RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links


Hit your driver way straighter like Ted Potter Jr.

February 12, 2018

Jeff Gross

To say Ted Potter Jr. was an underdog in his final round pairing at Pebble Beach would be an understatement. Not only did Dustin Johnson have the vastly superior recent record, Potter was also giving up 40-plus yards off the tee to the world No. 1.

But Potter shot rounds of 62-69 on the weekend to lock down his second PGA Tour win, beating a high profile pack of players that included Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day. Potter averaged only 282 yards off the tee (compared to DJ's 312), but hit 12 out of 14 fairways on Sunday--which left him in ideal spots to attack a nasty set of Pebble pin locations.

According to Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Bill Schmedes III, some of Potter's driver dynamics are both easy to copy and great to beat a slice.

"If most golfers had the amount of shoulder tilt and arm structure that Potter demonstrates at impact they would be much more accurate," says Schmedes, who is based at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, N.J. "I like how Potter’s lead shoulder is much higher than his trail at impact with a trail elbow that has a small amount of bend to it. The average golfer’s tendency would show shoulders that are much more level to the ground with a trail elbow that is straightened at impact."

To get more of Potter's accuracy, follow these simple steps. "Take your golf posture without a golf club, and place your hands together as if you were gripping a club. From that position, make a backswing pivot and pause at the top," says Schmedes. "Before you begin the downswing, draw the trail elbow inwards so that it’s touching the side of your body. From there, slowly begin the downswing keeping the elbow inward, and the trail shoulder working down as the lead works up, pause at impact. If you do it right, your shoulders will be angled above the horizon of the sky and the center of the chest rotated in front of the ball, the lead arm relatively straight, and the trail arm will still be slightly bent."