Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

Saturday Morning Tip: Launch it off the tee

February 18, 2011

Once again we are talking about the three key elements to getting more distance off the tee: (1) solid contact, (2) optimum launch angle and (3) increased clubhead speed. Two weeks ago, I offered tips from several Golf Digest Teaching Professionals for increasing your clubhead speed. Last Saturday I gave you tips from Golf Digest Teaching Professional Butch Harmon for making solid contact. Today, we'll cover improving your launch angle.

Here is a simple tip you can use right now, from Golf Digest Teaching Professional Jim McLean. It appeared in the February 2007 issue. Jim's tip below will promote a launch angle that results in optimum carry with minimum spin. If you combine that ascending launch angle with the increased clubhead speed and more solid contact we discussed previously, you will definitely notice a serious increase in the distance of your tee shots. It might not happen overnight, but continue to practice these three areas and you WILL hit the ball farther.

*Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest*


Jim McLean: Let your tilt increase__

For powerful drives, your spine angle should double at impact


By shifting your weight forward and rotating your hips toward the target in the downswing, you will change your original spine angle. When you push off your right side and rotate (left), the lower part of your spine shifts forward while the upper part tips farther away from the target, effectively doubling the tilt from its address position.

Try mimicking the positions I describe and checking them in a mirror. You'll get the basic feel for the downswing tilt move that keeps you behind the ball and in position to deliver a powerful swing through impact.

*Thanks Jim. This is great advice for anybody whose driver is descending through impact, causing low-left shots and/or weak pop-ups to the right. Let me know if it works for you, and remember to follow me on twitter @RogerSchiffman. *