Power and Control

Former US Amateur champion Peter Uihlein discusses finding the right blend of balance, speed and rhythm, and also the importance of a 'go-to' shot you can rely on

26-year-old Uihlein

Different players generate power from different places. Some guys, like Rory McIlroy, use their hips to create the speed through impact and some players, like Alvaro Quiros, have fast arm speed with quick hands. But for me, power comes from my base. As Pete Cowen or Mike Walker [Uihlein's coaches] would say, I use the ground force. It’s about setting a solid base from where I can get after the shot without losing control or balance. So from the tee I have a wider stance with the ball forward so I can hit it on the upswing. I maybe have a little more weight on my right side at address as well – let’s say 60/40, just to help that feeling of launching the ball on the upswing. For me, power in the swing comes from using my lower body well and taking advantage of the pressure from the ground.

Rhythm Pointers

Years ago, Davis Love III said something about rhythm. He said instead of swinging the club at 100% speed he’d rather swing it 70% and hit it solid. He felt that he hit it just as far because the contact was that much more solid. Obviously, if you hit the ball from the heel or toe, it’s not going to go as far as the shot struck right out of the middle. With your driver in hand you need to get the relationship between balance, speed and rhythm just right. If these are all synched up, you’ll hit the ball far.

Your ‘Go-To’ Shot

You will notice a lot of guys out here on Tour have a ‘go-to’ shot off the tee. When they get to a tight hole or they are under pressure, they will hit the shot they feel most comfortable with. And the point about that shot is that it takes out one side of the golf course – they either hit a draw they know won’t go right or a fade that won’t go left. I would say that’s the big difference between the pros and amateurs: the pros have a shot they know they can hit and they have the confidence to do it. Mine is a pressure fade. I tee the ball down a little bit and hit a ‘squeeze fade’ that takes out the left side of the course. I like this play because I can commit to the shot. Trying to steer the ball down the fairway is the last thing you want to do when you are under pressure – you want to be able to make an aggressive swing.


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