4-year-old instruction video was viewed 1 million times last week. Here’s the tip

Padraig Harrington

Padraig Harrington on Wednesday at the Mexico Open.

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Padraig Harrington, one of the more accomplished pros of the past 25 years, says he’s often asked the same questions. They’re ones that you probably expect to be asked of one of the more accomplished pros of the past 25 years. 

They start with ‘how.”

“A lot of times when I’m doing a clinic,” he said, “people ask me: Well, how much should I turn my hips, where should I break my wrists in the backswing, even how fast should I swing my arms in the backswing?”

The three-time major winner, also one of the more sharing pros in the instruction space, had an answer. It featured a drill. Just a ball — a rubber ball — and a club were needed. But it gets better. Notably, Harrington actually said it all four years ago, on March 18, 2020, just days after golf was halted due to the coronavirus. 

But last week, like a ball off of one of Harrington’s clubs, it took off. The video went viral. The tip was indeed timeless. The account @OfficialTourPro, which shares other instruction nuggets, grabbed and shared it, others did, too — and as of Wednesday afternoon @OfficialTourPro’s post had been viewed 1.1 million times in a week. 

Let’s give it a few more then, in case you are among those who didn’t see it.  

Below is the video. Give it a watch. We’ll wait. We’ll digest it when you’re done. 


The drill itself is simple, but it may take work to master. Harrington said longtime instructor Pete Cowen developed it. Take the rubber ball, hold it with your right index and middle fingers (if you’re right-handed), hold your right wrist with your left hand, get into your golf posture — and ‘swing’ back and through, releasing the ball where you would make impact. 

The ideal outcome?   

“You’re going to try and throw the ball into the ground about 2 yards ahead of you,” Harrington said on the video, “and for it to go straight.”

On the video, Harrington’s ball bounced straight, ricocheted off a wall in front of him, and he caught it. 

But what’s the un-ideal result? He demonstrated that, too.

“Obviously if it goes right, your body’s got ahead of it and your arms are behind you,” Harrington said on the video. “And if you came over the top and pulled it, it wouldn’t come back to you.”

There was more. 

Harrington grabbed a driver, held it out in front of him, and he repeated the move, bouncing the ball between him and the club. The goal was still the same.  

“Once you’ve advanced that [the move without the club] — that’s the perfect hip turn, perfect shoulder turn, perfect right angle, speed, perfect wrist cock; everything about that is perfect — so once you’ve got comfortable with those positions,” Harrington said, “you would advance it and you get a golf club, hold it there and get the same positions and throw them.”

Why throw the ball in that fashion?

On the video, Harrington explained. 

Gerry McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Bill Murray, Rory McIlroy
Padraig Harrington played with amateurs for a week. He found 2 key takeaways
By: Nick Piastowski

“Now the reason why we throw under here is because we want to keep our left shoulder from opening up,” he said. “This is disastrous. Same as if you were throwing a baseball; you never let your left shoulder out of the way because you’d lose power. That would always stay within the confines of your chest. If you were kicking a ball, same thing. You would never let that out of the way.

“And that’s the same with golf. We never want that wheeling out left. We want under. That’s how you get the hip up and open. As you can see, you can find that solid left position. This is all stretched down here [he motioned to his left side]; this is crunched like somebody has punched me in the gut right here [he motioned to the right side of his midsection], in the front right. So not leaning back, which would hurt your back. I’m leaning slightly back, but forward in this position. [He pointed at his stomach.]”

From there, Harrington demonstrated it a few more times, and he encouraged folks to try it. 

Which based on the views, some have.  

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.