Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tips From The Tour With Brady Riggs
Learn from the best players in the world
Drive For Show
A critical part of driving the ball accurately is starting the shot on-line to the intended target. The two drives seen above by Tour players Kevin Na and Sean O’Hair (at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans), clearly illustrate the difference between a dependable driver swing and one that will produce erratic results. Kevin Na (at top), tends to swing the club on a much more inside-out-path than O’Hair, and as a result, must use his hands to try and square the clubface through impact. This technique requires a great deal of timing and a lot of practice, and can be extremely difficult to reproduce in pressure situations. On this particular drive, Na was unable to get the clubface squared in time and blew his shot well to the right of the fairway. In contrast, O’Hair swings the club on a more neutral path into the ball, which requires much less timing and manipulation. He can simply let the clubface release naturally with the pivot of his body because he knows the shot will tend to start on-line to the target more times than not. This particular shot, for example, split the middle of the fairway. Although it probably sounds a bit simplistic, the truth is, if you currently have to aim off the right or left side of the fairway in order to get the ball in play, you’re never going to be able to drive the ball with any consistency or accuracy. If this sounds like you, it’s definitely time you learned to swing the club on-plane and on the correct path. Remember, good players don’t swing the club on an overly inside or outside path, but generally try to keep the club in a neutral and predictable position.
Na’s downswing begins with a drop of his right shoulder, forcing the club onto an overly inside-out path.
The only way to compensate for a position that’s “underneath” is to flip the clubhead with the hands at the right time.
O’Hair’s right shoulder stays high while his lower body unwinds. This keeps the club tracking properly.
O’Hair doesn’t need to compensate with his hands. Instead he can simply let the club release with the pivot of his body.
Brady Riggs is a Golf Tips Senior Instruction Editor and one of the most sought-after teachers in Southern California. He’s located at Woodley Lakes, G.C.
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