Before learning how to ‘smash it’ and generate more distance from the tee, whilst also maintaining accuracy, it is important to have good solid fundamentals, as with any good golf shot.
The fundamentals are things such as aim, grip, stance, posture, ball position and weight distribution. A lot of amateur golfers that I see neglect these and do not understand the importance of them.
Respected coach Scott Cranfield, coach to many professional golfers, recently stated that he believed up to 80% of golfers’ swing faults stemmed from poor fundamentals prior to swinging the golf club.
Some of the key fundamentals are static and are done prior to swinging the golf club.
Slight changes to these can help you gain those all important few yards.
Ball positionThe correct ball position for your driver should be just inside your left heel.
Placing the ball in this position helps to create the correct angle of attack (shallow), which is the ideal impact position and launch angle required for a long, powerful and penetrating drive.
I recommend a slightly wider than normal stance when trying to hit the ball further. This stance enables you to form a solid base and gives you better balance – two key attributes when you are looking to increase clubhead speed and hit the ball further.
Lighten your grip pressure to hit the ball further. In doing so, it will reduce tension in the forearms, help the club move more freely in the hands and allow a good release of the club – all of which will help to increase clubhead speed.
It is important to create good angles at address and maintain those angles throughout the golf swing. This will lead to consistent strikes out of the middle of the clubface, which increases the likelihood of you hitting the ball further.
Allow the right shoulder to sit lower than the left – this will cause the spine to tilt slightly away from the golf ball. This set up, as with ball position, helps to create the ideal angle of attack and launch angle required for a monster drive.
The ball should be teed up so at least half of it appears above the crown of the driver. You can tee the ball higher, especially if you are looking to carry the ball further and you want to use the wind direction to your advantage.
The result of poor fundamentals…
Poor fundamentals lead to golfers having to make compensatory movements within the golf swing, and these compensatory movements lead to an inefficient golf swing and an inability to generate extra power.
The most common fault, before the actual start of the golf swing, amongst amateur golfers that I see is a weak grip. This often causes the clubface to be open.
As a consequence of this fault the majority of golfers will then compensate for their weak grip by swinging on a path across the body, known as an out-to-in swing.
This compensatory movement means it is impossible to attack the golf ball from the most powerful position, which is what you actually want to do.
The majority of amateur golfers, though, would automatically believe it is their swing that is the problem without thinking about their grip as the primary cause.
Gavin Abson is the Head PGA Professional at The Carrick. For lessons, call Gavin on 01764 694 343. Follow him on Twitter: @GavinAbson
Originally published on bunkered on June 8, 2012.