Dustin Johnson drives it out of the park at The Deutsche Bank Trophy 2011. The back fence is 325 yards and his ball is flying it! – Something even Tiger Woods would struggle to do. Dustin’s club head speed has averaged 121 mph this year ranking him in 4th position on the U.S PGA Tour.
How does he do it?
His speed like many long hitters on the PGA tour comes from an ability to make a big shoulder in the back swing while restricting the rotation of his hips. His first move in the transition from backswing to downswing is to drive his hips towards the target while rotating them to the left. While doing this Dustin retains a large proportion of his shoulder turn which sets-up a good down swing plane and creates a huge amount of torque between his hips and shoulders. This spring like effect catapults his torso, arms and then clubhead into the back of the ball with huge speed. Dustin is also 6ft 4 and weighs 190lbs, his long leavers and powerful, flexible physique help to maximise the result of what is a hugely efficient and well sequenced golf swing.
How can we learn from Dustin’s swing?
Well, a good starting point is to try and work on sequencing the start of your downswing correctly. Try retaining your shoulder turn while driving your hips towards the target (not towards the ball) and rotating them to the left (for a right handed player). If you do it correctly you should start getting a sense of your body recoiling through the ball without much physical effort. Some players find that the thought of pushing off the instep of their right foot can help to achieve this hip drive while others prefer to feel it as purely the left hip ‘bumping’ to the left. For those of you that want to take this to the next level, try working on your golf specific strength and flexibility. A great resource for this is www.mytpi.com
Ever wondered why the Pro’s make hitting the ball a long way look so easy. Wonder no more!