quick coaching

Driver Tip: Try Sepp Straka's Super Turn

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

Sepp Straka hits his tee shot during the final round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort And Spa.Getty Images

Last June, I walked with Sepp Straka for 36-holes during final qualifying for the US Open. I
witnessed first-hand how this Georgia Bulldog gets it done on the course. As a PGA Coach there are certain acoustics we notice very quickly when it comes to contact. When Sepp hit the ball his impact was noticeable. It was easy to see why he was in the Top 100 in the FedEx Cup standings.
The Honda Classic is an event that rewards great ball strikers. Seeing Sepp claim the trophy on Sunday didn’t surprise me. He hit 84% of his fairways, gained 5 shots off the tee against the field and averaged 327 yards in the final round!
Sepp’s super move is pretty simple, create space when you swing the biggest club in the bag. Start by getting the driver out of your golf bag and get ready for a quick demonstration. Let’s see how your swing compares to Straka’s? Find a safe place where you can make a slow-motion full swing with the driver. Watch those ceilings.
Setup to an imaginary ball and take the club back to the top of your backswing. At this moment, consider two quick questions. Where is your trail hip? Where is your lead shoulder? Let’s start with that trail hip. It should be pointing behind you. It should feel higher than it was at address and the trail knee should be straight. By getting in this position, you will have opened your lower body.
Most players don’t use their lower body enough in their golf swing. This issue starts in the backswing. Loosen up that pelvis and let it turn away from the ball. Don’t hold it in place, turn it and get that belt buckle area pointing away from the target. By creating this action in the takeaway, you will get a great reaction in the downswing. Your hips and legs will be more active therefore creating more balance and power.
Repeat the demonstration swing again and let’s look at the lead shoulder. Where is it located? Is it pointing toward where the ball would be? If it isn’t, you haven’t turned your upper body enough. Consider these two points we’re discussing and make sure they are working together. As one goes away from the ball, the other gets closer. Then as you swing back and strike the ball it reverses. Look quickly at this swing by Sepp on Sunday.
Even though it isn’t a driver swing you see the relationship between the lead shoulder and the trail hip. A quick way to check if you’re performing this move correctly is to take your driver and hold it across your shoulders. Make a full turn to the top. Is the shaft pointing toward where the ball would be down on the ground? Is the shaft parallel to your belt line? If you can pass those two tests, then you’ve quickly learned Sepp’s super move.