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Driving

Want to be a big hitter? Get golf driving tips and add yards with our long golf drive secrets. Here you'll see articles on golf driving from some of the foremost experts around.



Keep It Level

Keep It LevelOne of the keys to a solid golf swing is a level turn of the shoulders and hips during the backswing. A solid rotation not only promotes consistent ballstriking, but lays the foundation for achieving maximum distance as well.

Preload The Power

Preload The PowerI’m frequently approached at my power clinics and exhibitions by senior golfers who claim they’ve lost strength and suppleness, which translates into shorter tee shots. My advice to them for regaining lost distance is simple and direct: pre-load your power. By that I mean seniors should make a few swing adjustments to compensate for advancing age and a diminished ability to turn their shoulders and torque their torso.

Clear The Way

Clear The WayYou can’t hit big drives if your body gets stuck. That’s why I make a point of rotating my hips completely open on the downswing. This allows my arms to fully extend through the hitting area. Not only do my hips clear, but they remain level, which is key. By rotating through on a level plane, my right shoulder, arm and hip are able to continue adding power through impact. This prevents my body from getting stuck, which would limit the potential for clubhead speed by forcing me to hit only with my hands.

Alter Your Focus

Alter Your FocusOne of the first lessons most golfers learn is to “keep your eye on the ball.” I’m here to offer a better suggestion: Move your eyes behind the ball. Heresy, you say? I don’t think so. That’s because when a golfer makes his or her backswing with a full turn of the shoulders and a proper shift of weight, the center of his or her chest, or sternum, will be well behind the ball. (Exactly how far behind the ball depends on an individual’s suppleness and flexibility.)

Coil And Load

Coil And LoadThere are many keys to a powerful swing, and my number-one focus is to establish a powerful backswing coil. Notice how my left arm is parallel to the ground while the shaft is perpendicular to it. This position indicates a massive turn away from the ball and not a simple lifting of the club to the top (you can see my entire body stretching and straining to get turned). The coil is further enhanced by my left foot, which is firmly on the ground. This limits the amount I can turn my hips while still allowing me to rotate my shoulders as much as possible.

Focus On The Finish

Focus On The FinishMany amateurs are so consumed with anxiety about the incremental parts of the golf swing (grip, alignment, posture, setup, etc.) that they lose sight of the overall objective, which is to strike the ball squarely and forcefully. Let me suggest a method to alleviate this anxiety: Focus on the finish.

Squat For Power

Squat For PowerTo begin the downswing, I squat to create leverage. The squat disappears as my left leg straightens, however. This move creates tremendous power and speed.

The Secret To Speed

For more clubhead MPH and more yards, turn to your hips

The Secret To SpeedIf there’s an absolute truth in golf, it’s that the faster you can move the clubhead, the greater the potential for extra distance. Granted, you still need to make solid contact in the center of the face and with the club moving on the proper plane, but all other things being equal, more speed definitely means more yards. The big question is: Where does speed come from? Your hands can move fairly quickly, and there’s no faster part of your body than your fingers. But where the golf swing is concerned, a fast clubhead almost always results from fast hips moving correctly and in the proper direction.

Hip Work

Hip Work

The three components for proper hip movement—a critical component of a fundamentally solid downswing—are weight shift, a slight lateral slide and hip whip (the explosive rotation just before impact that generates power). Good players know how to mix these components in the proper proportion to achieve both maximum power and outstanding accuracy.

Drive With Control & Power

Serious advice and drills for big, big hits

Drive With Control & PowerEach of my students completes a pre-instruction questionnaire, indicating wants, needs and goals. I’ve used this questionnaire for 20 years, and easily the most oft-noted goal is “more distance with more control.” Many of these golfers own sound fundamentals, solid iron swings and good short games, but nonetheless lack the skill to consistently produce pure and powerful drives. In your own attempts to improve, does it seem like the harder you try to gain distance, the worse it gets? Trust me, you’re not alone. I’m confident that learning from four typical driving faults and comparing those to the moves of golfers who hit it forever with a seemingly effortless flow of motion will help you do the same.

Three Needs For Speed

Three Needs For Speed

Like a high-performance engine that stalls when it leaks oil, water or fuel, a golf swing comes to an idling stop when the potential energy created in the backswing is emptied well before impact. Here are three tips to help keep power from leaking out of your game and also add horsepower to your motion.

Three Keys To Longer Drives

Three Keys To Longer Drives

If your driving suffers from inconsistency and a lack of distance, you may be tied up with too many thoughts about swing mechanics. Free your mind at address and focus on a specific target in the fairway where you want the ball to land. Then let your natural instincts take over. Swing the clubhead to that target, making an athletic move through the ball.
 

Lead With The Left

Lead With The Left

Golfers who possess the ability to hammer 300-yard drives like clockwork often talk about the importance of “firing the right side” through impact. That’s all well and good, but it’s also somewhat misleading. The right side doesn’t serve as an initiator in the downswing; it’s a reactor. The right side of the body doesn’t “fire” as such; it responds to a proper sequence of motion initiated by the left side.

