I played 20 events on the PGA Tour last year and won five of them, including my first major. I had to hit a lot of tee shots under pressure, either to maintain a lead or to claw my way into contention. I won’t lie—the butterflies fluttered often. Thankfully, I’ve built a driver swing I can trust (I hit 10 of 14 fairways on the final day of the 2015 PGA Championship, with Jordan Spieth breathing down my neck). My secret? Guiding the club into position at the top so I can unleash it without fear on the way down. Here’s how to do it.
1. TRIANGULATE YOUR SETUP
Solid basics will save you from tee-box stress. I use geometry, establishing a triangle with my arms and another with my legs. Getting this right makes managing your weight shift easy. The second triangle is critical—get your knees in line with your feet and hips. Work on it in front of a mirror. And use just a touch of knee flex, not a full-blown bend.
When you establish your upper triangle, keep your right forearm below your left. It helps you start back on plane.
ADDRESS: Each leg should form a straight line, from your ankle to your hip.
2. AND YOUR TAKEAWAY, TOO
An easy way to nix a nervous swing is to maintain both triangles as you start the club back. A key: Swing your arms and turn your chest at the same time. You’ve done it right if the buttons on your shirt continue to split the middle of your top triangle as they did at address. Your lower triangle? Leave it alone.
Move your torso, arms and club as a unit at the start. Independent movement makes mis-hits more likely.
TAKEAWAY: As you start back, maintain the triangle created at address by your arms and shoulders. This will keep you on plane.
3. TURN ON THE PRESS
Your upper-body turn will pull your hips along for the ride, giving you big rotation. Make sure you turn rather than sway. I fought this accuracy-killing mistake for years. Make swings with a towel placed under the instep of your right foot. Your goal is to pressure the towel. My coach, Colin Swatton, gave me this drill, and it changed my career.