Kevin Stadler used a stellar drive and approach on the final hole to two-putt his way to his first PGA Tour victory Sunday in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, thanks in part to an errant drive and approach on the 72nd hole by Bubba Watson.
Players who are considered “long-ball hitters” have always done well at TPC Scottsdale and Stadler is no exception, as he averaged more than 300 yards off the tee.
The grip-it-and-rip-it mentality that the course provides opens the door for the longest hitters on Tour to have a field day in the dry desert conditions.
One thing all great long hitters have in common is excessive clubhead speed.
Here are a few keys that you can follow to try and elevate your clubhead speed and increase your distance:
• Understand the importance of kinematic sequence. I know that sounds technical, but if you’ve ever tried to throw an object as far as you can, you’ve likely used kinematic sequence. It's simply the order in which your body moves. For a golf swing to reach maximum clubhead speed, your downswing should begin with the lower body, then upper body, and finally the club. This creates a whip-like effect in the clubhead, which will increase your clubhead speed.
• Wrist hinge. I’ve seen too many players on the lesson tee worry about how or if their wrists are hinging. The truth is the weight of the club will do the heavy lifting/hinging for you. In other words, allow your wrists to hinge on the backswing, and think nothing of them on the downswing. The torque you’re creating by moving your body in the correct sequence (see above) will translate to the wrists as long as they are passive and somewhat tension free.
• Many golfers who try to swing faster actually make the clubhead swing slower. Consider purchasing a basic (inexpensive) swing speed radar machine that simply measures your clubhead speed. Another great form of feedback is the sound the club makes through impact. The louder the whoosh, the more clubhead speed you can create.
For more tips from Golf Channel to help you create power in your swing, click here.