Sam Snead is quoted as saying, “drive for show, putt for dough…” but in the headline above, I’ve re-written it to show the importance of driving the ball well.
Think back to your last 3 or 4 rounds of golf, and imagine if you placed your ball in the middle of the fairway at your best distance, let’s say 235 yards. How would your score change if that were the case?
I see too many golfers that go for the homerun swing with the driver and end up in big trouble. Get the ball in play to start the golf hole and things are bright from there, it’s not like tennis where you get a mulligan on your serve.
Many of my students will say things are ok with the shorter irons, then worsen with the driver being the most troublesome for them. I feel this relates directly to swinging progressively too hard at the longer clubs.
Jack Nicklaus once said that when he wanted to hit it further, he would swing longer, but slower. This is great advice. This will give you the timing to allow the mechanics of the swing to work together.
In other sports like running or for throwing techniques, they talk about soft loose muscles being more productive and faster. It is my opinion that if you try to swing hard with more power, that you will tighten up and you will be less powerful in the end than if you are smooth and relaxed.
Here is the geometry lesson when it comes to the driver. The longer swing of the driver takes longer. Think of it like a long fishing rod with a long line, it will take longer to make the arch happen than a shorter line. The same scenario is true with a 9-iron not taking as long to swing than the time of a driver swing. So…swing it long and slow and it will work better for you.
Test different drivers with your PGA professional. If you are naturally fast, possibly you need a heavier and stronger golf shaft. Not as strong or swing as powerfully? Then a light more flexible golf shaft is better for you.
Good luck…see you in the middle of the fairway.