Power Driving

Hitting bigger, more powerful drives is just a few tips away.

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Unhinging your wrists at this early stage of the downswing will drain all of your power. 

Don’t allow your upper body to follow your weight onto your left side in the downswing.

Two common mistakes that will minimize your power are an early release of the wrists in the downswing and moving your upper body onto your left side. 

An absolute key to hitting powerful drives is storing energy in the downswing. A bent right elbow and cocked wrists are a sign that that’s happening. 

The Downswing
Now it’s time to store power! Your weight should shift left with your lower body onto your left heel while your head maintains its position. This is vital to achieving the power you’re looking for! As your weight shifts left and your right elbow comes into your side, you should feel you’re saving energy in the clubhead and shaft that soon will be unleashed into the golf ball. There are a couple of common errors that you can look for if you continue to struggle with distance. One error is allowing your upper body to follow your lower body onto your left side. If this takes place, you’ll most certainly swing down too much into impact, costing you the launch conditions you’re striving for. A second common error is unhinging the wrists too early in an attempt to add power to the swing. If you want to achieve a lot of power, your wrists and right elbow must wait their turn to deliver their speed! Practice the downswing repeatedly, allowing your weight to shift left while your head remains in the same position it held at the top of the swing. Try to let your right elbow and wrists remain passive as you make your initial shift onto your left side—this will help you store even more power. It will create a different sensation than you’re used to, but it’s a good one.

An efficient release of the clubhead allows all the power you’ve stored to flow freely into
the golf ball.

The Release
For this article’s purposes, the release is defined as the straightening of the right elbow and uncocking of the wrists. Notice in the photo how my right arm is in line with the shaft of my driver. This is a full release with nothing being held back. In the downswing, my right elbow maintained its flex and my wrists remained cocked. As I reach impact, it’s time to unleash the power! Notice how my head remains well back, ensuring an upward strike. When you get the angle of approach correct and unleash your stored energy, you’ll have all the power you need.

GT Senior Instruction Editor Chuck Winstead teaches at the University Club in Baton Rouge, La. 


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