Tour players are hitting the ball dramatically farther these days. Improvements in clubs and balls are contributing factors, but so is the fact that professionals have learned to reduce the amount of spin on their drives. Today's players put in long hours finding ways to reduce backspin and create the optimal launch angle. Work on the tips below to take spin off your tee shots and hit longer, more penetrating drives.
Spin robs drives of their maximum distance. Golfers who can master the art of reducing spin on their tee shots will add extra yards to their drives. Here's how to go about it.
First, tee the ball higher. Acquire some extra-long (23__ã4 inches) tees and peg the ball as high as possible. This promotes swinging up on the ball–rather than flat or, even worse, downward–and helps create launch angles of 10 degrees or higher and spin rates of 3,000 rpm and lower, proven to be the ideal launch conditions.
Second, never sole the driver at address. This will help promote an upward strike on the ball, too. It also increases a golfer's chances of making contact with the clubface in the center or slightly above. Drives struck one or two grooves below the center of the clubface will have too much spin and a trajectory that starts low and then climbs.
Third, eliminate any downward action in the swing. To reduce spin and maximize distance, golfers need to adopt the uppercut swing of a home-run hitter in baseball, not the flat swing of a contact hitter.
Fourth, stay behind the ball. Any tendency to slide ahead of the ball at impact will lower the launch angle and create more spin. Stay down and through the shot at impact, swinging the club up, out and away from the body, not down and across it.
Two-time national long drive champion Art Sellinger is a member of the Pinnacle Distance Team. He uses the Cobra 427 in his power exhibitions and represents the Four Seasons Resort and Club, Las Colinas. Copies of Art's Power Guarantee training system are available by calling (817) 329-8262 or visiting www.artoflongdriving.com.