Hit a Golf Ball Farther Than Bubba Watson

Dec 12 / Build Muscle

Bubba Watson is one of the biggest hitters on the PGA tour, sending the ball an average of 313 yards. At the Masters in April, his pink-shafted driver and mega swing helped him pull away from the closest competitor, and win him the title for the second time in three years.

But Tim Burke, a 27-year-old from Orlando, Florida, crushes Watson's drive. The former University of Miami baseball pitcher sends the golf ball more than 400 yards, at speeds as high as 223 miles per hour. Yes, 233 mph.

You won't find him on the putting green next to Watson any time soon, though. Burke is a long driver. To be competitive, you have to focus on just one thing: driving the ball as far as possible. And Burke's the best. Last year, he won the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship with a drive of 427 yards.

Burke believes his baseball background made him a natural in the tee box. "Pitching and long driving share the same sequence: hips, torso, arms, and then the release," he says. "I can generate power from the ground up and create a lot of torque."

And while his tall, muscular frame (he's 6'6", 230 pounds) helps him, it's not enough by itself to set records. "While strength is an important factor, it's not the only key to long driving," says Bill Hartman, C.S.C.S., P.T., co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training. "A golf swing takes only a second, so you'll never have time to reach your maximum strength."

That's why Burke's trainer, Trevor Anderson, owner of Perform Better Every Day Fitness and Performance, has the athlete focus on improving his "golfleticism"—a combination of strength, flexibility, stability, speed, control, and power.

Burke isn't just lifting weights and swinging clubs during training sessions. He's also doing things like kettlebell moves, agility work, and cone drills that help him move more athletically through specific facets of his drive.

Take this bounding cone drill, for instance. You'll set up two cones about 4 feet about. In front of one cone, stand on your right foot with your right knee slightly bent and your left foot slightly off the floor. Lower your body toward the floor, and then bound to your left by jumping off your right leg. Land on your left foot as you reach toward the cone with your right hand. Reverse the movement back toward the right, landing on your right foot this time. That's one rep. Do 3 sets of 5 reps.

The drill teaches lateral movement, which is crucial to increasing Burke's club head speed, says Anderson. As Burke swings, he shifts to his right side, loading his right hip. This gives him a solid foundation to wind his upper body and torso against as he quickly transfers power back to his left side. The better he can move laterally, the faster the club head will move and the farther the ball will fly, explains Anderson.

Want to learn more about the skills needed to long drive? Check out the video below for a breakdown of the science behind the swing.