Power Secrets from the PGA Tour


Featuring: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Adam Scott, Thomas Pieters, Tony Finau and Jon Rahm. 

These tips originally comes from our sister magazine, Golf World. To subscribe to their magazine, click here

#1: Dustin Johnson: Create A Wide Swing Arc To Generate Maximum Swing Speed

The key to hitting the ball further is generating as much clubhead speed as you can at impact and transferring as much of that energy as possible into the ball. I swing the club at 121mph and launch the ball at over 180mph. This shows how close I am to the optimum efficient (or smash factor), which is a ball speed of one-and-a-half times your clubhead speed.

Increasing your swing speed and smash factor is the Holy Grail for more distance. Every extra one mph you can add to your swing speed will give you an extra three yards of carry if you have a decent smash factor so adding just a little more speed and e ciency can make a massive difference to your driving distance.


Stay Relaxed And Connected
Gripping the club too tightly makes your muscles tense so hold the club loosely to stay relaxed and allow your muscles to create maximum power in the swing. Rock back and forth to get perfectly balanced and feel your connection with the ground.

Create a wide swing arc
Create wider your swing arc is, the further the clubhead will travel and the more clubhead speed you can generate into impact. Naturally stretch your hands away from your body in the backswing to create as much distance between them and the ball as possible at the top.

Flat Left Wrist
My left wrist is bowed, but you want the back of your left hand and wrist to be at. This makes it easier to square the face in the downswing if you're not as flexible and athletic as me.


#2: Adam Scott: Nail Your Grip, Posture And Alignment

Getting the basics right will help you hit the ball longer and straighter. Many bad shots stem from a poor grip, and a good grip is the basis of a neutral and repeatable swing. I like to see only two knuckles on the back of my left hand as I look down and the 'V' between the thumb and index finger on my right hand pointing to my right shoulder.

A good posture enables you to make an athletic and controlled movement. There are many variations when it comes to good posture, but I like to get my back fairly straight with my knees exed just enough to engage my quads and my butt sticking out comfortably. My arms hang naturally down to the grip, with the butt of the club about a hand's width from my thigh.

I always practise with an alignment stick along my toe-line to ensure my feet knees, hips, shoulders and eyes are parallel to the target line because it makes it so much easier to make a neutral swing with a square clubface.

#3 Tony Finau: Fire Your Right Shoulder Down Through The Ball 

Even if you're really good at putting and chipping, you're only going to create opportunities to score well from getting the ball in play and in the right part of the fairways. Everything starts from the tee. When I'm driving it well, I'm very confident in my scoring ability.

It seems like my putting stroke even comes around and I give myself a lot of good opportunities. Two things will help you hit the ball long and in play. Firstly, you absolutely have to swing in balance. The best players in the world who hit it far are swinging in balance and within themselves.

I'm not trying to hit it far but my distance is the result of staying balanced for that one moment at impact and creating a good result. Secondly, you have to be loaded at the top for you to make an aggressive move at the ball. A lot of guys talk about ' nishing your backswing'. I need to know I'm in a place where I can comfortably transition towards the ball by making sure I feel the club feels loaded. That's how I get the maximum distance, with control. 

Stay with the shot
You want your right shoulder to be low through impact but you can't get that if you hit early with the upper body at the start of the downswing, like many amateurs do.

A great way to sync your body up in the downswing and create a lot of consistency is to hit balls by starting from the top of your backswing. Don't take the club away from the ball, just swing from a static position at the top. You'll figure out exactly how your hips have to move and what you have to fire from there.

#4 Jason Day: Why You Should Increase Your Hip Speed Through Impact To Get You More Distance

If you look at a lot of the world's longest drivers these days, myself included, we all rotate our hips very fast in the downswing.

Some people are born with natural speed but you can always work to improve whatever you have. I've done a lot of work in the gym to make my legs stronger so I can rotate faster through the hitting zone while maintaining complete control and balance.

There's no point doing something fast if you can't control it. I want no sway or lateral movement outside of my knee line on the backswing. I make sure my left hip kind of bumps towards the target a little bit as I start down towards impact.

Then as my arms move past parallel I can rotate powerfully from there with my right foot, right knee and right hip all starting to push and transfer the energy into the ball. I like to feel very solid at impact.

My hips have almost fully cleared and my weight is into my front foot. My arms and club shaft should be in a straight line, which helps deliver more power and hit the ball higher.

jason day

#5 Rory McIlroy: Push Back With Left Shoulder To Start The Swing

Impact is the moment of truth but it's a product of what has gone before. One good move leads to another. I've found that keeping the clubface looking at the ball for a fraction of a second longer in the takeaway – with the 'magic triangle' of arms and chest moving neatly together – helps me get the club in the right slot at the top.

