How Tiger hits a bomb when he needs one
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No doubt you have a few holes on your course where another 10 or 15 yards off the tee would make all the difference. It could mean getting to the green in two or setting up a wedge approach to a tough hole location. Now imagine if a few simple adjustments could give you that extra boost of power.
Any golf instructor will tell you that the key to longer drives is maximizing carry distance, and that comes from creating a high launch with low spin. Tiger Woods describes how he does this in Episode 2 of “My Game: Tiger Woods,” his new video series with GOLFTV and Golf Digest: “If I want to hit the ball up, I tee it a little higher, move it up in my stance maybe half a ball, and I’m really committed to staying behind the ball to send it.”
Seems easy enough, but the common mistake when trying to create distance is to go after the ball with the arms and upper body from the top of the swing. This might feel powerful, but it typically creates a steep downswing, which launches the ball low and with a lot of spin—exactly what you don’t want. Tiger focuses instead on his lower body to create a high launch. “What I like to feel is that I really stand on my right leg [at the start of the downswing], drive all my weight into the ground, and then try to hit up on the ball as much as I possibly can.”
Now, if you’ve been told to never hang back, to get to your front side coming down, this might seem strange. Keep in mind, Tiger instinctively makes an aggressive shift toward the target; for a higher launch, he’s trying to stay back. You should shift your weight forward to start the downswing. As long as you tee the ball higher and move it up in your stance, you can make an upward strike and catch the ball in the middle of the clubface. That’s how you apply all your speed and launch it high.
For more on Tiger’s driving, including how he hits a draw and a fade and his famous stinger, check out the exclusive 12-part series “My Game: Tiger Woods.” Never before has Tiger shared his thinking or swing keys with such candor and detail, so don’t miss this chance to hear Tiger’s driving secrets directly from him.