Learn how to hit long drives like World No.1 Dustin Johnson
We asked the World No.1 and 2016 US Open champion to divulge the secrets behind his powerful drives, and he not only gave us insights in to his game but provided some great advice for amateurs everywhere....
Where does your power come from?
Power is a product of leverage, speed, strength, good mechanics and of course, properly fitted equipment. Being tall, I have a naturally big arc. However, I always focus on maintaining the width of my swing to maximise my power. Finally, you have to hit the ball solidly. No matter how much speed you generate, you will lose both power and accuracy on mishits.
Do you ever change your set-up/ball position/ tee height to hit specific tee shots?
I swill sometimes tee it up a little higher downwind and vice versa. However, amateurs have to be very careful about teeing it up low when going against the wind, as they will often subconsciously make a 'steeper' swing, which creates more spin and an ever higher ball flight.
Do you do anything different if you MUST hit the fairway?
Not too much, other than making sure I make a nice, controlled, balanced swing. I do, however, sometimes tee the ball down just a bit.
How many drives do you hit on the range before a round?
Fewer than you would think, I probably only hit five to eight drives before going to the first tee.
What's more important on tour today - distance or accuracy?
Both! However, it seems the modern game is placing more emphasis on distance than on accuracy.
How important is the right ball?
The right ball is very important. A ball with too much or too little spin can dramatically influence both distance and accuracy, especially at the professional level.
What are your driving swing keys?
Perosnally, I always focus on maintaing my posture/spine angle, which requires that I retain the flex in my right knee on the backswing. If my right knee stiffens, I lose my spine angle and my path changes, resulting in a loss of power and errant tee shots. I also focus on making a long, slow takeaway and swining in balance.
Are Tour players hitting it further every year?
It certainly seems that way. the younger players are bigger, stronger, more focused on their fitness, which is a good thing.
How can club golfers hit it further?
Quite honestly, most golfers should place more emphasis on striking the ball solidly. Power begins with solid contact. Beyond solid contact and good mechanics, most golfers would benefit from becoming more felxible, especially as they age.
What are your top three driving tips for amateurs?
1. Focus on making solid contact, rather than just trying to hit it "hard".
2. Swing within yourself and maintain good posture and balance throughout the swing.
3. Invest in getting professionally fit with a driver for maximum results. It's one of the best investments a golfer can make.