October 29, 2008

Tiger Tips: Extend for power and accuracy

Turn your head to the target

New look: My head doesn't stay down well past impact.

New look: My head doesn't stay down well past impact.

One of my main keys to hitting the ball farther and straighter is full extension down the target line. Reminding myself to "shake hands with the target" gets me in the right position. Examples from other sports--baseball batters, hockey players and bowlers, to name a few--also help me visualize extension.

Some players flip the right hand through impact to try to get more clubhead speed. That kind of flash speed would have negative consequences for me, mainly inconsistent distance control and accuracy. Instead of extending down the line, these players flip the handle, the left wrist breaking down and the right hand crossing over the left.

I want the club to release naturally. I've even amended my "shake hands" visual: I'm learning to look at the target as I'm shaking hands. I tend to hook the ball when my head hangs back, so to keep everything moving together I try to get my head and eyes turning through with the club. My friend Annika Sorenstam does this, and it seems to work for me.

Mark Soltau is a contributing editor to Golf Digest and the editor of TigerWoods.com.