Sean Foley is known to most people recently as Tiger Woods’ golf coach and it’s certainly brought Sean Foley to the fore in terms of the media and the public attention. But he’s actually been working very nicely with a lot of good players over the years and Hunter Mahan is one of the players that’s really been very successful under Sean Foley’s tutelage. Actually a lot of people say that Hunter Mahan’s got the golf swing Tiger Woods wishes he had, and he’s one of the best drivers of the golf ball. If you look at the stats over the last couple of years, he finished in the top 3 on the last two seasons on combined distance and accuracy stats. So he’s not the longest player, he’s not the straightest player but combining the distance with the accuracy, he finishes in the top 3 and that allows him then to play most shots from the middle of the fairway with a relatively short time to capitalize on some quite high aggreance and regulation stuffs as well.

Now Mahan’s trying to change his golf swing a little bit recently with Foley, he’s trying to strike down on the golf ball less with his driver and start sweeping up a little bit more. That should give him a higher launch angle, slightly lower spin rate and actually increase his driver distance enabling him to hit longer, straighter golf shots and compete on the longest golf courses. So we look at how we strike the golf ball. There can be some confusion about whether we hit down or whether we hit up. And the real confusion actually comes from — with your irons you need to do one thing, with your driver you need to do something slightly different.

So with the irons we’re often talking about hitting down on the ball, taking a divot, spinning the ball loads but then when it comes to your driver you need to implore slightly different technique. So that’s often going to stem from a good address position; changing the address position can change your angle of attack. So if we look at the you set up to the golf ball with your bigger clubs, Mahan’s trying to work hard with Foley, on trying to get the ball nearer to the front side, nearer to his left in-step having the ball ride up against that left in-step.

For a lot of golfers, who are used to playing the ball more from the centre, can feel very alien it can feel difficult to turn the chest to look at the golf ball or have it so far off center. But we want to play that ball nicely off the left in-step, have the handle of the golf club pointing a little bit more at the middle of your body, that’s going to help the ball fly a little bit higher as well. Now when we position the body weight, we want at least 60% of your body weight to still be sitting on your right leg, we don’t want to run too much onto the left leg or lean into the ball, we sit nicely with a lot of body weight on that right leg.

That should encourage a tilted spine angle, leaning back behind the golf ball and quite a high left shoulder position as well. So all these little tweaks and changes, it would feel very different in comparison to a short iron or a mid iron. So a short iron would be in the centre of your body, leaning onto your left-hand side and hitting down taking a divot, drilling the ball low, the loft on the golf club hits it up in the air. With a driver we don’t have that much loft, but we do have the advantage of the ball being on a tee. So we can change the set-up; ball goes forwards, body weight sits back, high left shoulder, tilted spine angle, hands slightly back of the ball. Then as we sweep this up into the air, we feel like we stay back and like Mahan is now working on trying to hit this slightly on the rise to give you the longest straightest highest carrying golf shots. Hit up on your driver shots, lower the spin rate down have higher, longer rainbow flighted shots and like Hunter Mahan you too could improve your driving.