Mickey Wright said this timeless tip was the key to her effortless power

February 18, 2020
Mickey Wright at the top of her backswing.

The golf world lost a legend on Monday. Mickey Wright, the 13-time major champion and winner of 82 LPGA Tour events died in Florida on Monday at the the age of 85. The golf world mourned the loss on social media, with our own Michael Bamberger writing that she belongs on golf’s Mount Rushmore:

There was a two-year period when Mickey’s mother, a fetching, displaced Georgian, drove her daughter to the San Gabriel Country Club in Los Angeles for a half-hour lesson with a legendary teacher named Harry Pressler. Three hours and 125 miles each way. Mickey had gifts and Pressler knew what he was doing. Hogan once told Mickey’s friend Rhonda Glenn, “She had the finest swing I ever saw — man or woman.” It was a tall, lanky full, flowing swing, with great speed but not a hint of violence. It oozed art. She won 82 LPGA events, including, in one seven-year period, four U.S. Opens.

Indeed, it was her iconic golf swing that was the subject of so many tributes following her passing. It was a swing complete with poetry and power. It wouldn’t look out of place on a modern-day driving range; an aspirational move in any era.

It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to learn more about what Mickey Wright thought about her own move. Along the way, I came across a timeless piece of advice that she said was the key to generating power.

The advice is from 1964, when Wright was at the peak of her powers. Asked by host Gene Sarazen how to groove a more powerful golf swing, Wright shared one of her favorite drills.

It’s pretty simple: She places a tee about 12 inches behind her golf ball down the “intended line of flight,” or the target line.


Her goal is to simply make sure she knocks the tee away on her takeaway. In Mickey’s own words:

Knock the tee down; it will ensure I am keeping the clubhead long, low, and wide away from the ball. With this wide start, you’re automatically ensured you’ll make the biggest arc possible to the golf swing.

(YouTube)

By starting her backswing in this manner, Wright explains that she’s widening her swing arc (which prevents her from swinging too steeply down onto the ball, a common cause of slicing among so many golfers) and helps transfer her weight fully onto her trail side by the top of the backswing.

(YouTube)

A simple but effective piece of advice that will live on as a small part of Mickey Wright’s gift to the game.

Watch the full clip below:

To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.