Padraig Harrington reveals the ‘easiest way to gain 10 yards’ in 2 minutes

Lifting your lead heel will help you turn more and boost your clubhead speed.


Padraig Harrington hasn’t played much professional golf since the the game’s pause, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. A passionate golf nerd at heart, he’s been pumping-out instruction videos designed to help the average golfer.

“The stuff you mostly see on social media, there’s a slight disconnect. It tends to be for the elite player or higher-end player,” Harrington told me back in March. And so, he set off to correct it.

Paddy has shared tons of great tips over the past few months, but I found the tip he shared over the weekend particularly helpful. It’s about distance — specifically, how to get more of it — and what he says is the easiest way to get it.

The video is based on some information first brought to light by biomechanist Dr. Sasho Mackenzie, who found that lengthening your backswing by four inches (as measured by the hands) will boost your clubhead speed almost two-and-a-half miles per hour — which equates to almost 10 yards.

Put even more simply: Turn more on the backswing, and you’ll hit the ball longer.

A longer backswing means more speed. (Getty Images)

That may seem obvious, in some ways because it is. It also presents a separate problem: How do I turn more?

That’s where Paddy enters with a simple explanation that you might have heard before…

Turn more by lifting your front heel

Jack Nicklaus, one of the longest players in history, lifted his lead heel on the backswing (Getty Images)

When it comes to lengthening your backswing, Paddy suggests doing so by lifting your lead heel on the backswing. That simple move won’t just improve your clubhead speed, Paddy says, but will improve your swing’s overall technique, too.

“It will help you coil better, and help you turn around yourself,” Harrington says.

And just in case you needed some more convincing, Paddy shared some of his numbers and the results speak for themselves: 140 mph clubhead speed, 358-yard carry. Not bad for a 48 year-old!


Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.