Recreational golfers, top amateurs and pros have at least one thing in common–they all want to drive it long. It's a desire all golfers have, which is why driving ranges are full of people swinging out of their shoes in the attempt to hit it higher, longer and farther. The guys who compete on the LDA (Long Drivers of America) Tour also want to hit it long, which, to them, is anything over 350 yards. Granted, most of the LDA competitors are significantly bigger and stronger than the average golfer, and can produce high swing speeds through the use of brute force. However, long drivers can't make it through the many tiers of competition on strength alone. To hit it as far as they do, they need to employ solid, power-producing techniques. These moves are proven to work, and can be used by PGA Tour players and weekend duffers alike. And while the majority of LDA competitors have never played in a Tour event, or even tried to get through Q-School, they're experts at producing distance. Take a close look at the positions of power they employ, and you, too, might learn to go deep.
David Mobley: Maximum Impact
Deep into the downswing, David Mobley retains a large amount of the angle formed between his left arm and the shaft. This allows the clubhead to accelerate all the way through the golf ball, maximizing clubhead speed. He does this by maintaining the bend in his right wrist as long as possible, which keeps his hands leading the clubhead throughout his swing. Also notice that the left leg is straightening during impact, a move that helps create the greatest distance possible between the left shoulder and the clubhead. This is a huge source of power!
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Brian Pavlet: Power Squat
1. Pavlet's extra-long swing length results from bending the left arm and cupping the left wrist.
2. Pavlet is displaying a classic, power lifter's squat position as he starts the downswing, which helps him create enormous power. It appears he's having a tug-of-war–which he is clearly winning–with the weight of the clubhead. This is very similar to pictures of the legendary Sam Snead at the same point in the swing. It's important to note that Pavlet's body is dropping slightly due to the increase in knee flex as he yanks on the handle of the club with his legs, stomach and trunk, not his hands. By primarily using his body, Pavlet can explode into the golf ball with everything he's got.
The Cobra SZ Series is a top choice for pro long drivers like Pavlet who need accurate distance.
Vince Ciurlini: Power Stance
1. Ciurlini's setup is reminiscent of a lumberjack ready to chop down a tree. Notice how far his head is_Ê behind the ball–this is something all power hitters do to create leverage. However, Ciurlini takes it to the extreme, positioning his entire body behind the ball. He also has all the other classic elements of a power hitter's stance, including flexed knees, feet that are wide apart, a strong grip with the entire back of the left hand visible, shoulders tilted down to the right and a head position that's tilted away from the golf ball. With this type of setup, Ciurlini is creating a solid platform from which he can generate a huge turn and the means to move back to the ball at impact. While this technique may not produce perfect consistency, it does output a lot of raw power. If he fails to get back to the ball, Fore left! But when he does, Tim-berrr!
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Sean Fister: On-Plane Force
3. Although hitting the ball as far as possible is the ultimate goal for long drivers, accuracy is still a concern, and delivering the club on the proper path and plane is the key to Fister's consistency. There are power benefits to swinging on plane as well. A club attacking on plane has a much better chance of striking the ball in the sweet spot, which not only takes advantage of the COR benefits of modern drivers, but also creates the least amount of sidespin. Driving the club down the plane also produces a predictable, power-rich force through impact that an off-plane delivery cannot.
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Carl Wolter: Cleared For Takeoff
3. Wolter's hips have completely rotated open, allowing his arms to fully extend through the hitting area. Not only have the hips cleared, but they have remained level, which is key. By rotating through on a level plane, his right shoulder, arm and hip are able to continue adding power through impact. This prevents his body from getting stuck, which would limit the potential for clubhead speed by forcing him to hit only with his hands.
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Greg Wellong: Slugger's Extension
4. Wellong's arms and club are clearly traveling away from his body after impact. Like a power hitter in baseball, extending the arms through the hitting area creates tremendous power. It's also evident that the clubface is rolling closed due to a dominant right hand, which is very similar to what a top-handed baseball slugger does. The combination of hitting from the inside out and rotating the clubface creates a lot of power as well as a right-to-left shot shape. There's no chicken wing here, which is the ultimate power killer._Ê
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Trez Simmons: Spring Loaded
2. Notice how Simmons' left arm is parallel to the ground while the shaft is perpendicular to it. This position indicates a massive coil away from the ball, and you can see his entire body stretching and straining to get turned. His arms have done a fine job of remaining passive while keeping the club away from his body, which is critical for creating speed. The coil is further enhanced by his left foot position, which is firmly on the ground. This limits his hip turn and shortens his backswing.
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