Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tee Shots - Lack of Distance

Obviously length off the tee gives players a huge advantage over their shorter hitting competitors. Longer drives allow you to hit shorter irons into the greens giving you opportunities for more birdies and lower scores. Players often fail to maximize on their distance potential not because of their lack of strength or club head speed, but rather because of their set up with the driver.

In order it hit long, high flying tee shots a player must create a sweeping motion that strikes the ball while the club head is ascending or on the upswing. Unfortunately many players address their tee shots in the same manner as if they were hitting an iron. Their weight is favoring their left side, their hands are forward and the ball is positioned back in their stance. This setup creates a steep, downward angle of attack on the ball in the downswing resulting in a weak glancing blow and a loss of power. Topped or skied shots are often the result.

I recommend making these adjustments in your address to improve your impact and trajectory. Tee the ball higher and more forward so the ball is opposite the instep of your left foot. Widen your stance slightly and put 60 percent of your weight on your right side. Your head and hands will now be slightly behind the ball. Keep your grip relaxed so your arms feel soft and not rigid.

This new set up creates a wide arc and full shoulder turn so that your upper body is fully coiled behind the ball at the top of your swing. The increased coil allows for the natural transition back to your left side and the club to accelerate through the ball on a more ascending path.

Keep your head behind the ball through impact so that you feel you are sweeping the ball off the tee without removing the tee from the ground. Practice this new set up and swing feel, and you'll soon be hitting shorter irons into the greens with more birdie opportunities.