Fortinet Championship

Silverado Resort and Spa North

The Loop

The Loop

Saturday Morning Tip: Hitting it solid

February 11, 2011

Last Saturday, we talked about the three key elements to getting more distance off the tee: (1) solid contact, (2) optimum launch angle and (3) increased clubhead speed. I gave you tips from three Golf Digest teachers for increasing your speed. Today, we'll cover making solid contact. Here are three tips you can use right now, from Golf Digest Teaching Professional Butch Harmon.

*Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest*

--Match your swing to your turn. Another key to solid contact is keeping your arm swing in sync with your body turn. When your body stops turning in the backswing, your arms should stop swinging back. Then, as you start down, your arms will naturally drop and deliver the club from the inside, which is a good thing. If your arms keep swinging after you've completed your turn, your left elbow collapses and you'll tend to cast the club before impact, which leads to weak, inconsistent contact. Try this drill: Swing to the top and pause for a count of three, then unwind and swing through. Once you get a feel for the timing, try hitting some balls. Your

contact will improve--and so will your distance.

__--Turn your hips level.__Poor contact often comes from pulling out of your posture on the downswing. I'm convinced the real culprit is thrusting your pelvis toward the ball on the downswing, which causes the spine to straighten up. Keep your hips turning level through the strike, and your spine will stay in position. Here's how to check it: At the finish, your belt buckle should face the target--this is proof that you've made a level turn.

--Shift in the direction of the swing. As the club moves back, your weight should go to the inside of your back foot. Then, as you swing down, your weight should shift to your front foot. This is especially important for iron shots when the ball is on the ground. With your weight hanging back on your through swing, you'll either hit the ground before the ball or make contact on the upswing. Moving into the shot with the clubhead promotes flush contact.

*Great advice from Butch. Good luck with your game this weekend, and be sure to follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.

*(Photo: Dom Furore)