Friday, February 16, 2007
Dial In The Distance
Getting An Extra 5 To 10 Yards
To get the clubhead traveling a little faster (a necessary requirement for hitting longer shots), you need to create a longer backswing with an increase in the amount of arm swing and body turn. Not only must the swing be a little longer, but you need to pick up the pace of your swing to increase clubhead speed as well. The pace of the forwardswing should be slightly faster than normal.
Another factor in getting yardage above normal is related to the type of spin created by the type of shot you hit. The sidespin created by drawing the golf ball will generally have a more boring trajectory and will land a little hotter.
Drawing the golf ball is best accomplished by altering your setup and simply making your normal golf swing. Place the ball slightly back of normal at address, aiming the clubface where you want the ball to end up while you align your body to the right—or the direction the ball should start. This closed stance sets up the required in-to-out path, and if the clubface is aimed at the target correctly, it will be closed relative to the path. The grip pressure in both hands should remain light to encourage the clubface to close a little sooner through the hitting area to impart the draw spin.
Taking Off 5 To 10 Yards
An uphill lie increases the effective loft of the club youre using, making the shot fly higher and shorter than normal. Start by taking one or possibly two more clubs than normal. Set your shoulders parallel to the ground. This will set more weight on your back foot. Now youre prepared to swing down the slope going back and up the slope on the forwardswing. From an uphill lie, youll be fighting gravity on the forwardswing, making it harder to transfer your weight to your front foot. Therefore, flare your front foot slightly to help your body unwind to the target and encourage weight transfer. Play the ball in your stance as you would with a flat lie.
Right-to-left sidespin will produce a more boring trajectory and more roll. The key components of a draw are a closed stance and a clubface that closes sooner through the impact area.
A well-timed fade can produce a higher trajectory and less carry when the situation calls for it. An open stance and a face that remains open to the path create the left-to-right spin.
Add Or Delete Yards
Any good player can call up a little extra speed, or subtract it, to hit it stiff from in-between distances. To hit the ball farther or shorter, simply increase or decrease swing speed. Dictate speed by the length of your swing; longer and with more turn (left) for more speed, three-quarters and with a slower tempo for less (right).
PGA professional Mike McGetrick is considered one of the top 100 teachers in America. His academy is located in Denver, Colo.