PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club


Fix Your Swing At Address

January 16, 2013

Most golfers who waggle do it to reduce tension and get their swing started fluidly. But if you really want to reap the benefits of this move, use it to reinforce something you're trying to accomplish in your swing or to eliminate from it.

Let's look at an example. U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson used to take the club back too far inside the target line. As a result, his body would block the club's path back to the ball. To improve his swing path, Webb gives himself a little reminder by waggling the clubhead back outside the target line. In effect, he pre-sets a better path.

You can use your waggle to improve tempo, path, grip pressure—you name it. It's very versatile, so use it wisely.


How high do the pros hit their tee shots? J.B. Holmes led the tour last year at 130 feet, eight inches. (The tour average is about 100 feet.) Your tee ball shouldn't go real high or real low because you'll lose distance. Swing speed plays a huge factor. For an average golfer swinging a driver 90 miles per hour, a good launch angle is 12 to 14 degrees with a ball spin rate of about 2,800 revolutions per minute. This will yield a shot that flies as high as 75 feet.

Rick Smith, a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, is based at Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Mich.