. However, by moving your feet a little farther apart, you can help stabilize your base for improved balance as well as widen your golf swing. Woodland says, “[it] gives [me] a little bit more energy trying to get into the golf ball.”

Finally, Woodland says his backswing is a bit slower when he is looking to cover a lot of ground. A slower backswing can help build up energy. Once he gets to the top of the backswing, he’ll transition to a quicker downswing.

“When I want all that energy into the golf ball, I don’t want to waste any of it going back,” Woodland explains. “I kind of wind up, going back a little bit slower until I get to the top. And then I fire as hard as I can and hit it a little bit farther.”

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Woodland’s game plan comes together in the weeks before an event. As he puts in work on the course through practice, he develops the approach he hopes will help him find success at the tournament.

“I work hard at home on the golf course so when I get out in tournaments (it’s) a lot easier for me,” Woodland says.

No matter what event Woodland is playing in, his goal is to remain focused on his game plan. He doesn’t worry about anything else until the completion of the front nine.

“And it’s really not until the back nine on Sunday that we start looking at the scoreboards to see if we need to adjust,” Woodland says.

Woodland’s adjustments include opening up communication with his caddy on ways to improve his game.

Building a routine can help boost your confidence on the golf course. That includes developing repetition in what you do before hitting the ball. Learn more about the importance of a pre-shot routine with these Pro Tips.

Looking for more advice from the pros? Check out golf tips from Rickie Fowler on how players can improve their ability to escape bunkers and pitching.