10 Steps To Winning A Long-Drive Contest

SUBSCRIBE

10 Steps To Winning A Long-Drive Contest

May 20, 2015

Photo By: Eddie Berman

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Dom Furore

Catch the ball on the upswing

A simple way to pick up 20 to 30 yards on your drive is by simply catching the ball on the upswing. According to Jason Guss, "The secret to an upward attack angle is the setup. Try this: Hold your driver level across your shoulders with your arms crossed, then take your stance and nudge your hips toward the target so your lead hip is higher than your trailing hip. This will raise your front shoulder, too."More: The Secret To Picking Up More Yards, by Jason Guss

Photo By: Eddie Berman

Adjust your shoulder tilt

According to Hank Haney, players who want to smash the golf ball off the tee tend to tilt their shoulders so that their right one is lower than their left. "Your back shoulder should be lower than your front shoulder, but only by the amount that your bottom hand is lower than your top hand on the grip. The triangle formed by your hands, arms and shoulders should be centered in front of your body and aimed at the ball -- not shoved toward the target. Do it correctly, and it helps everything from alignment to swing plane." Fixing this shoulder tilt can help retrace the power that players are looking for in their drive.More: Don't Overdo The Tilt, by Hank Haney

Photo By: Dom Furore

Pick your head up and watch the ball go

Contrary to popular belief, you should NOT keep your head down when you drive the ball. Take pride in watching the shot you just mashed. According to Butch Harmon, "If your head position is rigid, you risk losing speed or, worse, hurting yourself. I promise you, fewer bad shots come from turning your head to follow the ball than from staring down. So give it a whack, and watch it go."More: Watch It Go, by Butch Harmon

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Swing the clubhead straight back

The power to drive the ball starts from the earliest stage of one's swing, the backswing. Here, starting the club back quickly to the inside causes you to run out of room, so you have to lift it to complete the backswing. A quick fix for this, according to Butch Harmon, is to "swing the clubhead back straighter. Your weight will naturally shift to your back foot, so you can drive forward and smash it."More: Power From The Start, by Butch Harmon

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Unload on your downswing

Contrary to the backswing where you load your body, the downswing is where you unload. According to Todd Anderson, to properly unload, you must "'turn into your right leg' and 'let your left side lead'. Turning into the right leg on the backswing allows you to release your left side toward the target as you start back to the ball. That keeps the club tracking on a good path to impact, with the left side pulling the right side. That's how you maximize power."More: Load + Explode, by Todd Anderson

Photo By: Dom Furore

Pre-set a higher launch

Try teeing the ball higher than normal, and rotating your left hand clockwise. According to Rick Smith, "When you rest your driver on the ground, the top half of your ball should be above the top edge of the clubhead. And when you grip the club, your left hand should be rotated clockwise into a stronger position so the crease between your thumb and forefinger points at your right shoulder. Now address the ball so it's in line with the heel of your front foot, and widen your stance until you feel a noticeable tilt away from the target."More: Hit It Longer, by Rick Smith

Photo By: Dom Furore

Go wider with your right foot

Though it is standard to keep one's feet shoulder-width apart in a stance, if you want to add an extra bit of power, widen your right foot out a few more inches. According to Butch Harmon, "That'll drop your head farther behind the ball and tilt your spine away from the target. You'll feel a little heavier on your right foot; that's perfect. In effect, this setup pre-loads your weight shift to your right side." This will allow you to give the ball a little extra yardage.More: How To Bomb It, by Butch Harmon

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Swing at 90 percent on drives

According to Robert Garrigus, 2010 PGA driving distance leader averaging 315.5 yards per drive, don't swing so hard on drives, and you can pick up 10 or 20 more yards. "That might sound like the opposite of what you should do, but I've found that 90-percent effort yields 110-percent distance. On the flip side, 110-percent effort usually yields less distance than you normally get. How can that be? Swinging harder really messes with your rhythm and timing – and saps your power."More: Steal My Feel, by Robert Garrigus

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Push off the ground for extra power

A great way to increase power on a drive is by ensuring that your lead leg is pushing into the ground on the downswing. According to Rick Smith, many people lose their posture on the downswing, making this task tough. "If you stand up and lose your posture on the downswing, you're wasting energy that could've been transferred to the ball at impact. Essentially, by pushing down into the ground with your lead leg on the downswing, you set up more lower-body thrust for impact. And that translates into more clubhead speed."More: Push Off The Ground For Power, by Rick Smith

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Step forward for a power boost

No, this isn't a reference to Happy Gilmore, so don't get any ideas. However, according to Rick Smith, making a slight lateral move to the target with your front foot is not a bad idea for a power boost. "A split second before completing the back-swing, the best players make a slight lateral move with their hips and trunk toward the target. This move not only allows the arms to swing down on plane, it helps increase swing speed by providing improved leverage between the body and club. It's a real power move."More: Step Forward For Power, by Rick Smith

Photo By: Dom Furore

Shop This Look