Hit It Big

Crush your drives with these fifteen tips

Labels: DrivingPower

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START YOUR BACKSWING SMOOTHLY
The smoother your swing starts, the better chance you have to gradually build up powerful momentum. To keep your takeaway in check, hit some shots where you gently roll a ball away from address with the back end of your driver. After hitting the shot, take note of how far you’ve rolled the ball away. If you’re within one to two feet from your starting position, then you likely got off to a smooth start and are in good shape; if it’s greater than that, you rushed your takeaway and need to slow it down.


UNWIND SLOWLY
Rush, rush, rush! That’s a common mistake most players make when they try to hit a big drive. When trying to generate a little extra mojo, it’s important to keep in mind that the universe is rooted in paradox. It’s patience, not rushing, that’ll help you generate more speed. Many golfers get too anxious, causing their smaller muscles to take over and to make an over-the-top swing. Check out the photo at right, where I’m tossing a ball up in the air. Notice how, when the ball reaches its apex, it’s neither traveling up nor down. This is the all-important “transition” point between the two directions. The transition in this simple tossing exercise is slow and quiet. When you strive for more power, it’s vital that you incorporate this same “slow and quiet” attitude into your swing.


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WIDEN YOUR ARC
The big arc made popular by Jack Nicklaus was what helped him generate a lot of power. To add some width to your swing, practice some rehearsals where you swing your lead arm about one-third of the way into your backswing. Make sure to keep your head fairly centered as you stretch. Once the left arm is in position, place your right hand on the club, as well. Notice how wide your arc is? With the proper amount of stretch, you should see a gap about the size of a softball between the inside of your upper arm and rib cage. Big drives are just moves away.


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NARROW YOUR ATTACK
A common problem for many golfers is what I call clubhead “throwaway,” where the angles created in the backswing are too quickly dissipated coming down, leading to poor speed and lack of compression. Once you’ve got a wide arc going back, try to narrow it a bit coming down. Thinking “wide to narrow” and trying to make your swing look a little like Ben Hogan or Sergio Garcia is a great way to keep those angles in check.


TEE IT HIGH
The key to great driving is to create an angle of attack that’s level to slightly ascending at the point of contact. Teeing the ball up so that at least half of it is above the club’s topline ensures that you won’t go after it with too steep of a descending blow. Also, your driver’s hot spot is likely near the top of the face, so this tip will allow you to take full advantage of your club’s distance and carry capabilities. As they say, “Tee it high and let it fly!”


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