Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Drive It A Mile
Add distance with long drive secrets, featuring Sean "The Beast" Fister, 5-time winner Jason Zuback and 11 more of the world's longest hitters
I see a lot of players who shift their weight to their front leg in the backswing while trying to keep their head down. This is a reverse pivot, and it’s one of the worst power killers (and causes of slicing) around. My advice is to forget the old adage about keeping your head down, instead allow it to move away from the ball in the backswing. Keep your head and eyes up and simply turn your weight to your right side in the backswing.
When you watch the Re/Max LDA Championship or a PGA Tour event on TV, you probably notice how smooth and relatively effortless the players look when they’re hitting shots. However, when you play with other recreational golfers, they probably don’t look that way at all. The reason is that good, powerful players know that in order to swing fast on the downswing they need to be slow and smooth on the backswing. Try staying relaxed in the backswing the next time you play.
Casting is a huge reason why so many players don’t hit the ball with as much power as they would like. This means they’re throwing the club from the top of the swing, resulting in an early release and a huge loss of power. I try to do the opposite by concentrating on delivering the clubhead with a very “late” hit. Look how deep into the downswing I am with my wrists still cocked. This is how you store tons of power!
I try to keep my technique pretty simple. Sort of like John Daly, I basically just think “grip it and rip it.” However, there are some things you can do to maximize your distance without really working on your swing. First, I highly recommend going out and getting some extra long tees, at least 31⁄4-inches in length. You might even want to try 4-inch tees. Once you get the tees, be sure to play the ball well forward in your stance. It works for me.
Obviously, a lot of the guys who compete in the Re/Max Long Drive Championship are pretty big and muscular, but you don’t necessarily have to be huge to develop more power in your game. You can see I’m holding a six-pound medicine ball and practicing my core rotation in both directions (backswing and forwardswing). Try doing this very simple drill (you can use a lighter ball) for six consecutive weeks, and I guarantee you’ll hit the ball longer.
I’m not actually a professional player, but I won the European long drive championship with a very simple philosophy. Basically, I try to get set up in a comfortable, balanced stance and then reach a solid position at the top of the backswing. Once I make the transition from backswing to downswing, all I think about is hitting the ball as hard as I possibly can. You can see that I’ve basically left my feet after impact, which shows just how hard I’m swinging. If you want increased distance, don’t hold back.
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