Some players rely on a single driver swing. Not me. I have two: the Bullet and the Bomb. Sometimes there’s a need to get everything you can out of a drive, or there’s no real risk in airing one out – obviously, that’s when I hit the Bomb. But more often, you’re standing on a tee that doesn’t fit your eye, or you’re in a situation where just getting it somewhere in the fairway is important – that’s when I go with the Bullet. I’ll show you the adjustments I make to hit these two shots, so you can expand your arsenal.
1. Pierce The Air
When I was 13, I watched tour pro Will MacKenzie hitting these incredibly low, little chip drivers. He showed me how he did it, and, over the years, I put a twist on it. The shot has become something I rely on under pressure, especially during wins at the FedEx St Jude Classic in 2016 and 2017, when I hit it every chance I could.
The Bullet gets its name because it’s a low, line drive. Mine fades a little, too, and carries about 260 yards before landing. Then it scoots another 40. You might not be able to hit it as far, but the point is to keep the ball down and get it running. To hit it: tee it low, play the ball slightly behind your left heel, and choke up on the grip two to three inches. All three of those adjustments keep the ball down. You also can see here that, at address, my left arm and the driver’s shaft are forming a straight line [above]. If the shaft were leaning back, it’s more likely I would hit the ball too high.
During the swing, I feel as if my chest is on top of the ball [above] – there’s not a big load up on the right side. Coming down, be careful not to get too steep. You should feel like you’re hitting a shot under a tree – except with a driver.
You’ll get the hang of it quicker if you start with slow swings. Gradually build speed until you’re getting the ball out there nearly as long as your normal drives.
2. Launch It High
Although I hit the Bullet 70 percent of the time, there are times when I need to rip into one. The Bomb is a high-arcing draw I use mostly on long par 5s.
For this shot, I need to get behind the ball – really load up on my right side [above]. It’s a full shoulder turn. This puts me in position for an inside-to-outside swing path, which helps draw it right to left. Just be careful you don’t take the club back too far inside the target line. Then you’ll have to re-route the club coming down, and you’ll likely slice it.
Unlike the Bullet, where I’m hitting down on the ball (usually 3 or 4 degrees), the Bomb requires me to hit up on the ball 2 to 3 degrees. You can help make sure that happens with the right setup. I position the ball off my left toe at address, drop my right shoulder lower than my left, and lean the shaft away from the ball [above]. I also tee it two to three inches high. You need a launch angle of 11 to 13 degrees to hit the Bomb, and it’s difficult to get that when the ball is teed only an inch above the ground.
It’s a simple adjustment that will allow you to hit the ball higher, with less spin, and increase your carry distance.
Now you’ve got the right weapons for all the par 4s and par 5s on your course.
– with Mike Johnson
Daniel Berger has two wins and four second-place finishes since joining the US PGA Tour in 2015.