Are you not producing the power and distance off the tee that you are capable of producing? One of the most common questions I get from my students is, “How do I get more distance off the tee?” In order to get more distance off the tee, you must learn to swing with correct angles and rotate through the ball.
You can walk down the practice tee at a PGA Tour event and see 144 different backswings and follow-throughs, but if you look very closely you will notice that at certain positions in each golf swing there are characteristics that are similar in style and form. Let’s take a look at the top of the golf swing. Most PGA Professionals will have a full extension of the arms and club at the top of their golf swing. The shaft of the driver will be parallel to the ground, and the shoulders will have a complete rotation around the golfer’s spine. Most of the player’s weight should be on their back foot ready to transfer to the left side on the downswing.
If you take a look at the face-on view of my swing, you can see that my left shoulder has rotated to behind the ball and that most of my body weight is on my right side. The shaft of the club is parallel to the ground.
From the down-the-line view, you can see that the left arm is nice and straight, and that the butt of the club is pointed back at the camera which points the shaft down the target line.
Getting the club in a good position at the top of the swing will help you generate more power on the down swing. Once you are in a good position at the top of the golf swing, you can create the leverage needed to increase club head speed which will give you more distance.
Some players don’t rotate enough through the swing which leads to a decrease in club head speed and distance. Take a look at both shot sequences and notice how much the body has rotated back and through. Along with getting in a good position at the top of the swing and creating leverage on the downswing, the power source of the golf swing is the turn with your body (core) through the ball. If you’re in a good position and turn your body through the ball, you will create lag and leverage coming into impact. The longer you can maintain your lag and release through the ball you will generate more club head speed in order to gain more distance. Look at the face-on view photos and take notice of where the club head and the left arm are at at impact. The club head is slightly behind the back of the left arm and hand and are almost in a straight line. If the club head passes the hands and arm prior to impact, you will be decelerating through impact on top, possibly coming through with the club face opened or closed, which will result in more miss-hits and lack of distance. A practice drill you can use to help create the correct angles and lag into impact is: 1) take your normal setup 2) choke up on the club so that there is an inch or two of grip past your hands to help you feel the butt of the club 3) practice taking ¾ swings working on getting the butt of the club working down to the ground on the downswing which will create a nice 90 degree angle with the left hand and the shaft of the club 4) maintain that angle through impact while hitting a knock-down or punch style of shoot.
This will help create the right angle of attack and maintain your lag until impact. If you can create the right leverage and lag with a full rotation with the shoulders and body through the ball, you will be able to increase your club head speed and produce more distance.