Genesis Scottish Open

The Renaissance Club


Butch Harmon: Launch Your Driver

By Butch Harmon Photos by J.D. Cuban
May 13, 2012

If you have a hard time getting your tee shots up in the air, you're giving up serious distance. I've got a tip that will help you: Check your stance width. I see so many amateurs who stand too narrow. They set their feet about as wide as their hips, head in line with the ball, shoulders level (above, right). That's not a stable position, and usually sends the ball short and right.

Try this instead: Take your normal stance, then drop your right foot back a few inches, letting your head go with it. Your spine will tilt away from the target, with your shoulders angled upward (above, left). Now you're in position to really launch the ball. In fact, you'll hit it slightly on the upswing without changing anything in your swing. That'll give you a higher trajectory and more carry distance.



Grip pressure is a big deal. Too much can restrict wrist hinge and affect your feel for the club. Too little, and you risk losing control during the swing. On a scale of 1 (softest) to 10 (firmest), try to grip the club between 5 and 7. If you tend to lose your grip, push your right palm down into your left thumb at address (right). This pressure point will help keep your grip solid throughout. For more, watch the video below.

Butch Harmon is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional and runs the Butch Harmon School of Golf at Rio Secco, in Henderson, Nev.