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  • lworthington27

How to Hit Longer, Straighter Drives

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

I don't like to reference Tiger Woods all the time, but he is once again a great example for

today's lesson to help you add power to your golf swing. Tiger creates tremendous power

and despite having spinal fusion surgery, he has returned with similar power as to when

he left.

His swing has been reinvented and there are several important takeaways you can get

from watching this 6-minute analysis of Tiger's new golf swing.

One of the things they'll mention is his ability to hit up the golf ball. Tiger positions the

ball a little more forward in his stance than most tour players which helps him stay back

behind the ball and launch it higher.

Most amateur golfers struggle with the driver because their upper body tilts more forward

at impact which leads to a number of issues and most importantly an inconsistent impact

Forward spine lean at impact can cause you to hit the golf ball too early in the arc and hit

too much down on the ball, resulting in the lost distance as well as an increase in slices,

hooks, and missed fairways.

If you can stay back longer you can delay the swing arc to help you hit up on the golf ball

and you can give yourself a little more time in the downswing to square the club face and

eliminate the slice. When Tiger hits up on the golf ball, this increases the launch angle and helps the golf ball carry further. On TV, we see the end result is a mashed 340-yard drive

How to "Hit Up" on the Golf Ball with Higher Launch Angles

To help you hit up on the golf ball, you need to make contact with the ball later in the

swing arc. Adjusting a few things in set up can help achieve this delay we are seeking.

Start off by teeing up your golf ball. Position the ball off your front foots toe instead of the

front foots heel. This moves the ball forward in your stance more than normal, copying

Tiger's ball position.

Next, you need to back off the ball a little more, allowing your arms to be extended

away from your body slightly more than normal at the address. This will help you create more

width in your swing.

You also need to tilt your spine away from the target at the address and as you make your

back swing keep your spine angle leaning away.

At the top of the back swing, you are now “loaded” with your upper and lower body nicely

stacked so that you can use your lower body properly for generating power on the

downswing. The transition from backswing to downswing is the all-important part.

As you shift and rotate the lower body to start the downswing, keep the spine slightly

tilted away so that you can clearly view the backside of the golf ball.

Again, the mistake most amateurs make is moving forward with their upper body, creating

a forward spine angle lean and this only allows them to see the front side of the golf ball.

One final thing to note, is you don't want to end up hanging back on the follow-through.

That's not what we mean by maintaining spine tilt away from the target. You still want to

finish with a solid pivot and your body facing the target after impact, completing the weight

shift onto your lead leg.

It's only during address and during the impact that you need to maintain spine tilt away from

the target to give your arms and body room to sweep the ball up off the tee. As you follow

through, your arms will help pull your body forward while your hips are pivoting, helping

you finish in the proper position as normal.

If you find yourself still hanging back with your weight on your backside after follow

through, then you're not making the proper weight shift transition on the downswing and

likely losing power and distance in your swing.

Overall, try these tips that we discussed today and review the video linked above again for

tips on what Tiger does to sweep the ball off the tee at a high launch angle for maximum

power and distance

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