Jeff Flagg: How To Tear The Cover Off The Ball
December 14, 2015
Are you used to hitting it 210 off the tee? How does 270 sound? Never had a 300-yard drive, even downwind, downhill, on a baked-out fairway? Pfffff. That's going to change.Here I'll share with you some of the secrets to hitting the longest drives of your life. As a world long-drive champion, I've learned a few things over the years that can help any golfer bomb the ball. No matter how long you are now, those days are over. Follow my advice, and your golf buddies won't even recognize you. Let's get started.
SET UP LIKE BIG PAPI
Ever see David Ortiz in the batter's box? The Red Sox slugger, nicknamed Big Papi, isn't standing there looking to lay down a bunt. He's getting ready to send one into orbit. You can learn from his stance.If you set up with a little extra weight on your back leg, you'll notice that your front shoulder is higher and your spine is tilted away from the target (left). I call that "back-legging it." You're creating a launching pad that will let you sweep the ball so it flies higher and with less backspin. You can't drive it far unless you launch it high. Plain and simple.
LET YOUR ELBOW FLY
Make the biggest backswing you can without feeling like you've twisted yourself into a pretzel. Really stretch it out. Feel as if you're winding up your body to throw the hardest punch you can into one of those arcade punching bags.In fact, if I asked you to wind up to throw that punch, what happens to your elbow? It moves away from your body, right? I know a lot of people like to maintain the connection between the arms and body on the backswing, and that's fineif you want to keep hitting those 200-yard cream puffs. But to pick up some serious distance, you need all the motion you can generate. So let that right elbow come off the body (left). You'll be ready to throw a knockout blow.
SKIP A STONE THROUGH IMPACT
Wherever you are right now, pick up a stone and try to skim it along the ground. Wait: If you're inside, bad idea. Go out, find some water. Now try it.When you did that, did you think about rotating your hips? Did you think about shifting your weight? How about lagging your arm behind your body and waiting to release the stone? I'm betting you just tried to skip the stone, and your body naturally reacted. That's the secret to long drives—let your dominant arm dominate the swing (left). If you swing down like you're skipping a stone, your body will move in sync with that motion.
HOW TO FIND YOUR TOP SPEED
Don't kid yourself by thinking you're going to pick up a lot of yards swinging at the same speed you do now. You need to swing your arms as fast as you can, but with one caveat: If you lose your balance or control, back it down a notch.A great way to test your maximum arm speed is to make swings with your back foot up on its toes. Drop that foot about six inches farther away from the ball than normal, and stand it up. Now swing as fast as you can without sacrificing your balance. If you sway or stumble, you're going too hard. Speed is king in the long-drive world, but if you can't hit it in the center of the clubface, it's meaningless.Jeff Flagg, 30, won the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship in 2014.