Driving

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.

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.

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