Collin Morikawa may have been overshadowed slightly by Oklahoma State standouts Matt Wolff and Viktor Hovland, but the UC Berkeley grad and 2020 PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa knows how to pack a punch, especially considering his five-nine, 160-pound frame. He’s averaging nearly 300 yards off the tee—a study in the benefits of managing ground reaction forces if there ever was one.
Basically, Morikawa “loads” the ground in transition, then uses that pressure to create speed by jumping “out” of the ground at impact. There’s a certain violence here as Morikawa moves his lead side up and away and aggressively rotates his torso while staying in his side bend—all great things to copy. Here’s how to do it…
1. Push Off
In the past golfers were told to keep their feet “quiet”. How times have changed! Modern big bombers create pressure under their trail toe and under the outside of their front foot by pushing off their trail side. It takes some ankle mobility, but it’s worth the effort.
2. Extend Your Left Side
Like all great drivers, Morikawa gets his lead side into extension. Notice how his front shoulder is moving up and back and how his left leg is snapped straight. When you hear golfers talking about “jumping out of the ground,” this is what it looks like.
3. “Clear” Your Body
Morikawa’s belt buckle is pointed nearly straight down target, a sign that he’s cleared his hips fully out of the way. Studies show that Tour players’ hips are open more than 45 degrees at impact, with their torso open 30 degrees. If you aren’t clearing like this, you’re sacrificing power.
4. Know Your Numbers
Today ball speed and launch conditions are the name of the game. Trackman has eliminated any guesswork here, allowing players to determine swing changes that positively affect ball flight with zero doubt. Morikawa can whip it in the 114-mph range. At that speed, he knows he’ll max out his power by launching the ball around 15 degrees and with a spin rate in the low 2000s, thanks to data. If you’re not consistently checking your numbers on a launch monitor, you’re doing your game a disservice.
By Jonathan Yarwood, Top 100 Teacher
This article originally appeared on Golf.com.