Stripe It!

Who says you can’t hit it far and straight?

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Narrow Your Focus
Accurate drivers see precisely where they want their tee shot to go, whereas wayward drivers see fairways as huge expanses with hazards all around them. That’s why, even though the average fairway is about 40 to 50 yards wide, they’re still difficult to hit.

Take a cue from all those trouble situations you’ve found yourself in, like punching out from behind a tree. I bet you’ve hit your best shots when you’re “stymied.” That’s because you narrowed your focus and your field of vision, and created a clear, precise picture in your mind. With little to work with, your body responded accordingly and reacted better with this detailed focus.

As you can see in the picture (right), I’m doing it the wrong way. What I call the “lazy-chair slouch.” Everything’s turned, and my body isn’t properly engaged, I feel no torque or coil and have picked the club up.
To hit more fairways, you must be precise with your aim. Stand behind the ball and pick out the smallest target visible (in this case, the tip of the upper limb on the far-right tree). Once you’ve chosen that target, hold the image of it in your mind’s eye as you swing. Now split the fairway.

Keep Your Base Wide
To really beat the ball, you have to create resistance in your lower body early in the backswing. This stores energy in your core and produces torque, in much the same way you twist a wet towel.

A simple drill that will help you accomplish this is to place a large object between your legs. (Here I’m using an impact bag, but you can use anything, as long as it’s about stance width.) Then, just hit some shots. As you do so, try to keep your base as wide and grounded as possible. You’ll find that this helps your initial takeaway feel wider and slower, and that you’ll store energy in your backswing. Too often, in an effort to hit it farther, a lot of golfers get everything turning—their knees, hips, core and shoulders. Doing that only results in a quick, sloppy swing.

Have A Go-To Shot
When you just can’t seem to hit the fairway (or you’re playing on an extremely narrow course), you need a go-to shot in your arsenal. I call my go-to the “knockdown driver.”

Much like a second serve in tennis, the “knockdown driver” shot was conceived to ensure greater accuracy. Its two key elements are choking down on your driver (as Anthony Kim does) and teeing the ball lower. Shorter clubs and lower shots are easier to hit straight. Now, just make a normal swing. Simple as that.


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