The driver is key to my game, and it revolves around rhythm, balance, solid contact and timing. I keep my swing simple, the whole thing done to a beat of “one-two”, the one swinging back and the two swinging through. Sometimes I listen to music before I play that puts the right rhythm in my head. When I need to be energised, I go with the Wu-Tang Clan. When I’m feeling jumpy and need to slow down, I’ll go with a little Action Bronson.
But it’s my mechanics that have made that big drive a keeper. To add 10 yards off the tee, I go with a hard draw. I widen my stance a few inches for stability and position my feet closed so my right foot is drawn away from the target line. I’m aligned to the right, but I make sure my clubface is aimed dead at the target. I position the ball one inch farther back in my stance, to help make contact while the club is travelling down from the inside.
With those pre-swing aspects in place, I load up and turn it loose. I make a big shoulder turn, my left shoulder going under my beard. I usually swing no more than 90 percent of capacity, but when I want to boom it out there, I swing at the ball as hard as I can.
Hitting it hard pays off on other shots, too. On pitches, I’ve learned a low-flying shot that grabs like crazy on the third bounce. I take my 58-degree wedge and open the face, which promotes a high shot. But I move the ball back in my stance, then hit down sharply on it, keeping my hands ahead through impact. This shot came in handy on the third hole at Troon at the Open Championship last year. The pin was back-right beyond a ledge. It asked for a high, soft shot, to be honest, but I screamed one of those low-flying grabbers back there that bounced once, skidded a little, then stopped near the hole. The fans went crazy. It actually looked harder than it was to produce. That’s the thing about beefing up your game – you all have it in you. Finding new shots isn’t just productive, it’s fun. – with Guy Yocom