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Question on Driving:

I'm seeking to obtain more distance with the driver, can you help?
--Earl H. from High Point, NC

Hi Earl. Thanks for writing

To gain more distance on your drives there are several things you can do. I would have you first start by getting on a launch monitor and seeing if your driver is a good fit for you. If you are not getting the proper launch angles and spin rates and such your equipment may be robbing you of distance. Another thing to test easily is the ball you are using. If you are playing one that is high spin and doesn't get much distance you may be losing yards off the tee. Now, assuming it's not the arrow, but it is the Indian we can explore a few options.

First to get proper launch on the ball we need to make sure you are set up properly for a driver. Your ball position should be opposite your front arm pit and your upper spine should be well behind the ball. Get the feeling that you have at least 60% of your weight on your back foot and get there by feeling like you are bending over your belt with your upper body towards your back foot. The combination of having your ball positioned forward and your upper spine and head well behind the ball will assist you in making an upward blow on the ball. Catching the ball on the upswing a bit will help you launch it at a better trajectory.

The next thing I want you to check it your arc on your backswing. A narrow arc will not generate the club head speed that a wide arc will. Get the feeling that you are pushing your arms away from your body on the backswing keeping them the same distance from your sternum as they were at address. Don't let them collapse in and get narrow as you get to the top. Ideally your backswing would be wide and your downswing would narrow a bit as you keep the angles in your back wrist and elbow. We want to maintain these angles as long as possible and straighten them into the ball creating last minute acceleration. Working on your arc may gain you significant distance if it's not ideal.

If your equipment fits, your set up is good, you have a wide arc and you are releasing your angles at the last minute then all you need to do is add speed. Turning your trunk or torso towards the target at a faster rate of rotation will then in turn cause your arms and the club to speed up. Make sure first that you are getting a nice tight coil into your backswing and then work on unwinding with a lot more speed. If you don't create more speed you probably won't create more distance.

Try out these suggestions Earl and let me know how it goes. I also recommend that you start entering your scores in the Game Tracker and log your practice sessions in the Practice Planner. That will make it easier for me to more accurately offer you advice.


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