Bubba Watson’s Golf Swing Secret

Bubba Watson hits it long – there’s no doubt about that.  Recently I was watching Bubba’s swing, and I noticed something he was doing that is a BIG reason for his long driving.

So I’ve made this video below, in which I reveal this long driving swing move… and then I tell you how you can practice it.

If you would prefer to read about this golf swing secret of Bubba Watson’s instead of watching it, I have a summary of what is in this video underneath it. So, either watch the video or read the commentary below the video (or do both :-)) .

[headline_arial_large_centered color=”#000000″]Bubba Watson’s Golf Swing Secret[/headline_arial_large_centered]

At the top of Bubba’s golf swing, he has obviously turned his shoulders a long way and his club is well beyond parallel.  But his hips have also turned a long way too.

Bubba Watson Backswing

Bubba Watson's Backswing

Then to start his swing, Bubba Watson unwinds his hips a long way, very fast.   By doing this it creates a big separation between his hips and shoulders, so his hips are very open and his shoulders are still closed.

Bubba Watson Downswing

Bubba Watson's Downswing

From the position the picture above shows, Bubba hardly turns his hips any further, as the impact picture below shows.  So what’s happening at impact is… all of the energy that has been created by the big separation of the hips and shoulders, is unleashed into the golf ball.  And Bubba is using the ground to gain even more power, because he is pushing up off the ground (that’s why Bubba’s right heel is up off the ground).  When you do that it means even more power can be imparted to the ball.  It’s a very common move professional long drivers make.

Bubba Watson impact

Bubba Watson's Impact

If you look at Bubba’s hip rotation at impact, and then compare it to his hip rotation half way into his follow-through, you’ll notice that the hips have hardly rotated any more…

Bubba Watson Follow Through

Bubba Watson's Follow Through

So you’ve got to understand this if you want longer golf drives.  From the top of your swing you want to unwind your hips as quickly and far as possible, while making the gap between your hips and shoulders as big as possible.  Then you actually want to stop trying to turn your hips, and brace yourself for the hit so you can unload all of the stored up energy into the back of the ball.

The best way I suggest you train to do this is to get an impact bag.

Impact Bag

Impact Bag

Once you have an impact bag, then setup to it as though you’re about to hit a real shot. Swing back to the top of your backswing, and from that point unwind your hips as fast as you can and unload into the impact bag. And when you’re doing this you can practice moving up at impact, so you’re using the ground to create more power.

Impact Bag Impact

Brace Yourself For Impact So All Power Goes Into The Bag

This is a great way to practice this move, because you’re going to naturally brace yourself for the strike as you’re hitting into a bag and not a golf ball.

If you practice this you too will hit longer drives. Maybe not Bubba Watson long – but you will be longer. And if you need an impact bag go here to get this one that I recommend.

Posted in

Jeff Richmond


  1. Jerry on May 29, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Great blog post Jeff! I enjoyed the video and learnt a lot. I have an impact bag tucked away somewhere. Didn’t really get what it could be used for but this has opened my eyes to the possibilities. Thanks a lot for that. Time to dust off the old impact bag!

  2. stu on May 29, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Very imformative video Jeff! I have not seen that in the golf swing before. I always thought the hips are meant to keep on rotating all the way through the swing. I just watched a slow mo of Rory’s swing and he does the same thing. Thanks for the amazing insight.

  3. Scott Moyler on May 29, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Enjoyed the vid Jeff. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Shigster3 on May 29, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Loved the video, Jeff. Still a single digit handicap but, gets harder every year with loss of distance off the tee. Always looking to find some of the lost yardage the last few years. My anticipated problem would be getting the rotation in the hips without swinging over the top with the shoulders.

    • Jeff Richmond on May 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      Glad you liked the video. That’s a problem most people would have doing this because they spin their shoulders open too early without even trying to do this. So what you’ve got to do is really exaggerate the feeling that your back stays to the target as you’re swinging down so your shoulders are closed. That’s what creates the big gap between your hips and shoulders. If you let your shoulders go with your hips then you’ll hit some very bad golf shots.

  5. Rick on May 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Looks like Bubba just stepped over on his front foot. Of course as a consequence his hips must follow. He used his entire body to swing that club and not just his arms. Very informative video!

  6. Tony M on May 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    That’s all great stuff Jeff, but it looks potentially high stress for a more mature golfer’s back, don’t you think?

  7. Simon on June 6, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Jeff, I think that the reason Bubba’s hips stop turning for a while is not because he activeley turns them, stops and turns them again in the finish. I think its because due to the shoulders lagging the hips, he simply cannot turn them any further dur to simple physical contraints.

    Once the shoulders catch up a bit, he is able to continue turning the hips.

    Assuming I am right, this is much easier to think about doing in our own swings, because it is simply holding the shoulders back while turning the hips as fast and as far as you can.

  8. Bob Zimmerman on June 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I am 85 years old with a 14 handicap. Always looking for support of the fading,long game. Have shot my age or better 82 times.
    Am currently limited to 220 to 230 off the tee. Additional distance would be helpful.
    Watson’s move is interesting, but will take some work for an old man like me to incorporate into my swing. However, would like to see if I can do it!

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