How to apply Jack Nicklaus’ 2 simple truths for more power

A tremendous week in Detroit, where Bryson DeChambeau bludgeoned his way around the Detroit Golf Club en-route to his sixth PGA TOUR victory, is in the rear-view mirror.  

The PGA TOUR is now in Dublin OH, for the “Dublin Double” — The Workday Charity Open, followed by the Memorial Tournament.  Both events being played at “Jack’s Place”, the famed Muirfield Village Golf Club. 

Given where we are in our PGA TOUR odyssey, I decided to pay homage to Mr Nicklaus, and get his take on power off the tee, as Bryson has been showing us over the last few weeks.

Jack Nicklaus is arguably the greatest golfer of all time.  In my opinion, he was not only proficient with a golf club in his hands, he was (and still is) one of the greatest minds, thinkers and strategists in golf.  

Consider this nugget:

“There are really two ways of increasing your distance. You can learn to swing the clubhead faster. Or you can learn to deliver it to the ball more accurately.” Jack Nicklaus

Swing the clubhead faster and hit the ball on the center. Sounds simple, but how do we do it?

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Everyone, even the PGA TOUR’s best, have turned their heads at the metamorphosis that Bryson DeChambeau has undergone in an effort to gain speed and power off the tee.  

While it is eye-popping, Bryson’s approach is obviously not for everyone.

There are many ways to get a bit more punch off the tee.  It may not be yards in chunks a la DeChambeau, but every little bit helps. So let’s delve into Mr Nicklaus’s take on gaining power.

1. How To Swing the Clubhead Faster

Now, this may seem a bit obvious, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Some simple improvements in your technique can help you swing the clubhead faster without you trying any harder.

A simple drill is to grab an outdoor “corn” broom and rotate it so that the broad side of the bristles are sitting at right angles to the ground. Rest it gently at address and then swing back and through as you brush the turf on the takeaway and through the impact zone. You will sense the mass of the broomstick and will have to incorporate the requisite musculature to propel the broomstick back and through.

Further, the broad side of the corn bristles will cause some wind resistance as you accelerate into the downswing and through impact. Try your best to make the broomstick go as fast as possible as you swing down and lightly brush the ground through impact.

Do this a few times every day. You will recruit the appropriate muscles and movements for enhanced speed and power.

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2. How To Deliver the Clubhead to the Ball More Accurately

If you strike the ball in the sweet-spot with an ascending pass you are all but guaranteed to pick up yards. Two things you can do to enhance those conditions:

For center contact, use a Sharpie pen and color in one of the dimples on the golf ball. Set the ball on the tee so that the colored dimple is on the equator of the side of the ball to be struck. Address the ball and make your swing and strike the ball. The Sharpie dot should leave a dot on your Driver face. The goal is to leave the dot right in the center of the clubface. Practice it until you can consistently achieve this end. The drill will calibrate your swing and dial in the quality of your contact; and remember, contact in the sweet-spot is the best way to improve distance.

Creating an ascending Angle of Attack is as easy as putting a head-cover about 18-24 inches in front of the golf ball. Make your swing, strike the ball and miss the head-cover. You will quickly feel how your lead leg needs to post up, and how your spine angle needs to be situated to strike the ball and miss the headcover. It’s easy to do and guaranteed to improve your launch conditions.

Golf.com Contributor

On-course announcer and analyst Mark Immelman is passionate about the game of golf. As a decorated instructor, award-winning NCAA college golf coach, and an accomplished golfer, Mark brings a robust knowledge and vast experience to his role as a television broadcaster and golf instructor. He is currently a Golf Analyst for CBS Sports HQ, and an Analyst and On-course Announcer for CBS Sports and Golf on CBS. He is currently also serves a Studio Analyst for PGA TOUR Live and an On-Course Announcer for PGA TOUR Live.

The older brother to 2008 Masters Champion ,Trevor Immelman, Mark grew up in Somerset West, South Africa. After a successful amateur career in South Africa he was offered a golf scholarship to Columbus State University (Columbus , GA). He enjoyed a prolific collegiate tenure highlighted by his four-time All-America selections, two-time Academic All-America awards, and two NCAA Div. II National Championship victories. After graduation, Mark had a short season as a playing professional, but quickly turned his attention to his true passion – golf teaching.

As a golf instructor, Mark believes in cultivating ability and talent by providing comprehensive, holistic golf instruction that is easily understandable and of the highest quality to golfers of all abilities and skill levels. His passionate approach and keen knowledge of the game have led to him being a sought-after mind by leading Professional and Amateur golfers alike. Through his career he has taught and/or consulted to PGA TOUR and European Tour professionals and tournament winners such as: Larry Mize, Loren Roberts, Trevor Immelman, Scott Brown, Patton Kizzire, Louis Oosthuizen and Will Wilcox. He has been recognized as one of “Golf Digest’s Top 20 Instructors Under 40”, Golf Digest’s “Best Teachers in the State of Georgia” and Georgia Trend Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40 – Georgia’s Best and Brightest”.

As a NCAA College Coach at Columbus State University (since 2001) Mark continues to coach the Columbus State Men’s Golf Team and his program are perennial contenders for Conference and National Titles. He is a two-time NCAA Div. II Atlantic/Southeast Region Coach of the Year, two-time Peachbelt Conference Coach of the Year, and the 2009 NCAA Dvi. II National Coach of the Year.

in 2019 Mark was selected as Captain and Coach of the (Arnold) Palmer Cup International Team. His team beat the United States Team in the Palmer Cup Matches held at The Alotian Club outside of Little Rock, AR.

Mark’s additional broadcast duties include being a guest analyst and host on the CBS Sports “First Cut Podcast”. CBS Sports also use Mark’s unique voice for audio and promotional PGA TOUR advertisements and promotional reads.

He has also served a 6-year tenure as a Play-by-Play Announcer for Sirius/XM PGA TOUR Radio.

Additionally, Mark hosts “On the Mark”, a PGA TOUR Podcast, which to date has been downloaded more that 2.6 million times in more that 125 countries.

He has also written golf instructional columns and articles for Golf Digest SA, Golf Digest USA and is currently penning instructional pieces for Golf Magazine (golf.com). As an author, Mark has published two e-Books on golf instruction: “Scandalously SImple – The Easy Way to Accurate Golf Shots” and “Golf is a Game of Recovery”.