By the time I bumped into Stephan Jaeger in the middle of last season, he had jumped from outside 180th in Strokes Gained/Driving to inside the top 50 in the matter of months. He would end the season inside the top 40, with ambitions for more:

“Before I was always trying to keep my card,” he said. “Now, I want to get to the point where I can be a top-30 player out here.”

So far this season, he’s inside the top 30 in Strokes Gained/Driving, and a newly minted PGA Tour winner with a ticket to Augusta. So, safe to say, he’s on the right track.

Jaeger’s rise has been fuelled by an increase in driving distance. Admitting he was “pretty much the worst driver on tour”, Jaeger hired fitness coach Mike Carroll and began forcing himself to swing harder. It boosted his swing speed and, interestingly, also his accuracy. He wasn’t just swinging faster; he was swinging better.

Final 10 balls, swing as hard as you can

The next time I bumped into Jaeger, he was on the range at the FedEx Cup St Jude Classic, swinging as hard as he could with a driver on the range before his practice round.

Turns out, that’s become part of his pre-round warm-up routine: before every round, Jaeger will reserve a handful of balls – about 10 of them – and hit them as hard as he can before wrapping up his range session, and heading to the course.

Hitting 10 ‘Jaegerbombs’ in the final moments before you go play is a routine you can adopt, too. And there are some good reasons why you should consider it.

1. It gets you fully warm and loose

Swinging hard gets your heard racing; your blood pumping. If it’s your goal to warm-up, then exerting yourself will literally help warm you up.

2. It establishes your speed ceiling for the day

Going all-out with a few drives before your round is a kind of “speed priming”. It’s part of the popular Stack System training program, and it’s a process that helps you find both the top speed you’re working with that day, and what your comfortable cruising speed is.

Photo: Raj Mehta

Speed Priming can be used before a competitive round to potentiate your neuromuscular system. It both maximises your speed potential for that day and allows you to attain your preferred on course speed with less perceived effort.

3. It stops you getting lazy and complacent

Often, the worst technical flaws in golfers’ swings arise from laziness. They’re not engaging their muscles, so bad habits sneak in. It’s why Jaeger said his swing actually started improving the harder he started to swing:

“It definitely helped my swing in a sense to where I’m in a way better position at the top,” he says. “My misses used to be foul balls. Now they’re in the rough.”

4. It gets rid of nervous energy

It’s easy to get nervous before a round. Taking a few lashes expels lots of that nervous energy in the final moments. There’s value in that, especially when you consider that there’s evidence one of the biggest ways first-tee jitters reveals itself with shortened, more cautious backswings.

5. It gets you out of golf swing mode

The driving range is a place where golfers can lose themselves in technical thoughts, and stress over their golf swings. ‘Swinging for the fences’ gives you a feeling of freedom you can take to the course. You can’t think about anything technical when all you’re trying to do is swing hard.

“I feel a John Daly backswing, and let it go,” he says.