My Keys To Great Driving
I guess I'm proof that you don't need to be big to hit the ball far. I'm only 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, but last year on tour I averaged more than 290 yards off the tee. Distance happens as long as you set up properly and let your body just go, no matter your frame. It's not like I play recklessly. I hit 64 percent of my fairways, which helped me rank top 25 in a stat called Total Driving. The secret is to have two swings: one for power, one for control. The control swing comes in handy when a hole is tight or your timing happens to be a hair off. Owning two driver swings doesn't mean remembering a lot of technical stuff; I'll show you the minor adjustments that make it easy to alternate between the two. Practice them, then trust your gut to know which swing to bring.
POWERWhen I'm looking to really bomb driver, like on a par 5 or reachable par 4, I tee the ball high and move it up in my stance, just off my left toe (1). A forward ball position naturally makes my body fall into a power setup. That means my head is well behind the ball (2) with the shaft leaning back and my right shoulder low. Keeping equal weight on both feet, I want to be wide in my stance (3). My torso feels loose, relaxed and prepared to hit the ball with an upward strike.
CONTROLTo hit a more conservative tee ball, I always choke down on the grip a full two inches (1) and narrow my stance so my feet are only slightly wider than my shoulders (2). I tee the ball lower and farther back, maybe three inches inside my left instep. This levels my shoulders more and helps me feel centered over the ball (3), like on an iron shot. One last thing I might check is that the shaft is basically straight up and down.
POWERI like to draw the club back slow, but not so slow that there's any tension in my forearms. At the top, I want most of my weight shifted to my right side, maybe 70 or 80 percent (1). With the big shoulder turn I've made, my head has moved significantly behind the ball (2). From here, I feel I can just step on the gas. It's go time! How far back I move my head is a matter of timing that varies day to day. If I'm feeling super on, I shift back real far.