Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Getting Distance, Part deux

So we're at the address, ready to swing. Ok, let's tweak a couple things first.
Remember what I said about flexibility? This is where we cheat the aging process a little.
Take your right foot, and point it slightly outward. Why? This will promote more coil by helping you get your hips turning sooner.

Look at your grip. Is it the "V" we've all been taught to point to the right shoulder? If it's pointed left of that position, then you have a weak grip....great for when you're 20, and you have unbelievable wrist action....but I'm addressing older players, so lose the weak grip and do one of two things.
1) With your left hand, wrap all four fingers around the club with your thumb going down the center. Take your right hand and wrap all four fingers around the club. The only finger we're going to overlap is the left thumb. What we have now is a modified baseball grip. Our hands are still together by virtue of the thumb, but our hands are also working free-er because we are not wrapping/interlocking the pinkie. Why do we do this? Because we want to promote fluid wrist action.
2) The other option is to take the "V" and move it further right of your right shoulder. What we have here is a strong grip. Why would we do this? Because, once again, we want to promote wrist action. A strong grip increases the range at which your wrist can turn left.
Whatever you decide works best, stick with it. You will gain confidence with it once it feels natural.

Ok last thing, at address, look at the butt of your club. Can you see it? Or is the pad of your hand hiding it? We want to see at least 1/2" of the butt of the club. Why? Because these new drivers have loooong shafts, and we need to have as much control as possible when we are swinging the club. Choking up gives us a little more control than if a part of your hand is hanging off the club.

Let's see what we've got at address for part 2: (I'm assuming you're already set in the address position I mentioned in Part 1): Right foot pointed out slightly. We either have the modified baseball grip,or a strong grip. We've choked-up on the club about 1/2".

Ok...this is going to feel awkward for the first few times (unless there is an evil twin lurking that hits it just like I do) so let's do this on the range.

When you make your first swing, go slow. You'll want to feel how all this works together. The first thing you'll notice is how all your weight is transferred to your back leg...your nose will even move behind the ball...this is great! Don't worry if your club is parallel at the top...that doesn't matter here. What you want to feel after you've made your turn, is that the weight is transferring to the left leg at impact. This is where your nose position means everything. At impact, your weight has shifted to the left leg, your nose comes back to center *keep it at center, not past the ball*.
Why? Because you want your legs to take over at point of impact, not your upper body. When you stop your nose, you stop your upper body.

Think of the golf swing as a flycast....the rod(club) whips back, comes back around...then thwack...the wrist(nose) freezes, but the momentum of the rod(club) keeps does the fly(ball).

One point to remember is weight transfer. We don't want swaying, we want turning. With these bigger drivers, it is very easy to start swaying and not even know it. One way I promote turning is by correct posture. When at address, I try to throw my shoulder back, almost like I'm trying to get my shoulder blades to touch. The best example visually would be Michele Wie. She has PERFECT posture from address on the tee box to on the putting green.

Bottom-line. With these new drivers, it is very intimidating when you first hit them. Especially if you don't hit them well after you spend $300+ on one; "I paid how much for this piece of crap". But once you take a few of my tips with you on the range, my best guess for you will be an increase of 20-30 yards, straight down the middle of the fairway, and you will start to embrace this new golf technology.

Just don't take the club to bed with you.

Thanks for reading, keep it in the short-grass.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

V to the right of the shoulder is a STRONG grip. V to the left (like if it was straight up and down the shaft) is WEAK.