GET MORE CON­FI­DENT WITH YOUR DRIVER

Get more out of your hero club

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - By Mag­gie Noel

Even though the equip­ment com­pa­nies have done ev­ery­thing they can to make the driver huge and easy to hit, a lot of play­ers still get anx­ious when they tee one up. It comes from a lack of con­fi­dence, con­fu­sion about me­chan­ics and no real plan for what shot to hit.With a few ad­just­ments to your ap­proach and your swing, you can be what I call “con­trolled ag­gres­sive”.That means you know when to go for it and when to play safe.And you’re not afraid to do ei­ther one. –

SEE THE HOLE BACK­WARDS

When you play the same course all the time, it’s easy to get psyched out by the trou­ble you see stand­ing on the tee on tough driv­ing holes. To beat that men­tal block, try plot­ting your shots from the green back to the tee box.

Where’s the ideal spot to play your ap­proach shot? That’s the tar­get you should be think­ing about when you tee up your ball – a pos­i­tive fo­cus in­stead of that wa­ter on the left or the trees on the right. You’ll be sur­prised how much this sim­ple change in mind­set can im­prove your attitude and the tempo of your swing.

HOW TO BEAT THE STEEP

There are lots of ways to hit a bad tee shot, but the most com­mon one for am­a­teurs is “throw­ing” the club out and away from the body at the start of the down­swing. That causes a steep chop on the ball. All the tech­nol­ogy in the world won’t stop the shots that re­sult – a slice or a big pull.

To pre­vent a steep down­swing, you need to feel the op­po­site sen­sa­tion. Feel your right el­bow moving straight down from the top and rid­ing your right hip through im­pact

(left). That’s a great way to swing the driver into the ball on a shal­low, sweep­ing an­gle.

GO­ING FOR THE GOLD

Swing me­chan­ics mat­ter, but you can trick your­self into achiev­ing them by nail­ing your fin­ish. I like to call it “The Olympic 10,” like the ones gym­nasts do when they stick the land­ing from a vault. Make it a tight, bal­anced fin­ish position, and you’ll get the ben­e­fit of mus­cle mem­ory of the good moves that led to it.

Stick this proud pose at the end by mak­ing a full turn back and through while stay­ing sta­ble – two big things that help al­most any swing. Be­sides, even if the shot didn’t come off ex­actly the way you wanted, you still look good do­ing it! Mag­gie Noel is a Golf Di­gest Best Young Teacher, in Hous­ton.

Make a full turn back and through while stay­ing sta­ble.

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