Johnny Miller Golf Lesson: How to flatten your swing to hit more fairways

May 15, 2014

Watch Johnny's tip in the video player above.

Some guys just know how to hit it straight. Back in the 1980s, two-time Tour winner Mike Reid finished first or second in driving accuracy six times, hence the nickname "Radar." In the 1990s and into the early 2000s, Fred Funk hit fairways at a near 80 percent clip. These days, Zach Johnson is the man you'd bet your kid's college fund on to stripe one down the middle. 

Interestingly, all three players have the same type of flat swing. When I was playing in the 1970s, swings were very upright. We'd get our hands way above our right shoulder at the top and finish with them well above our left shoulder. Our swings were so upright that we had to arch our spines in a reverse-C to make the move work. (My back aches just thinking about it.)

Flat swings were few and far between in my day. Now everybody's flat. I bet there are only three or four guys on Tour in 2014 who swing the way I, Jack Nicklaus or any players of the 1960s, '70s and '80s used to. Look at Matt Kuchar. His swing is so flat that his hands barely get above his shoulders. That's not only good for accuracy; swinging flat lets you turn faster through impact, because you don't have to work the club up in your release. It's pure rotation, and rotation equals speed.

Changing your swing plane isn't that complicated. Start by swinging your hands from shoulder to shoulder (below), and turn your body aggressively through impact. Your backswing will feel shorter, but that's a good thing for most weekend players. You'll make up for it with a faster release. And you'll hit more fairways. As the most accurate players of the last 35 years prove, flat is where it's at.

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