Copy Michelle Wie's shoulder turn, extension to hit more fairways

Copy Michelle Wie’s shoulder turn, extension to hit more fairways

Hit more fairways by copying U.S. Women's Open champ Michelle Wie, who extends her right arm down the line after impact.

The USGA’s decision to stage the 2014 U.S. Women's Open on the same course that hosted the men's championship the week before was gutsy. Pinehurst (No. 2) is tough and could have beaten the shorts off most of the LPGA Tour, but the women brought their best. In fact, the tournament was one of the most memorable U.S. Women's Opens ever, showcasing a wealth of star power that hasn't been seen in years. With special players like world No. 1 Stacy Lewis, 17-year-old phenom Lydia Ko and bombers like Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie, the LPGA Tour is taking off. In my years of watching the Women's U.S. Open, I've grown to appreciate the many things that the women do better than the men. The ladies swing with more consistent tempo than their counterparts. Because they lack the raw strength of a Tiger or a Rory, they have to be technically perfect at impact or they won't get enough distance. Take Thompson, the longest hitter on the LPGA Tour—on average, she's shorter off the tee than the shortest drivers on the PGA Tour, who hit it about 270 yards per pop. News flash: You're shorter than that, too, so you can learn a lot from the women. Here are two ways that swinging "like a girl" can help you hit manly shots.


Some ladies do it fast, and some do it slow, but each and every one winds up on the backswing and makes a full shoulder turn. When Michelle Wie reaches the top, her back faces her target. Granted, women are generally more flexible than men, but getting your back facing the target is a great goal for all golfers. It's an effective way to generate yards using your body's torque, instead of relying solely on hand and arm speed. Plus, the more you turn, the less likely you are to "lift" the club above the ideal swing plane, which is the origin of most slices.


Get this: More than 90 players on the LPGA Tour hit at least 70 percent of their fairways. The girls are way more accurate off the tee than the fellas, and I know why. After impact, female players tend to snap their right arm straight down the target line, and they hold it straight well into their follow-through (like Wie, above).

Try it: When you reach the midpoint of your downswing, extend both arms through the ball and straight at the target. The longer you keep your arms extended, the straighter you'll hit it. I'm sure you won't mind hitting 70 percent of your fairways—I know I wouldn't!