Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bubba Who: Bubba Watson What: 396-yard drive to the fairway that set up a birdie which put him in the playoff When: Final round of the Travelers Championship Where: 444-yard par 4 18th hole at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.Bubba Watson’s earth-shattering drive might have gotten an assist from the cart path (the ball flew 335 yards, landed on a cart path and carried another 61 yards), but keep in mind it was a path that crossed the fairway. Watson didn't hit a wild one onto a path in the rough or the trees. The architects who built TPC River Highlands put the path across the middle of the fairway because they never anticipated anyone would have chance of reaching it. And Bubba reached the path on the fly! How does Watson generate such massive swing speed and distance? The Tour’s longest driver (his average drive is 305.5 yards) has an extremely long swing that goes way past parallel. He also has a lot of wrist cock, a ton of shoulder turn and an incredible pair of hands which somehow square up the clubface at impact. The way Watson comes off balance after impact, you’d think he’d be more crooked, but he hits it fairly straight. That’s why he’s a freak show, like John Daly was in his prime. How to Maximize Your Distance: I have students cultivate a big, fast swing away from the course. Nobody hits it far without a lot of swing speed. At home, you should swing for a few minutes and make the fastest swings possible while maintaining most of your balance. Swinging as fast as possible without a ball will train your body to swing fast and hard with a ball. Ideally, make the practice swings with a weighted club or put something on the clubhead to make it a bit heavier.Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Mark Wood teaches at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Far Hills, N.J. (Photo by Sports Illustrated Photographer David Walberg)

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