Total Driving

Sean O'Hair's coach helps you hit it long (and down the middle) every time

2 Manage Your Drive
While it’s tempting to “grip it and rip it,” it’s more realistic to think of your drives the same way tennis players think of their second serves—with the emphasis on placement. Tiger and Phil might miss nearly half their fairways, but they have the strength and skill to get out of the rough and put enough spin on the ball to stop it on the green. I suggest playing to your strengths. In the photo, I’m teeing it up on the right side of the teebox because the hole is a dogleg right. That gives me a great angle if my natural shot shape is left to right, which is the case for most amateurs. The key point is, whether you play a draw or a fade, it’s important to play to your strengths off the tee and not attempt shots that are beyond you. Trust me, you’ll save strokes if you play it smart. 

Play to your strengths! Although most amateurs slice the ball, I rarely see them actually play for one. If your ballflight normally curves from left to right, consider teeing it up on the right side of the teebox. That way, you can aim to the left and let the ball find the fairway.


My lead hand is square to the target line. You can clearly see the label on my glove.

My hand (and, hence, clubface) is pointing to the right of the target line. Look out slice!

Fore left! My glove’s logo is facing way left, and that’s where the ball will go. 

3 Control Your Clubface
Hey, what happened to my golf club? Well, I don’t need one to demonstrate how your glove hand mirrors your clubface position during the golf swing. At impact, if the back of your glove hand faces to the right of your target line (see the center photo above), your club hasn’t released yet, so the clubface remains open (causing a slice). On the other hand, if the back of your hand points left of your target line (above, right), you released the club too soon and closed the clubface, producing a hook. To find the proper impact position, check out the top, left photo. The back of my left hand is perpendicular to my target line, pointing right down the heart of the fairway (note how you can clearly see my glove’s label). When this happens, I guarantee the clubface will be square, your shot will be straight, and you’ll hit the fairway every time. See? No club needed.


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