Sweet Spot: Davis Love III

Sweet Spot: Davis Love III

Davis Love III is that rare breed of golfer who enters every tournament with a great chance to win. One of the reasons for this is his prowess with the driver. Last year, Love averaged 299 yards off the tee and notched a Total Driving ranking (accuracy plus distance) of 26, which fueled four wins and paychecks totaling $6 million. With such length off the tee, hitting greens in regulation—the most important scoring indicator—becomes a less daunting task.

Separate At The Top

Separate At The Top

There are many different ways to generate extra power in the golf swing, and here’s one of the best: create maximum extension of the arms at the top.

Swing Extremes: Foot Action

Swing Extremes: Foot ActionSkilled golfers know that true power results from the upper body coiling over the resistance of the lower body, and that the key to this is establishing good footwork. Typical modern-day pros are flexible enough to get the upper body behind the ball without having to lift the left foot off the ground. Instead, they shift their weight to the inside of the right foot as the left foot rolls slightly inward, allowing the left knee to rotate behind the ball. From this position, they shift weight laterally on the downswing, pushing off the ground with the right foot.

Easy Drives

Simple tips and drills for finding the fairway more often

Easy Drives

The higher the handicap, the more pivotal the tee ball becomes. Driving the ball into water, rough, bunkers, trees and other hazards is what causes high-handicappers to rack up strokes. As players become more proficient, they develop skills to execute trouble shots and hit pitches from the rough and sand, putting less pressure on hitting fairways. It’s almost as if good players expect to miss every now and then, feeling confident in knowing that they have the tools to recover from an errant drive. High-handicappers, unfortunately, don’t have that luxury.

Cement and Spaghetti

Cement and Spaghetti

My standard response to a question I frequently field at clinics and exhibitions about the proper feeling at address is: “It’s like cement and spaghetti.” That strange combination of metaphors raises a few eyebrows until I explain what I mean.

Positions Of Power

Learn the secrets of the longest drivers in the world

Positions Of Power

Recreational golfers, top amateurs and pros have at least one thing in common—they all want to drive it long. It’s a desire all golfers have, which is why driving ranges are full of people swinging out of their shoes in the attempt to hit it higher, longer and farther.

Don't Get Wristy

Don't Get WristyA wrist- or hand-dominated motion can be useful in certain situations around the green, where less-than-perfect lies mandate a conscious manipulation of the clubhead. However, being wristy or handsy on the tee, where the objective is to generate maximum power and distance, is a definite no-no. With the big stick, you should strive to keep your hands and wrists as quiet—or passive—as possible.

The Crusher

The CrusherAccording to golf stat man L.J. Riccio, Ph.D., the most important factor for low scores is greens in regulation. Statistically, every extra green you hit in regulation is equal to two strokes off your average score. The problem is that, over the long haul, you’re not going to be in position to hit a green in regulation unless you’ve driven it long enough for a short-iron approach. That’s why this Going Low is dedicated to showing you how to “stand back and let the big dog eat”— in other words, to crush it off the tee.

Swing Extremes: Driver Setup

Swing Extremes: Driver SetupThroughout my 15 years of teaching, I’ve learned no two swings are alike. I’ve also learned that, despite the individual thumbprint every player puts on his or her swing, good swings share several common traits at key points. Unfortunately, these traits differ from the commonalities found in the swings of lesser-skilled golfers. In fact, high-handicapped golfers tend to do the exact opposite of what a fundamentally solid swing requires.

Sweet Spot: Rich Beem

Sweet Spot: Rich BeemReigning PGA champ Rich Beem is a long-hitting, aggressive player with a swing more reminiscent of the players of the ’70s and ’80s, than the current, video-taught golfers of the modern era. The first thing you’ll notice about Beem is his extremely long, upright backswing, which is a bit like Tom Watson’s in his heyday. You’ll also notice that he drives his legs excessively toward the target like Jack Nicklaus. While the overall look of the swing is powerful yet a bit sloppy, Beem knows how to make it work. And his go-for-broke style not only makes him tough to beat when he’s playing well, but also makes him a lot of fun to watch.

Get Reckless

Get RecklessMost power tips I share with readers of Golf Tips® have to do with the physical components of generating speed and power in the golf swing. For this issue, the power tip is a mental one.

Formulas For Power

Maximize your distance by learning the methods of some of the Tour?s longest hitters

Formulas For Power"How do those guys hit it so far?” has got to be the most common question asked by recreational golfers in regard to the pros. Strength training, stretching, finely tuned equipment and lots of practice are certainly part of the reason, not to mention outrageous amounts of talent. But while it’s relatively easy to understand why tall, strongly built guys like Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh can crush their tee shots, it’s not clear to most golf fans why a lot of the average-sized guys on Tour can do it, too.

 
 
 
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