More Distance, Better Accuracy

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More Distance, Better Accuracy

August 06, 2012

Your big muscles are the key to longer, straighter drives

KEEP IT SHORT AND TIGHT

I've been working on making a more level shoulder turn so my backswing no longer feels long or loose. I want it to feel compact and that everything is tight. If the club gets past parallel--or even to parallel--at the top, that's a sign my hands are getting too active. That can screw up my timing on the downswing. But instead of worrying about where the shaft is at the top, I'm concentrating on turning back until my stomach and back muscles feel as if they're really stretched.

ROTATE, DON'T SLIDE

My typical miss is a block. The ball flies straight but right of the target. Sometimes during the downswing, my lower body slides toward the target and the club gets trapped behind me, forcing me to save the shot with a handsy release. If I'm too late, it's a block. I want my hips to rotate, not slide. It's a feeling of my head staying behind the ball as I put my body weight into the hit. To play a fade, I try to keep the handle of the club pointing at my stomach through impact--everything is turning together.

STAND TALLER TO MAKE A BETTER TURN

At address, I'm constantly checking to make sure I'm standing tall to the ball. I look down to see if my hands are hanging too low. If they are, then I'm not giving my chest a chance to turn back wide enough for a powerful hit. That's when I get handsy, because I try to make up for that loss of width by hinging the club up more with my hands. If I stand taller, I give my swing a chance to get wider.

POST UP LEFT OF YOUR TARGET

It's wrong to say your chest should be pointing at the target when you finish the swing. I want my chest pointing considerably left of the target. I don't stop turning until my body won't turn anymore. If it stopped at any point before that, guess what, my hands would flip the clubface shut and I'd hook it. A complete body turn through the ball allows me to hit a solid fade and take the left side of the course out of play.

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