- Max out that shoulder turn: Ideally, the shoulders should reach a 90° angle to the target line at the top of the backswing. Here’s a drill to improve your rotation (no ball required):
- Transfer your weight correctly: Reaching the proper backswing position is half the battle. The second half is getting the weight from your right side back to the left on the downswing and follow-through. Gary Player’s classic walk-through drill
- Hips lead the downswing: Again, achieving a great backswing turn isn’t the be-all, end-all. The downswing must begin with the left heel pressing into the ground, which activates the left knee and hip to rotate toward the target. The torso and shoulders follow in sequence, pulling the arms into a power position.
So you want to hit the ball farther, but you don’t want to sacrifice accuracy in the process. You know that most of professional golf’s longest hitters rank low in fairway percentage, and that baseball’s sluggers strike out a lot more often than they belt home runs. It would seem that distance and accuracy are mutually exclusive, begging the question:
Is it possible to add power without giving up precision?
Yes, it is. In fact, many power-boosting moves can actually help you hit the ball straighter. How can that be? Because generating maximum clubhead speed requires using your body’s big and small muscles in unison, which is also the key to delivering the clubface squarely to the ball. The idea is to increase clubhead speed without merely swinging harder. In fact, proper mechanics allow you to produce more force with less effort.
These tips and drills will increase your clubhead speed and your accuracy:
1. With the driver, take your stance with the insides of your feet directly beneath the outsides of your shoulders.
2. Keep both your feet planted on the ground, from heel to toe, while swinging to the top.
3. Try to turn until your back faces the target. You’ll feel stretching in the lower back and torso.
4. Finish the swing.
By the way: While golf’s bombers may miss a lot of fairways compared with their shorter-hitting peers, they still manage to find upward of 60% of fairways at clubhead speeds of 120 mph or more – proof that you can hit it long and straight.