Do you want to hit straighter and longer golf drives? In this post PGA professional Dan Whittaker explains key dos and don'ts, plus he uses TrackMan statistics from good and bad swings to show you just how effective his simple tips can be
Hit Straighter & Longer Golf Drives
1 – Use The Ground For Power
One way to hit straighter and longer golf drives is to stop swaying in your backswing as this inhibits your ability to rotate and load your right glute correctly. Swaying also leads to timing issues, as you have to get back to the ball from the place you’ve moved to.
In this video, PGA Professional Dan Whittaker talks through the problem and offers some simple drills that will help you harness the potential power from the ground.
A great visualisation is to turn your hips like you are stood in a barrel to stop unwanted lateral movement. Also feel as though you’re weight is loading into your right thigh and heel in the backswing.
2 – Rotate Your Hips Correctly For More Power
Many amateur golfers suffer from a reverse pelvic tilt that causes their legs to collapse and their upper body to lean towards target as they reach the top of the backswing. The result is an ugly reverse pivot that causes slices and weak strikes.
The correct hip rotation creates space between the right hip’s start position and where it ends up at the top of your backswing. Pause at the top and you should feel like your weight is over the inside of the right heel. Get this part right and then you can powerfully shift your weight back towards the target through impact.
3 – Start The Downswing With A Squat
Too many amateurs bump their hips too far towards the target. We all know that a good weight shift towards the target through impact is key, but crucially you still need to harness your power from the ground.
A stable lower body is key here. As you start the downswing you should feel your weight moving down into your left toe – this is a very powerful move you’ll see top players like Jordan Spieth make. To facilitate this, let your left knee rotate out a fraction as you start down. You should almost feel like you are squatting a little into your left side as you transition into the downswing. This is crucial to more power and accuracy.
4 – Improve Your Footwork
As we have already stressed, good footwork is essential for power, accuracy and longer golf drives. At address, your weight should be on the balls of your feet – so not too far forward where your calf muscles are tense and not sat back on your heels.
If your weight is in the wrong position, your hips will not be able to work as they should. So at address feel your weight on the balls of your feet and then, as you turn to the top of your backswing feel your weight shift into your right heel.
A great drill is to hit shots with your right foot drawn back a fraction at address. This will help activate your hip rotation and give you a great feel for how your weight moves into your right heel at the top of the backswing.
5 – Banish Your Slice
A fade or slice will take precious yards off your drives, so fixing any bad moves, like an over-the-top swing, is highly recommended.
While many golfers look at their arm movements when addressing an out-to-in slice swing, more often than not the problems start from the ground.
Rather than splashing out on a draw-bias driver, take a closer look at your lower body movements and where your weight is moving.
Try to keep your right heel grounded for longer in your downswing, which stops your weight tipping forward onto your toes. With a better weight balance you’ll then be able to swing on plane for better accuracy and generate more power consistently.