Turn and torque: 2 keys to plugging the power leaks for longer drives

Welcome to Play Smart, a game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Game Improvement Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf.

I have to admit, watching Bryson DeChambeau carry a drive 353 yards onto the green of the par-4 first hole at Whistling Straits, then drop the putt for eagle and go 1 up in his eventual victory over one of the best Ryder Cup players of all time, was pretty inspiring.

So, in search of some more swing speed ourselves, we’re wrapping up our final special edition of Play Smart featuring GOLFTEC VP of Instruction and GOLF Top 100 Teacher Nick Clearwater with some tips on how to get you more speed.

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1. Turn, Turn, turn!

The average PGA Tour player turns their shoulders 89 degrees from where they started at address and rotates their hips 44 degrees. Simply turning your shoulders and hips more is a huge power source for golfers, from the Tour down to the recreational ranks, and Clearwater says there are two simple ways you can increase your turn.

  1. Flare your trail foot out, which will create more range of motion in your hips.
  2. Straighten your trail leg, which opens up your hips for a free, unrestricted turn.

2. Torque the ground

Once you’ve made that big turn on the backswing, it’s time to use some of those ground reaction forces. That means, in essence, leveraging the ground — pushing and pulling off it to help you turn your body faster.

If that sounds complicated, don’t worry, because it can be reduced into a couple of simple swing thoughts.

First, at the start of the downswing, you want to feel yourself getting low. Push into the ground with your lower body, like your moving toward it.

Now that you’re low, when you’re about mid-downswing, you want to feel the opposite. You want to feel like you’re getting higher, pushing off the ground to help whip the club through the ball.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism 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 and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.