5'9" and 430 Yards

Here are three videos on how a guy who is 5’9” and 160 pounds hit this drive of 430 yards … with a three wood?

Golf is a game of greed, especially off the tee. You can’t ever have enough distance — ever. Back in the day, it seemed the big hitters were big people, like Tiger Woods, who is 6’1” and weighs 185 pounds. But then Rory McIlroy came along and spoiled the “Hey, I’m just a little guy” excuse of all golfers who are like McIlroy, 5’9” and 160 pounds.

If you watched “The Tonight Show” last night, you got to see some of the size difference between McIlroy and a ripped Woods, who coached Jimmy Fallon in a glass-breaking chipping contest against McIlroy.

McIlroy is also strong, but it takes more than strength to hit a ball as far as he does. This is an extreme example, but check out this drive by McIlroy. It was last month at the Aberdeen Asset Scottish Open, on the 436-yard, 13th hole (par 4). After McIlroy’s huge drive, one of his playing partners, Ian Poulter, flexed his muscles to jokingly mock McIlroy. "They all said 'Well done' and I told Poulter it was a three-wood," McIlroy said. Driver, three-wood, wind, hill, whatever — McIlroy drove the green.

So how does he do it? Here are three videos that explain:
  1. It has to do with rotational speed in the hips, and McIlroy has had it since he was nine years old, as this video shows.
  2. CBS commentator Ian Baker Finch breaks down McIlroy’s driver swing, which he calls “the best swing in the game today.” Note how McIlroy’s hips fire and then fire again during the swing to give him perhaps an additional 20 yards.

  3. If you want lots of details about McIlroy’s power, then this video by the ESPN Sports Science team is your cup of tea. “I think my power comes from my rotational speed,” says McIlroy. “I think that’s the thing where I have maybe an advantage over most of the guys.” His rotational speed is 30 percent faster than the average pro.

If you are Rory McIlroy’s height, 5’9”, how far do you drive the ball?

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