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Golf Instruction: Driving

Phil Mickelson: Driving Directions

What you can learn from my quest to be a great driver

February 2014
Phil Mickelson
When my PGA Tour season begins, I come out swinging my driver aggressively. Then I gradually add even more speed until, by the time I get to Augusta, I'm driving it as far and accurately as I can. At the Masters, I want to rip it off the tee so I'll have a short club on those demanding approaches. The driver can be a real weapon there, more than at the other majors. At the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship, you find a lot of drive zones that either get narrow or bend left or right at 280 to 300 yards. I often hit my driver farther than that, so I'm at risk of running through the fairway. That's when I'll choose my 3-wood. But at Augusta and in the weeks leading up to it, there aren't many cut-off points where I need to back off. Driver is the play. With advances in technology, I can swing my driver similar to the way I swing the other clubs, even my irons. The driver is the longest club in the bag, and that makes my swing longer and my arc wider, but the swing mechanics are basically the same. That's good news for you. As I'm getting my game ready, I'm focusing on a short list of swing keys that help me blend maximum distance with accuracy. I've found that the simpler I keep that list, the better I play. You might not be chasing a green jacket like I am, but these tips will get your season off to a fast start.
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