In this week’s YouTube video, we had the absolute pleasure of catching up with two time major winner Collin Morikawa. Last time he gave us some incredible tips for iron play, so this time we thought we would pick his brain when it comes to his best driver tips.
Today we’re going to go through how he changes his swing to play different shot shapes, and how he practices at the range to get it to transfer to the course.
Collin’s a huge fan of a slower backswing, regardless of what club you’re hitting but especially if it’s with the big stick. When we spoke to him, he rightly pointed out that a lot of amateur players tend to speed up the first portion of their backswing when they’re really trying to send their drives.
But this usually makes them very jerky, and throws off the whole swing. He recommends keeping the swing slow until you’re half way to the top of your backswing, and focussing on that move away motion, as this allows you to get in a better position for the rest of the swing.
Especially with his driver, Collin prefers to play a left to right shot shape, commonly known as a fade. He likes to use as much of the fairway as possible to give him the best odds of keeping it on the short stuff. He rightly pointed out that a lot of golfers will aim to hit the ball straight, but the professionals know that isn’t the be all and end all. The real aim of the tee shot for all golfers should be to maximise your potential to hit a fairway.
So instead of making lots of swing changes to try and achieve that illusive straight ball flight, you should focus on honing your natural shot shape and play to that. He gave us a great quote while we were with him, that we think every single one of you should remember- “It’s not about hitting it straight it’s about using your misses.” Someone get that printed on a t-shirt!
Now we know what you’re thinking, how does Collin create that fade ball flight that he’s so fond of? When it comes to shaping his shots he focuses on two things. Regardless of the shape he always sets up with his club face to target, and he aligns his body to the start line of the ball flight. Nothing more to it, he keeps it super simple and swings along the start line of the shot he is visualising.
One of the biggest topics with spoke about in our time with Collin was how he practices hitting his driver at the range, but in a way that is helpful and he can replicate out on the course. He told us he likes to visualise a fairway, and make them all different widths using markers already on the range. He then adds in imaginary obstacles, like bunkers, that he needs to try and avoid. He then hits shots with the aim to land on the fairway but not in any of the obstacles.
This helps him to create accountability for himself and his practice. He rightly says that a lot of amateur players go to the range in the hope of bombing the driver down the middle over and over. But that’s not realistic when it comes to playing on the course, so he tries to emulate those conditions at all times to keep his practice relevant to his playing.
If you’ve loved all of Collin’s tips so far, then be sure to check out the rest of the video below. We even went head to head with him in a shot shaping competition at the end, so check it out to see who came out on top.
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