The left arm should be straight and the right arm soft as the you push back with the left shoulder and hand to keep the face looking at the ball rather than rotating open in this initial takeaway phase. Then you simply turn your shoulders to get the club consistently on plane at the top. From there, the downswing starts from the ground up and you can drop the club down and attack the ball from the inside

1: Make a compact backswing
Don't swing the shaft past parallel. A big shoulder turn and a shorter arm swing will enable you to generate power without sacri cing control and accuracy

2: Top Tip
This is the position you want to achieve before you release your wrist hinge to unleash the lag and really accelerate the clubhead into the ball.

#6 Justin Thomas: Anyone can go big with good fundamentals

Pound for pound, my swing is the most powerful on Tour. I'mnot one of the biggest guys but I am one of the longest hitters so it just goes to show that power isn't all about size. I love to really go at it with the driver through impact, but in all honesty it's the fundamentals that make me a big hitter. I focus on flexibility, width, rotation, balance and swing plane. Nail these driving basics and you can swing out of your spikes with full confidence.

1. Accurate aim
I constantly check my feet, hips and shoulders are parallel and aiming correctly so I can make a neutral swing. I like to feel like I'm standing tall to help me create width. A handy trick if you slice the ball is to drop your trail foot back about an inch in relation to your lead foot to encourage you to swing more from the inside.

2. Parallel shaft
My lower body moves very little in the takeaway but my hands are well away from my body as the shaft reaches parallel to the ground, which creates width. Pause here and check that your left arm is extended, the shaft is pointing parallel to your target line, your wrists feel at and you're relaxed and in no hurry.

3. Create torque
My goal in my backswing is to create maximum torque between my upper and lower body. My shoulders have turned more than 90° to the ball, while my hips haven't rotated nearly as much. This coiling of the upper body against the lower body creates resistance that can be turned into speed in the downswing.

4. Left hip up
The downswing is the easy part. Simply transfer the energy stored in your backswing to the ball by rapidly unwinding your lower body. My only thought is to pull my left hip up and behind me. This helps me fully rotate through the shot, while simultaneously pulling the left hip up creates greater dynamic loft at impact.

5. Centre strike
The extent to which my feet lift o the ground illustrates how much I'm pushing down into the ground to generate power. But power is useless without precision. Hitting the centre of the face is vital because for every quarter-inch away from the sweet spot you make contact, you lose 10mph of ball speed.

6. Balanced finish
I can only swing so aggressively because I'm able to stay balanced and maintain control of my clubead. The swing speed you create will be wasted if your swing path is poor or your face isn't close to square. Hold a balanced finish position until your ball lands on every drive and you'll become longer and straighter.

Justin Thomas Drill: This drill will help you if you're in a rut hitting slices or hooks. 

1. Tee a ball up and place two additional balls on either side. If you're slicing, the outside ball should be farther from the target than your tee ball, and the one on the inside should be closer to the target. This creates a gate for your club to swing on an in-to-out path in relation to the target line.

2. Hit your shot without touching the other balls. If you hit the outside ball, you're still swinging on a slicer's out-to-in path. For hooks, reverse the positions of the surrounding balls to promote a slightly out-to-in path.

3. Hit 15 to 20 balls with the gate in whatever con guration that helps you feel the sensation for the shot you're trying to hit. If you can reduce the curve to your shots, I guarantee you'll pick up some real distance.

#7 Jon Rahm: Tee it high and let it fly for more carry distance 

I don't have the fastest swing speed on Tour but I'm one of the longest hitters. One of the main reasons for that is my launch angle. I like to hit the driver slightly on the upswing. By that I mean the clubhead is moving up and away from the ground at the point of impact with the ball. That swing characteristic is shared by all of the biggest hitters. When you hit up on the ball, it launches higher with less spin.

That combination keeps the ball straighter in the ight and also maximises your carry yardage. And the good news is that it works even for average swing speeds. I see too many amateurs hit down through impact with the driver. That not only leads to a low trajectory, it also adds spin to the shot, which reduces distance and adds curvature. So tee it up a little higher and swing up more through impact to add yards to your drives.

My driver swing speed is about 117mph, which creates ball speed of 175mph. Ideally, I like to see my attack angle at +2 degrees. This creates a 13-degree launch angle with spin rates of around 2,200 rpm – perfect for me. 

#8 Thomas Pieters: Focus on smooth transition to deliver the power 

Handicap golfers often have the worst tempo with the driver because they're so desperate to swing the club hard and smash the ball a long way that they snatch at the changes of direction as they start the takeaway and in the transition into the downswing. This will rob you of speed and control, but a smooth tempo will help you build maximum speed and deliver it how you want to.

Move the clubhead away slowly and make a smooth move to the top. Once there, feel like you pause for a second before beginning your transition. You won't really stop but it will help you set the club properly before smoothly accelerating into impact.

Connected right elbow
Keeping your right elbow tucked in close to your side in your downswing prevents the club from coming 'over the top' and helps you attack the ball from the inside.