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Drive It Great

How to add power or control the power you have

Randy Smith: Drive It Great

FEEL THE WEIGHT: Make practice swings with a broom to get a sense of how to support and release the club.

November 2009

If I handed you a broom and asked you to sweep a pile of sawdust, would you stick your right elbow out and cast the broom head at the pile? You wouldn't.

Try swinging a broom like a golf club. You'll instinctively support the broom's weight at the top (1), let it lag on the downswing (2), and balance it in the finish (3). But get a club and ball involved, and suddenly there's the urge to lift the ball in the air, and that's where a lot of players lose the power we're all trying to find.

Randy Smith

My goal here is to take that confusion away, and to give anybody -- regardless of athletic ability or talent -- a better way to take longer walks between shots. And if you already hit it long, like my friend Gary Woodland, I'll show you how to stop stepping off your 300-yarders one fairway over.

TIPS PLUS: See A Video On This Lesson

Randy Smith

1. ADDRESS


The right spine tilt gets your body working from the beginning

We all know that trying to lift the ball does bad things to a golf shot. To relieve the impulse to lift, improve your spine tilt at address with the driver. With the ball opposite the inside of your left heel, hold a club to your sternum and lean your shoulders until the bottom of the club is pointing at the ball. This produces a flatter, sweeping swing path that launches the ball higher automatically. You're also in a position that makes it easier to coil your upper body during the backswing. Think of it as coiling "downhill." When the shoulders start too level, you have to turn "uphill" -- the left shoulder moves down, the club goes straight up. That steep angle is what causes power-sucking slices.

[Y] With your ball position inside your left heel, tilt your upper body until the club is pointing at the ball. From there, you can coil behind the ball, and launch it.

[N] When the shoulders start too level, you can't coil well, and that produces a steeper, over-the-top angle of attack.

Randy Smith

CASE STUDY:When I started working with PGA Tour rookie Gary Woodland in 2005, during his junior year at Kansas, he could hit it 380 yards -- but not always in the right zip code. He can generate 200 miles per hour of ball speed! But he needed to harness that a little so he could use his gift more effectively. The main project with Gary was to keep him from putting on his Superman cape. When he really goes after it, he transitions so aggressively at the top that his arms get trapped behind him and he has to try to save the shot with his hands. Those 380-yard hooks and pushes translated into double bogeys. With a more controlled, stable transition, Gary still hits it 320 off the tee, but he can find his ball -- and he got his 2009 PGA Tour card at Q school.

Randy Smith

Randy Smith

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