Fixing your driver can be as easy as sorting this one swing characteristic, Hannah Holden explains it for us in this video.
If you want to hit your driver better, there is one thing that most golfers could improve to give them the best chance. In this video, Hannah Holden and teaching professional Jack Backhouse discuss the different technical changes that can be made for more swing speed and straighter tee shots.
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If we start by thinking about some of the greatest drivers in the game: McIlroy, Palmer, Calvin Peete, Westwood, something all these players have in common is their low left arm relative to the angle of their shoulders, or a ‘flat arm swing’. The benefits of doing this are:
- it promotes a bigger shoulder turn
- it helps lengthen the distance the club travels back and down into the ball, which increases clubhead speed
- it helps deliver the club from the inside, which is optimal for long drives
- it helps promote an upward angle of attack, which improves ball flight
What Do You Need To Feel
The first thing to change and feel is your spine angle at address. At set up, your spine angle should be tilted away from the target, with your trail shoulder lower than your front left shoulder. This pre-sets an upward attack angle and gives you a position for you to rotate your shoulders around that would produce a flatter swing.
The next feel you should be looking for in the swing is to feel like you are reaching your arms behind you at the top of the backswing; your lead arm should be low, and your trail arm should be pushing away. You should not be worried about an inside takeaway; pretty much most of the Golf Hall of Fame is full of golfers with an inside takeaway, so it is not the death move people make out like it is.
From the top of your swing, you need to feel like you are pushing the club further back behind you as you turn back towards the target. This creates a stretch that rebounds into more speed and a longer drive distance and also guarantees that the club travels back down to the ball from the inside. This is the hardest feel for golfers as they are often so focused on hitting the ball that they pull the club back in front of them too early, making it hard to square the clubface and hit the driver straight. From the top, push the arms back away from the ball and see the huge difference that makes to the downswing.
Drills to help
Drills are so useful to us as golfers as they help us feel what we need to recreate when hitting a real shot, often whilst hitting the ball. The first drill is a common one you might see on the YouTube channel and just requires 1 alignment stick on the driving range.
From the golf ball position, lay the alignment stick down on the ground away from the target and then from that position, stick it in the ground at a 45-degree angle, pointing towards where you are standing. This gives you a plane to swing underneath and, in doing so, will force you to swing back and into the ball on a very flat plane. Be careful doing this with a new driver, as contact with the stick on the downswing may damage the club or the stick. Start with some slow golf swings where you have more control of the movement and build up to full speed. This will give you a great feeling of swinging flat and under plane
The second drill is one you will have seen on the range at a tour event and is the simple glove under the lead arm drill. The only small detail that helps is not to put the glove right at the top of the arm but to have it more in the mid-bicep area closer to the elbow, as this forces a much flatter driver swing. This helps promote better connection and a better feeling in the backswing.
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