I’ve talked a lot about accuracy here, and that’s the most important thing off the tee. But sometimes, you just want a bit more distance, too. This is really a par-5 move, but it can also be a useful strategy on a tricky dog-leg. It’s all about risk and reward and there are times when a gamble can pay off. I carry the ball 285 yards with the driver, so if there’s a bunker at 290 and cutting off a dog-leg means that I can go in with a wedge rather than a 7-iron then I might well take it on. Even if I end up in the rough, a wedge has a better chance of holding the green than a mid iron from further back.
The key with the foot stomp is how you get the left foot back down into the ground. I’ve found that this move gives me around 10 to 15 extra yards on a full shot which can come in very useful when you’re looking to bomb one long.
You simply allow your left heel to come up as you take the club back, which means that you are likely to swing the club slightly longer. As soon as you’ve completed the backswing, you need to stamp the heel back down to the floor as you pull down with the hands and arms.
By going down into the ground, all those forces then come back up and basically throw you into rotation. I can feel the extra speed in the swing and, according to the numbers, I go from 115mph in the normal swing to something like 120 (you can get three more yards for every extra mph).
Make a full shoulder turn and really feel like you are stretching your left arm to get it as far from your shoulders as you can. This just increases the arc. To turbo start the downswing you need to stamp your left heel back into the ground at the same time as your arms drop from the top of the backswing.
Find the right driver
TaylorMade’s new SLDR S driver could be in the bag quite soon. I like the look of it and that’s always a big factor. It has to look right visually. I know the technology is there and I tested it at Sawgrass. It feels like it comes off a little hotter and the noise is slightly different as well. I think the switch could be very easy. People think that a player tests a club for weeks, but I could switch after five hits. If the numbers are right on TrackMan and I hit five good shots with it then I’m happy to change. You learn more about a club once you’ve put it in play. I learn very little on the range, but in tournament conditions, you discover what your misses are and how it performs when it really matters.