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correct answer Any or all of the above to hit longer drives

Wait a second, you’re thinking. Aren’t you supposed to hit down to get the ball up?

Yes, when hitting irons and hybrids, or fairway woods off the ground. But to max out your distance with the driver, it’s ideal to catch the ball with the clubhead moving slightly upward at impact.

Why? Because you’ll effectively add loft to the driver while reducing backspin on the ball. Your drives will fly higher and hang in the air with less sideways curve.

Now, let’s examine the “how.”

While we settled on spine tilt as the primary key, it’s just one of several setup steps needed to launch drives with an upward strike. The others:

Tee the ball high – the club’s top line should intersect the ball’s midsection, with no more than half the ball covering the clubface.

Position the ball opposite your left heel. (The tip of your left foot should be flared a few degrees toward the target.)

Place a little extra weight on your right foot – up to 60% total, with 40% on your left.

From this address position, your right shoulder should naturally hang below your left, tilting the spine away from the target. This allows you to easily transfer weight to your right side on the backswing; at the top, your upper body won’t tip toward the target. Your hips will engage to begin the downswing, you’ll reach impact with the spine still tilted and the clubhead traveling upward.

Presto! Higher, longer tee shots.

Want more tips on proper spine tilt and booming drives? Just follow these links:

Mark O’Meara: Simple Swing Around Tilted Spine

Gary Woodland: Drives Launched on the Upswing

Women: What is the Correct Spine Tilt at the Start of the Swing?

Seniors: What is the Correct Spine Tilt at Address?

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

If you achieve a proper setup but tee the ball too low, you’ll likely catch the ground before the ball and “drop-kick” your drives. Or, you may strike down on the ball, generating excess backspin and “ballooning” shots. Either way, you’ll fail to hit the ball high enough on the clubface to take full advantage of the driver’s loft.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

The farther back you position the ball, the farther ahead of the clubhead you place your hands. This creates unwanted shaft lean, de-lofts the clubface and promotes a downward swing path. With the driver, this is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

This will have a similar effect to playing the ball too far back. Your takeaway will be steeper as will your downswing. The idea is to sweep the ball off the tee, not smack down on it.