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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Reed's Driver Swings Revisited (Video)

I posted this video in a post last week and promised I'd get back to it. So let's do it!

First, here again is the video of Patrick's three different driver swings.

Now let's look at the keys to each swing separately.
  • The slinger draw is a huge low hook. Patrick says he aims WAAAAAY right -- as much as 30 yards! --and really twists his forearms as he hits the ball. Yes, that will work... but it can be a bit tricky for some of you. Let me offer another method that some of you might find easier and a bit more consistent.
You'll still want to aim out to the right -- to the left if you're a lefty -- but there's another way to get a low hook. Stand a little farther away from the ball, which will make you swing more in-to-out than normal. Then experiment a little with your ball position. You'll need to move the ball a bit forward in your stance, but probably not a whole lot. You want to find a spot where you can square or close the clubface slightly at impact. If you swing in-to-out with a square-to-closed clubface, the ball will draw or even hook. Just don't tee the ball too high -- you still want a lower ballflight with this shot.
  • The high bomb is a high, long draw. Patrick moves it forward, tees it high and swings hard, again with that hard release you get by twisting your forearms.
And again, you can get that draw/hook shot shape by standing a bit farther from the ball and moving it a bit forward in your stance. Just tee the ball higher -- you want a high draw, remember -- and don't aim quite so far to the right (or left for you lefties) because you just want a draw, not a hook.
  • Finally, the butter cut is the fade with the Palmer-style helicopter finish. Patrick aims the clubface at the flag and makes sure his swing path -- which means his stance -- is aimed way left. He also tries to hold the clubface open, which means he tries to keep the toe of the driver pointed more to the right (left for you lefties) as long as possible. The helicopter finish isn't as dramatic in the video because he's indoors and not swinging as hard as he does on the course.
Note that Patrick has a natural draw that tends toward a hook, and he doesn't find it easy to play a fade. That's why his approach sounds so dramatic -- he has to overdo everything to make sure the ball fades, and even then sometimes all he can manage is a straight ball. That happened to him a number of times at the Masters.

If you don't have a natural draw, you probably won't need the extremes Patrick uses. Make sure the clubface is aimed at the flag, that you're aimed farther left than you normally would (that's farther right for you lefties) and then just try to hold the face square or slightly open during impact. You may not need the helicopter finish at all. A little practice on the range should tell you how much you need to exaggerate the address position and moves.

As you can tell, none of these swings is particularly difficult to understand. The guiding key here is that, whatever your natural shot shape is, it's the other shot shape that you'll need to exaggerate. Natural drawers of the ball, you'll want to focus on Patrick's technique. But you natural slicers, you'll want to focus more on my suggestions, simply because you don't naturally create such a dramatic release of the club at impact.

One other thing: Don't try to learn them all at once. Pick one of them, work on it until you can play it with some degree of consistency, and then you can try learning another of the swings. Adding one dependable shot shape to your repertoire is better than adding three undependable accidents waiting to happen.


  1. I currently have a slinger push/fade, push draw, and high cut

    1. A push draw is similar to Reed's slinger, only his is probably bigger than yours. (And, based on what you're saying, I'm guessing yours doesn't get back to the target.) But I'll do a post on that push/fade, Phil. Just give me a few days.