Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Hit monster tee shots and keep them in the short stuff
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Over the years, manufacturers have created a "hot spot" on driver faces that's well above the midpoint. From this position, high on the face, players can best optimize the club's trampoline effect. And to take advantage of this technology, you must "tee it high to let it fly." First get some tall tees and make sure you only place them in the ground a little bit so that when you put your ball on the tee, some of it rests higher than your clubface. Then place about 60% of your weight on your back foot. This should also make you tilt your spine a little too close to your back foot. When you make a swing from this setup, you'll catch the ball slightly on the upswing and high on the club's face.
If you struggle with slicing the ball, you likely swing in a linear fashion up the line of flight. However, clubs are designed to travel on an arc and back around into the finish. There's even a mantra that coaches like to repeat: "Straight swings hit curved shots, whereas curved swings hit straight shots." Take a look at these different photos and note the difference in my swing shape. One goes up and down, while the other goes around. It's definitely to your advantage to swing more around so your swing moves in a circle and not so up and down.
Rhythm is the glue that holds your swing together. That's why I want my students to learn to develop pace control by working their swing through a series of gears like a car. In first gear, make a full swing at 25 mph; in second gear, make a full swing that goes 50 mph; in third gear, go 75 and, finally, in fourth, go 100 or whatever your maximum capacity is. Make these swings from short to long and then back again, speeding up, then slowing down, or as I like to think of it, taking the dog for a walk then walking him back home again. Through practice, you'll develop a keen awareness of which pace gives you the best combination of distance and accuracy.
Top-25 Instructor, Jeff Ritter, PGA, teaches at Raven Golf Club — Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, visit him online at jeffrittergolf.com.
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