Master the Art of Hitting Absolute Bombs

Phil Mickelson Hitting Bombs Off the Tee In Golf

Great story from Harry Higgs on Phil Mickelson from the 2021 BMW Championship.

Higgs was excited to play with Mickelson after hearing all his "bombs" talk on social media. How far can a 50+ year old actually hit it Higgs thought.

Phil says to his caddie on a borderline reachable par-5 after pulling driver: "Tim, do you like stock or nasty here on this tee shot?"

Tim's response: "Stock is good here, Phil. We can get there with a stock good one."

After going through his routine, Phil pulls the trigger and GRUNTS through impact. "What part of that is stock?" thought Higgs! 

The distance according to Higgs - "nine miles".

Bombs on the PGA Tour in 2022

The 2022 PGA season was the first season where the majority of players on tour averaged over 300 yards off the tee.

Cameron Champ led the way averaging 321.4. "The People's Champ" Rory McIlroy was second averaging 321.3 yards.

And of course no discussion on driving distance is complete without mentioning Bryson DeChambeau. Bryson took distance to a new level in 2020 with some major swing changes. In 2020 he averaged 337.8 yards on the PGA Tour helping him win a US Open. 

Going back in history, John Daly was the first player in history to top a 300-yard driving average in the 1997 season at 302.0 yards. This illustrates how quickly technology and swings have evolved. 

Hitting bombs off the tee will certainly turn the heads of your playing partners (and perhaps the group in front of you). Harnessed correctly, hitting bombs can also help lower your scores.

So what can you do to learn the art of hitting absolute bombs. Try these five tips:

1. Tee the Ball Higher and Move Ball Forward in Your Stance

"Tee it high and let it fly" is an old golf phrase that continues to ring true today. 

To unlock more distance, tee the ball slightly higher than usual and shift the ball slightly forward in your stance. This setup will help your shoulders tilt back and away from the target slightly. By having your lead shoulder higher than your trail shoulder, you will change your launch angle to "bomb mode"

2. Lighten that Grip Pressure

Players have a tendency to increase grip pressure when trying to unleash a bomb. Unfortunately strong grip pressure tends to unleash duds. 

Too much grip pressure results in less wrist hinge. Less wrist hinge prevents you from releasing the club causing you to loose distance. 

To increase your distance, and hit the ball more consistently, make sure your grip pressure is tuned to medium.

Lightening your grip pressure will allow your wrist to extend fully through impact and hit absolute bombs.

3. Make Some Hard Practice Swings

Ever watch Bryson DeChambeau's pre-shot routine? Bryson's practice swing speed is higher than most player's normal swings. 

Increasing your club head speed will obviously help unlock more distance. When you need to unlock a little extra power off the tee, try taking some fast practice swings. How loud can you make the whoosh of the club? See if you can impress your playing partners with both your whoosh sound and your distance. 

4. Hit the Gym and Do Not Skip Leg Day

Today, every tour player on the PGA and LPGA (and, for the sake of completion, LIV) tours is hitting the gym. Many players have trainers that work with them daily on strength, conditioning and mobility. 

The top two guys in driving distance on the PGA Tour are not that big. Rory is listed at 5' 9" and 161 pounds (1.75 m and 73 kg). Cam Champ stands at 6' 0" and 180 pounds (1.83 m and 82 kg). How do they generate this power? A combination of mechanics and strength built in the gym. 

In the gym, make sure you put an emphasis on building your leg strength. Many amateurs that do not have access to the trainers that the pros have spend their time working on upper body strength. However, the legs are the key to power in golf. Your lower body pivoting and pushing off the ground will help you unlock bombs. 

Need proof that the legs help generate power? Check out Phil's meaty calves. 

Next time you are in the gym make sure you focus on these exercises:

  • Deadlifts (traditional, single leg, Romanian) 
  • Squats (traditional, lateral, Bulgarian split squats)
  • Box Jumps
  • Lunges (weighted, body weight with rotation) 

5. In the Event of a Power Outage, Contact a Swing Coach

Hitting it inconsistently off the tee? Suffering from a power outage? Trying to unlock new distance to help compete on the pro or amateur circuit.

Mechanics are obviously a critical part of generating power for hitting bombs (and fairways.) Many players end up surfing YouTube looking for that magical swing tip to get their mojo back. These players end up getting lost down a swing rabbit hole on YouTube that impacts them on both the range and the course.

When you are feeling lost, contact a coach to help get you back on the right track from a mechanics perspective. You will most likely save time and money taking this route.

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