Golf Made Easy

Thrust with your hips to launch the ball

Golf Digest Middle East - - Contents - — WITH RON KASPRISKE

Use your hips to power up. BY DAVID LEAD­BET­TER

“Con­stantly bor­row­ing tees? You need a new down­swing.”

If you’re reg­u­larly pop­ping up tee shots or the ball isn’t rolling very far once it lands in the fair­way, you’re hit­ting down on the ball too much. That’s OK for an iron shot off the turf, but not if you’re swing­ing a driver. A tell­tale sign your down­swing is too steep is if you’re con­stantly break­ing tees in half like you’re split­ting fire­wood.

If you want to max­imise dis­tance with your driver, you’ve got to hit up on the ball, and a sim­ple fix is to lit­er­ally stand up dur­ing the down­swing. Let’s prac­tice this move.

As your start the club down, I want you to thrust your hips for­ward like I’m do­ing here. I rec­om­mend do­ing this without a ball at first to get com­fort­able with this move, be­cause it will feel quite dif­fer­ent than your usu­ally steep down­swing. But once you get the hang of it, you can start hit­ting tee shots this way. And I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the re­sults.

What this stand- up/ hipthrust move does is shal­low the club’s path into the ball and gets it mov­ing up­ward just be­fore im­pact. That, in turn, launches the ball high—but not pop-up high—and with far less back­spin than if you hit down on it. That’s re­ally im­por­tant to in­crease your carry dis­tance and get the ball to roll more.

How do you know you’ve changed your an­gle of at­tack? Well, you might dis­lodge the tee swing­ing this way, but it should live to see an­other swing.

david lead­bet­ter, a Golf Digest Teach­ing Pro­fes­sional, runs 32 acad­e­mies world­wide.

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