By Paul Myers
When some first see Gary Woodland on a golf course during a PGA Tour event, they get the feeling that he might be in the wrong place. It’s not that he doesn’t belong on the Tour – certainly, he has plenty of game to keep up with the world’s top golfers. However, Woodland has the physique of someone who could be playing some other professional sport – not necessarily golf. Of course, that impressive size that he brings to the golf course helps him to generate tremendous power and be one of the longest hitters on the Tour year after year.
Near the Top
A scan of the PGA Tour leaderboard for longest hitters won’t take long find Gary Woodland’s name. Currently he is ranked 4th for the PGA Tour season at 122.50 MPH average, putting him within about 1 MPH off the leader, Bubba Watson. Being able to make an average swing of over 122 MPH, and maxing out at 125.55 MPH, demonstrates the kind of weapons that Woodland has to use on the long courses of the PGA Tour.
Not Just a Power Player
Unlike some of the other long hitters on Tour, Gary Woodland has plenty of other skills to back up the long drives. To prove that point, he already has two wins on the PGA Tour, in addition to top-30 finishes in each of the four majors. While power will help you reach those accomplishments, you will need more than long drives to find yourself in the winner circle on Tour. Gary Woodland uses an all-around game to compete consistently with the best in the world, and has reached a personal high of 36th in the World Golf Rankings (back in 2011).
Gary Woodland doesn’t need any tricks or gimmicks in his swing to generate power. Thanks to that afore mentioned physique and his 6’1’’ height, he can just use solid fundamentals and a repeatable motion to crush the ball down the fairway. A lesson for the average golfer to learn from watching Woodland play is that it is sometimes best to use what comes naturally to you and don’t try to do too much extra. Woodland is able to hit massive drives thanks to his natural strength, so he takes advantage of that. When you are working on your own swing, it is important to identify your personal strengths and make sure that your swing highlights them, not takes away from them.
Gary Woodland can stand on the tee knowing that he is among the most-powerful golfers on Tour, yet his game is about much more than just swing speed. That power is simply one tool among many that he uses to try and fight his way up the leaderboard and back into the PGA Tour winners circle. With two wins to his credit on Tour and still just 30 years old, it would seem like a good bet that there is still plenty of great golf left to come from Gary Woodland.
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