Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Bubba Watson teaches you how to hit it strong
Hitting the ball a long way first requires the right set of tools to get the job done. Bubba Watson’s set is missing a 3-wood, probably because he can smash a 5-wood as far as many touring professionals can hit their 3-woods.
Bubba plays the G15 Driver with a Grafalloy Prototype BiMatrix shaft (pink, of course). His lone fairway wood (5-wood) also is from the G15 line. As for his irons, Bubba, like all his fellow PGA Tour competitors, just switched to irons that conform to the 2010 rules on grooves. His irons are the S59s (3-PW). His Ping Tour Wedges (52- and 56-degree) also are 2010 conforming, as is his Tour-W 60-degree. Finally, Bubba putts with the Redwood Anser.
Let’s cut straight to the chase, shall we? In looking at Bubba’s swing sequence, starting with the first image, check out his unique grip position. His weak right hand (which would be the left hand for righties) and his near nonexistent right-hand grip enable Bubba to make a tremendous rotation away from the ball as well as cock the wrists with a serious amount of angle. The initial takeaway is long and deliberate with an amazing arm width.
At the top of Bubba’s swing (#4), look at the incredible amount of not only shoulder turn, but also hip rotation away from the ball. That’s a remarkable feat that most players simply can’t accomplish, mainly because it requires a tremendous amount of flexibility and strength. Now, here’s where the power comes from: Between #4 and #5 is Bubba’s transition from back to forwardswing. Now check this out. Look at how far his hips have turned toward the target, and how little his arms and upper body have moved! He has generated an obscene amount of torque, which, as you can see later, is unleashed right into the ball. Another source for Bubba’s power is the amount of lag he has retained in his downswing (#7.) By creating so much lag, Bubba again retains torque and power by creating resistance between the hands and the rest of his body. This stored energy needs to be released at some point, which in Bubba’s case, is directly over the golf ball.
Bubba’s distance also is attributed to his ability to control his trajectory. By adding all that width in the backswing, and also by keeping his body behind the ball, Bubba then flattens his angle of attack, resulting in a trajectory that produces about 1600-1800 rpm with the big stick. That’s about 1000 rpm less than the average on Tour. No wonder his drives fly farther than most players dream of.
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