by Frank Peter
The following Golf Lesson is reprinted with permission from the "Golf Beginner Guide", a full 272 page resource for Golf Beginners. For only $29.50 you get an incredible amount of invaluable tips, lessons and advice - great value for money. Click the above link to find out more!
It's been said that the driver is the second most important club in your bag--next to your putter. A good drive sets the tone for the rest of the hole. Will you be scrambling just to get back on the fairway, hoping for pars and bogeys--or will you be aggressively going for the green and for birdies?
By squeezing a few extra yards out of those drives, the subsequent iron shot will be that much easier, as will your chips, putts, and so on.
Of course good equipment also helps a lot. Most importantly, appropriate clubs that are proven for long drives while still being very forgiving are a good way to add extra yards. A good example is the new Pinemeadow Golf Doublewall 400cc Driver which features a exclusive proprietary design to maximise distance while increasing the sweet spot for improved forgiveness.
1. Body Coil
Tiger Woods, Fred Couples, and other greats generate tremendous power by coiling the upper body with a big shoulder turn. The hips, however, don't turn nearly as much. This creates tension and torque, not unlike a rubber band being stretched before it's let go. How do you accomplish it? Try to keep the right leg and knee bent but solid as you take the club away and fully rotate your shoulders. On the downswing, unwind and rotate through the ball with your hips. Make sure your navel is facing the target at the end of the swing to ensure a full turn.
2. Developing a "Lag"
Successful drivers all have a "lag" in their swing. On the downswing, the wrists must release their energy at some point. When this happens is key. The closer to impact with the ball, the more stored power there will be. Many golfers deliver this source of power near the top of the swing or early on the way down, and end up swinging with just arms at contact. This is commonly called "casting"--the opposite of lag. One drill to improve this is to cock your wrists at the top of the backswing so that there's a right angle between your arm and club. Pull the club down in slow motion, while doing your best to retain this angle. Try to incorporate this into your full swings, and remember to release those wrists through the ball!
3. Swinging with the Whole Body
Some of the biggest muscles in your body are the upper legs and trunk, and you should use them to put power in your swing. On the downswing, your legs should begin the drive and the trunk begins the turn. Also, the bigger muscles have much less chance to twitch under pressure than do the smaller ones. This is why good swingers seem to move effortlessly--the small muscles are being led by the larger ones. I call this "swinging with the whole body." Try it!
4. Left Arm Straight at the Top
Make sure your left arm is kept relatively straight on the backswing to ensure a wide swing arc. Keep some distance between the hands at the top of the swing and your shoulders and head. This produces more clubhead speed without swinging any harder. Davis Love III and Vijay Singh are great examples of this. Watch them, and internalize what you see.
If you want to improve your Driving even more you should watch an excellent instructional DVD made by one of the top Teaching Pros - we recommend the PurePoint Golf Driver DVD, worth taking a look!
NOTE: If you have trouble hitting your clubs correctly there is a good chance that your clubs don't suit you properly.
The reason for not improving your game may well be is due to badly fitted clubs. Think about it: people come in all different shapes and sizes, but most golfers simply buy their clubs off the rack in the golf shop.
Unless you are completely 'standard' and 'average' you should consider custom fitting for your next clubs. This can be done online, and it is free, quick and easy (and doesn't hurt a bit). Visit these two sites for free online club fitting, just follow the instructions given there:
'e-fit System' at GigaGolf
'Club Fitting Wizard' at Pinemeadow Golf