Ryan Fox: 'A stronger grip and downswing sequencing give me my distance'
I've always been long, even as a kid. I grew up playing a lot of cricket, rugby and tennis so it was always my mentality – I wanted to hit big shots in tennis, fours and sixes in cricket hit the golf ball hard and long.
I've been lucky that I've got some decent hand-eye coordination from my dad who was a rugby player for the All Blacks and my mum's dad played cricket for New Zealand. I don't get technical at all, to be honest. For me, it's function over form. If the body is working the right way, then the club is going to be generally in the right place. It doesn't need to be perfect.
#1: Stronger grip makes it easier to square face
I've got a little bit of a strong grip, but most of the longer guys tend to have a stronger grip. It lets me square the clubface up, so I don't have to flip it with my hands too much. It almost holds it off through impact and I feel a lot better through the ball doing that than wanting to chase it with the right hand. If I have a neutral grip, I feel like I have to work so hard to square the clubface up.
#2: Longer swing increases time for acceleration
My golf swing is long and I certainly go past parallel at the top. This enables me to generate more speed because the clubhead is moving further, but you need to be able to control it in the downswing. I've always had a really good sequence in the downswing. I can uncoil the hips quickly and then everything else kind of catches up. It's the same motion as throwing a ball.
#3: Clubface a little shut, keep the body turning
When the shaft is parallel to the ground in the downswing, I want the clubface to be slightly shut (matching the stronger grip) and on or a little outside the hands as you look down the line so it's tracking a little left. Brooks Koepka gets into this position really well. This enables you to have a really passive clubface through the impact zone, but your body has to keep turning to square it up.
#4: Clubhead tracks left of target for a little fade
If I've got the club in a decent place when it's parallel to the ground in the downswing then I'm generally pretty good at delivering it into impact from there. If it's not in a good place there then you're obviously fighting it into impact. The clubhead tracking slightly left at impact enables me to hit a little fade, which has made me a lot more consistent over the last couple of years.