We can’t all be long-drive kings like Joe Miller or Jamie Sadlowski, but we can certainly raise eyebrows by stealing an extra 20 yards the next time we bring out the driver.
Here are a few tips for more distance.
Peg it up
Modern big-headed drivers are designed to be more forgiving. They
have deeper faces, which need the golf ball teed up a little higher than
we all have in the past.
I like to have about half the ball showing above the top of the driver. It may sound simple, but pay attention to where the ball is sitting. A lot of people don’t set up with the ball in the middle of the face.
Why it works
When you swing, you need to get your driver face rising slightly to sweep the golf ball off the tee.
Striking the ball just above the middle of the clubface produces the best results by far, as it launches the ball high with little spin. This makes the ball cut through the air so much better as it is not working as hard to climb. All the energy is going forward.
Because it reaches the top of its flight quicker, the forward momentum it produces is still going as it descends. If the ball works hard to get into the air through spin, it becomes a spent force at the top of its flight and just falls back down.
Creating a nice big swing arc requires you to keep your lower body as
stable as you can - turning your hips, not swaying them - as your arms
maintain their full length as you turn to the top of your backswing.
It’s a relatively slow movement, the coiling into your backswing, so try and control as much of it as you can. If your right knee or hip moves sideways too much, rather than turns behind, you will lose any chance of creating a powerful coil.
Start your downswing by moving your right hip towards the target. I like to think of trying to get my right pocket to where my left pocket was at address.
If you do this, it has to move forward and the left hip will rotate to make way. As your body starts to move forward and turn, the club gets dragged into position.
This creates great lag as the arms fall down into the hitting position, leaving the clubhead at approximately shoulder height. You instantly know when you get into this position because your hands want to unhinge and your right side wants to power through to release the clubhead.
If you concentrate on speeding your hands up at this point, with the goal of having them travelling at their fastest after impact, the clubhead will power through the impact zone.
The momentum of the club will pull you forward once it has struck the golf ball and is on your follow-through - but don’t let it do all the work. Your body and, in particular, your right side, should be travelling through this area as a unit.
Don’t hang back. Encourage the right side to power through and commit to the swing.