So you want to drive like Tiger and putt like Ben Crenshaw, huh? Don’t we all.
Long drives and accuracy are a bit like oil and water in terms of a combination but they don’t have to be. Just imagine if you could hit your drives consistently in the fairway 250 yards + nearly every time…wouldn’t that make the game a lot easier…and fun?
Having a good tee ball is critical to your confidence and placing the ball where you can score. We all can get easily frustrated when things go sideways with the driver so I’m going to share you with you some secrets on how to get the most distance from your tee ball while keeping it accurate.
There are basically three elements to being able to get the distance and accuracy you desire with the driver.
1. You must have a good handle on the clubhead and have complete control of it. There are two things to check when dealing with club face control. First, you need to check your grip. Second, you need to see if you have the ability to hit a ball to the left and to the right. If you can do both of those, you should be able to split the difference and hit the ball straight. Now, I’m not talking about being able to work the ball like a trick shot artist…just know how to bend it a little right or left when needed. (Hint: Open the clubface to hit a fade, close it slightly for a draw)
2. Make sure you have good rotation in the shoulders and hips. Power is created from “coiling” or turning away from and then back through the ball. If you don’t “coil” or turn properly, you will never realize maximum distance. Pretend you are trying to turn your belt buckle as far away from the target while turning during your backswing. Also, make sure that when you come through the ball at impact, you are completing your turn to a nice high and solid finish.
3. You will need really good rhythm in order to achieve your best distance and accuracy. Don’t be tempted to make a quick move from the top of your swing, which can ruin your entire tempo and sequence of events. (Most high handicappers make this mistake). You can counteract this movement by developing internal counting during your swing. Counting “one one thousand” on your backswing and “two one thousand” on the downswing will help to create a smooth rhythm.
Now, most people will have trouble with these elements with the driver because it is the longest and most difficult club to hit. It will be easier with the shorter clubs because there is less of a premium on distance and more on accuracy.
One drill I have seen work wonders is to try and alternate hitting your driver and 9 iron when practicing. Start with the 9 iron and make a few good swings using the 3 elements above. Don’t overswing, just make nice easy swings. Then, pick up the driver and create the same motion and tempo. Don’t swing any harder, just focus on the elements. If you can’t hit the driver with the same results as your 9 iron, go back to the 9 iron and see the difference. Keep alternating 9 iron and driver until you get a consistent rhythm and tempo. A great case in point is to watch PGA pro Kenny Perry. He hits the ball a long way with a very compact and easy swing. Why? Because he has great control over his clubhead, makes a wonderful turn away from and through the ball and lastly, has exceptional rhythm.
So, pay attention to these 3 elements and don’t be surprised if you starting hitting them long…AND straight.
Copyright (c) 2007 Jack Moorehouse