PGA Professional Barney Puttick on the majesty of the Northern Irishman when he gets the driver in his hands.

Rory’s quite rare in the modern game in that he hits a high draw off the tee. He’s the absolute epitome of effortless power than than powerless effort. He’s quite precise about how he loads up; his big drill with the driver is doing the split-hand drill. So he will go to the top of his backswing and just pump it back down and hold it at waist high to get that feeling of coming on the inside.

It’s been well documented that his error every now and then is to drop his arms behind it and get that block or flippy one. It’s interesting that he’s said that he would do this drill 50-100 times a day. It’s a bit en vogue these days with some coaches that drills are a bit old hat and Rory’s saying the opposite and that he keeps making sure that he doesn’t fall back into the poor habits.

He also talks about intermediate targets and railway track line-ups, it’s like something out of a PGA manual from the 1980s.

The width that he gets on the backswing is fantastic. When people try and get width they end up with their arms separating from the trunk of the body and you get that disconnect and a bit of a weak, choppy movement across the ball. But with Rory’s width it’s connected with the turn.

We see people use a medicine ball and there is a lot of talk about it working on your core but I actually use it with my players for their sequencing. Rory has been known to get too quick with the hips and fall behind it but you can’t flip a medicine ball, you have to stay in sequence with it.

In general the modern pro hits way fewer shots but is miles better off the tee as, with the better exercise and this type of work on sequencing, it is really helping their clubhead speed and strength through the ball.

Rory’s dispersion seems to be a lot tighter these days and his rhythm seems so similar these days with the driver. It doesn’t look vastly different to a mid iron and it’s not like he has an exaggerated set-up. There’s no exaggerated tilt of the spine, the rhythm is quick but it’s wonderful and he really is an unbelievable driver of the ball.

About Barney Puttick

Barney turned professional in 1979 and worked under Ian Connelly who was best known as Sir Nick Faldo's original coach. He was once tied for third with Greg Norman in a 36-hole tournament in Cannes, behind Corey Pavin. He has been the head professional at Mid Herts GC since 2000, he has given over 45,000 lessons and he is a Golf Monthly Top 50 coach.

Feeling inspired? Search for and connect with a PGA Professional