Golf World (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Bet­ter ball­strik­ing in four key steps.

Good driv­ing has been the foun­da­tion of my game for as long as I can re­mem­ber. A lot of peo­ple talk about the qual­ity of my iron play and how many greens I hit in reg­u­la­tion, but you can only hit it close if you’re go­ing in to greens from good lies in the fair­way. You’re prob­a­bly think­ing that I have some mag­i­cal se­cret to hit­ting it long and straight but it’s re­ally noth­ing more com­pli­cated than ad­her­ing to good ba­sics and keep­ing things as sim­ple as pos­si­ble dur­ing the swing. Hav­ing said that, I have a hand­ful of swing keys that I con­stantly use to keep my driv­ing on track. I’ve out­lined them here.

Feel a con­nec­tion with the ground

A lot of peo­ple drive the ball badly be­cause they don’t have a solid base and a good con­nec­tion with the ground. You should feel like your legs are en­gaged and ath­letic, and your body should be free of all ten­sion. The ball is just in­side my left heel and my spine is tilted slightly away from the tar­get.

Al­low your arms to drop from the top

One of the big­gest causes of a slice is not al­low­ing the arms to drop at the start of the downswing. It’s easy for the legs and body to go first, but if they do, the arms never catch up. When I’m driv­ing well, I wait with my body at the top of and let my arms drop into po­si­tion. It re­quires prac­tice but all the best play­ers hit ‘the slot’ so they can at­tack the ball from the in­side.

Start your swing with the club­head

The club­head trav­els the fur­thest dis­tance dur­ing the swing so it needs a bit of a head start. In fact, the club­head should be the only thing that moves un­til it reaches your right foot. Keep the face look­ing at the ball while do­ing so. Cor­rect se­quenc­ing makes it eas­ier to keep your swing un­der con­trol.

Keep your lower body

One of the se­crets to ac­cu­rate hit­ting with any club is to keep the clu­face square for as long as pos­si­ble – com­ing into im­pact, through the hit­ting area and be­yond. That’s the key for pow­er­ful con­tact, too. If your club­head ap­proaches the ball too far from the in­side or out­side, you’ll only de­liver a glanc­ing blow on the ball. You want max­i­mum pres­sure on the back of the ball.

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