Stripe It!

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

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Find Your Tempo
Accurate drivers develop and retain a consistent swing tempo for the entire round. A good drill to help you find this is to experiment with a variety of different swing speeds.

Simply, tee up five balls in a row and, with a full-length motion, make a swing that’s about 20% of your full strength. Hit the next one at 40%, the next at 60% and so on, until you beat the stuffing out of the last one.

Varying your tempo will help you find the one that suits you best. As you go through the balls, you’ll find one speed that stands out as best. Stick with that “speed.” Annika Sorenstam’s caddie reminded her on every tee box to “swing six,” which meant a speed of six on a scale of 1 to 10, or 60%.

This drill also helps you become more aware of any deviations from your standard tempo while you’re out playing.

Hold your finish
To make solid contact and drive the ball straight, you have to finish in balance.

In this photo, notice how my weight is on my forward leg. I’m standing on the point of my right toe, my knees are together, the club is framed behind my back, and my belt buckle faces the target. I’m as in balance as it gets.

Although it might seem antithetical to what we often see (and do), to hit the ball far, your goal should not be to swing as hard as you can. It should be to swing as hard as you can and still maintain good balance. Good drivers always finish in a poised, balanced position because they’ve swung within themselves and haven’t compromised their balance for more distance.

I’ve probably had more success with this one simple thought than any other while playing competitive golf. If you don’t believe me, consider that Mike Weir swings through the ball to a balanced finish position and holds that pose for three seconds—on every shot.


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