Over the past 18 months, Thomas Pieters has won three times on the European Tour, waltzed into the world top 50 and was Europe’s top points scorer at the Ryder Cup.
Not bad, huh? So, how did the Belgian become so successful? Well, a huge part of that is how he drives the ball, and here he has a tip so you can hunt down those extra yards.
The main message though? Keep it simple.
I naturally generate a lot of distance. As a tall person, that’s something that has never really been a problem for me and is something I have been able to take advantage of since turning pro.
One of the main things I make sure I do is to keep the swing smooth from the top. I always look to make my transition from the top of the backswing into the downswing as smooth as I can.
"I get a lot of width at the top" - Thomas Pieters
I get a lot of width at the top and if I can maintain that on the way down, it helps to build up and create a lot of clubhead speed.
When I see people trying to get more distance out of their driver, they tend to get really steep coming down towards the ball as if that’s going to get the ball further out there. It’s actually the opposite of what you should be looking for.
It’s the width that gets the club to the ball with a lot of clubhead speed and, when I get it right, it’s how I maximise my distance.
When I go wrong with my swing, my first reaction is to go back to basics and slow everything down. I see a lot of amateurs in pro-ams trying to hit the ball really hard.
"Amateurs will hit it further if they slow down" - Thomas Pieters
Almost every week, I try and explain to them that they’ll hit it further if they slow down. That helps you to get the clubhead into the correct position at impact and then everything else follows in the right place.
Whilst distance has never been a problem for me, I always need to work on keeping the ball straighter from the tee. If I start hitting it sideways, my first instinct is to go back and make sure I’m not going after the ball. I instantly see the benefits and that’s what amateurs will see, too.
Huge. @Thomas_Pieters just drove the 407 yard 7th hole.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 6, 2016
Thomas Pieters' tips for extra distance
Have you tried any of the Belgian's tips and have they benefitted your game? Let us know in the 'Comments' section below.