I added the Rory Mcilroy Driving Drill to the Golf Practice Planner today because this move is so simple but so effective. You’re gonna love it.
Rory Mcilroy Driving Drill
Long Game Practice Drills
4 out of 10
Any golf club. Golf ball. Golf Practice Planner.
The Rory Mcilroy Driving Drill will teach you to “hit up on the ball” to maximise carry distance and lower the spin rate (which increases distance).
This drill will make sure you’re launching the ball high enough to make sure you maximise the swing speed you have, to maximise your distance. High handicap golfers tend to hit down on the driver too much (which kills distance).
Step 1: Watch
Watch the video below.
Step 2: Understand The Takeaway & Downswing Shifts
This drill will look at how Rory uses the upper and lower centres of his body to generate so much distance even though he is only 5 feet 9 inches tall (1.75m). The average height of a PGA tour player is 6 feet, so he’s giving up 3 inches in height to the field.
2 Inch Shift On The Backswing
In the backswing, Rory shifts his weight 2 inches away from the target with both his centres (upper and lower centres). See the image below.
If you had a line coming out of the middle of you (see image below), that line would trace two inches over to the right on the takeaway move. The key is that both centres shift (sway) the 2 inches.
5 Inch Shift On The Downswing
By the time his left arm is parallel on the downswing, he has shifted both his centres 5 inches towards the target (see image below).
The Dreaded Hang Back On The Downswing
The main difference between an amateur and Rory is that when he is halfway down on the downswing he’s shifted 5 inches towards the target (see image above). The average amateur, when trying to hit up on the ball, will sway to right only with the “upper centre” on the backswing, and then hang back on the downswing. See the image below.
It begs this question in the amateur’s mind…
“How is Rory able to hit up on the ball if he shifts a whopping 5 inches forward towards the target on the downswing?”
The answer is that the “angle of upward attack” motion only happens in the last part of the downswing when the club is parallel to the ground. At that crucial last part of the downswing, he’s going to straighten out his lead side so his left shoulder and left hip goes up and back. When he does that his upper body kicks back to where it started (see image below). It’s a “late” upward angle of attack that you’re after.
90 Degree Driver Shaft Angle At Impact
You want the driver’s shaft at impact to be at approximately 90 degrees to the ground (see image below) while hitting up on the ball (like a ping pong topspin shot). All other clubs, except the putter, you’d want the shaft leaning towards the target.
Enjoy The Violent Movement
A lot of golfers are afraid to let the body move as much as Rory’s. You have to remember that you’re trying to generate speed. This is a reckless, violent, fast movement. You’re not going to maximise your distance if you try to be still. Allow your body to move athletically. Enjoy the controlled violence.
Step 3: Rory Mcilroy Driver Drill
Now that you understand the physics of Rory’s driver swing (step 2), here is a drill you can do to replicate Rory’s driver swing.
A) Play the ball off your left heel: This will probably feel more forward than you’re used to (most amateurs tee the ball too far back in the stance with their driver which causes them to hit down on the ball).
B) Tee the ball high: Get most of the ball is above the face. This will help you to hit more up on the ball.
C) Backswing: Feel that you have a little motion away from the ball with your lower and upper body (like Rory) with a little recentering near the top of the backswing.
D) Club On The Ground: Put the club on the ground just outside your right foot (see image below). Make sure your chest and legs are a little in front of where they were at the address (which is what happens in a real swing).
E) In slow motion straighten as you drag the club along the ground to the ball by stretching out your left leg and left side of your body. Feel that you’re growing the left side of your body (see image below). When you drag the club along the ground in slow motion, you’ll feel that you’re pulling the club out of the ground with your body (not your hands like most amateurs do).
Finish in the Rory post-impact position (see image below).
F) Do the same drill, but this time at normal speed (not in slow motion).
That’s it. You’ll be amazed at how you can hit up on the ball without having the shaft tipped back as most amateurs do. It’s mathematically certain that you’ll gain distance because you have kept spin off the ball and launch it high, just like Rory does.
Step 4: Competitive Practice
Do 10 Rory Mcilroy Driving Drills. If you’re doing this at home, use a mirror so you can see the correct positions.