A good drive can be the start of a new low score on the golf course. Getting good yardage off the tee can help set you up for par or better.
But it isn’t easy to always get the distance you crave. Strong attention to your swing mechanics is essential to increase your yardage off the tee. Pro Tips spoke to professional golfer Rory McIlroy, who offered his advice on how to improve your drives.
SETTING UP YOUR DRIVE
To have a successful drive, the first step is to have a solid and stable base, according to McIlroy. If your feet are too wide, your rotation could be affected.
McIlroy suggests having your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. This can be especially helpful if you’re trying to put a lot of power behind your swing.
“The wider you stand, I feel, the more balance you’re going to have to stable your base and the more ability you’re going to have to transfer that speed from the club into the ball,” he says.
Before you move on to your swing, there are a few more things to focus on. PGA professional Jonas DeWitte spoke to Pro Tips on the importance of driver-ball position and tee height on drives.
THE DRIVER SWING
The way your body moves during your drive can also impact performance.
An essential part of a good drive, according to McIlroy, is getting width with your backswing. This can have an impact on the swing’s momentum. McIlroy says he focuses on stretching his left lat and extending his left arm to get the width he desires.
“I try to feel like everything goes away as one, especially this sort of left arm and club,” McIlroy says. “I feel like that’s sort of like a straight line, and I sort of try to get a lot of width in my backswing. So, that’s the one thing. I mean, obviously, it’s like a fulcrum and a pivot point. You know, the further away the end of [the club is] from the middle of your engine, the more momentum it’s going to have on the way down.”
Once you’ve gotten to the top of your backswing, McIlroy notes to turn into your backside. From here, he says the emphasis shifts to getting your weight from back to front as fast as possible. He compares this movement of pressure into the ground to a box jump or squat in how you transfer your force.
“So, for me, what I like to feel to get speed is once I get into that left side, I get [the] left knee out of the way as quickly as possible,” McIlroy says. “And that means that my hips turn quickly, my lower body turns quickly, and then my upper body just acts like a whip all the way through.”
Driving can have a major impact on how well you perform on the course. By getting a solid drive, you’ll be on your way to subtracting strokes from your scorecard on the way to the green.
Ready for more Pro Tips from the Tour professional? You know McIlroy from his play on the course. But learn more about him away from the links with these rapid-fire questions with Pro Tips.