If your driving suffers from inconsistency and a lack of distance, you may be tied up with too many thoughts about swing mechanics.
Free your mind at address and focus on a specific target in the fairway where you want the ball to land. Then let your natural instincts take over. Swing the clubhead to that target, making an athletic move through the ball.
Such a focused, target-oriented approach should get you through any round of golf without major hiccups.
In practice sessions, work on these three keys for driving, which together will produce more consistency and distance when you go to the golf course.
1. Stay on plane. Work on building the proper path for your golf swing, one that doesn’t travel outside the line on the backswing or, as is more commonly the case for amateurs, one that doesn’t get tugged inside the line. On the downswing, work on directing the club slightly to the inside of the backswing plane. This path into the ball will produce optimal results.
2. Hit the sweet spot. Sounds simple, but most golfers fail to make contact with the golf ball in the center of the clubface. One of the major causes for off-center contact is overswinging. My advice is to gear down your swing until you begin making contact dead-center on the face of the driver. This is more important than an extra 10 mph of clubhead speed. Once you can hit balls flush, gradually begin adding speed to your swing, but not at the expense of poor contact.
3. Finish in balance. Take practice swings at half speed and concentrate on making a full finish that’s in balance, with the torso rotated toward the target and the weight on the front side. If necessary, make practice swings without a golf ball and simply rehearse this finish position. (Hint: If you can’t hold the finish position for several seconds, you’re not in balance.)
These three keys–staying on plane, hitting the sweet spot and finishing in balance–are cornerstones for solid drives. Incorporating them into your driving will lead to immediate improvement both in average distance and number of fairways hit.
Two-time national long drive champion Art Sellinger is the owner and CEO of Long Drivers of America (LDA), which conducts the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship and the Pinnacle LDA Tour. He represents Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Texas, and Cobra Golf.