At the end of a marathon week in San Francisco, California, it was Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy who was left standing as the victor of the WGC Cadillac Match Play.
McIlroy played a total of seven matches over the five days, winning all seven, and further cementing his place as the number one player in the world in the process.
It wasn’t all straightforward for McIlroy, though, as he trailed in three different matches after 17 holes against Billy Horschel, Paul Casey and Jim Furyk, only to turn all three into wins.
Maybe the most incredible comeback of his week was the semi-final win against Furyk, where McIlroy buried a 44-foot eagle putt on the par-five 18th hole to defeat the veteran American.
McIlroy was in control throughout the final against Gary Woodland, getting to four-up after seven holes and never relinquishing his lead.
When McIlroy is firing on all cylinders, it is a sight to behold. With his immense distance from the tee, McIlroy can demolish golf courses and blow the rest of the field away.
In order to maximise distance in your own golf swing, club head speed at impact is the key.
Far too many amateur golfers think that by trying to hit the ball harder, they will hit the ball further.
In reality, trying to hit the ball harder causes most people to become tense and causes their muscles to tighten during the swing, actually robbing them of club head speed and therefore distance.
So in order to maximise your distance from the tee, stay relaxed, keep your grip pressure nice and light and ‘free’ up your golf swing.
Really monitor your grip pressure throughout the swing, making sure you keep your hands and arms as relaxed as possible throughout the entire swing.
To really bomb it like Rory, trust in your ability to hit it long and straight, swing freely and don’t try to ‘guide’ your ball into the fairway.
A great drill to feel this is to grip your driver upside down and make some practice swings, listening to the ‘swoosh’ the club makes as you make these practice swings.
The louder the ‘swoosh’, the faster the swing speed.
Make some really relaxed practice swings, making the loudest ‘swoosh’ you can, then step into the ball – and let it go!