Total Driving

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

4 Optimize Your Flight
total drivingControlling your trajectory and ball spin greatly affects your distance and accuracy. Hit it too high, and you’re susceptible to the wind; hit it too low or with too much spin, and you’ll lose distance. One way to control these factors is to select the right ball for your game. The other is to know on what part of the clubface you should hit the ball. These days, it’s pretty much a given that your new driver will have a large, 460cc clubhead that works best when you hit the ball high on its clubface. Take a look at the photo. See how the ball is teed up almost higher than the club’s crown? It’s vital you tee it up that high so you can take advantage of the club’s design and find the “hot spot” of the clubface. Oh, and only use tall tees!

5 Hit It Long
Two things help you hit it farther: solid contact and increased clubhead speed (good equipment and a physically fit body don’t hurt either). Swinging the club on a consistent swing plane and controlling the clubface will help you achieve solid contact. Also, the winding and unwinding of the body in proper sequence will help you maximize your power. Finally, if I want an extra five or 10 yards, I make an aggressive move into and through the ball. In this photo, notice how my left leg is straight at impact? This happened because I really tried to “snap” my hips through the ball to create a little extra speed. If I recall, I really smashed this one down the fairway. 


Your lower body’s large muscles initiate the downswing. To gain a few yards, snap your hips through the ball so your left leg straightens. You’ll pick up 5 to 10 yards.

Steve Dahlby, PGA, teaches at the Golf Club Scottsdale and Forest Highlands. To learn more, visit


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