Summer 2017

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6 38 SUMMER 2017 | NCGA.ORG DRIVING 2 The important distinction between approach shots and driving is the angle of a ttack. With irons, hybrids and even fairway metals, you want the clubhead to hit the ball on a slightly downward attack angle. But a driver should contact the ball on an upswing. You accomplish this by moving the ball placement forward with a driver, toward the front foot (Photo 6). It's also important to keep your head behind the ball at address and during the swing. A left lean at address or sliding the head forward on the downswing will cause a downward strike. However, when you move the ball forward, the shoulders tend to open at address. And an open shoulder position will force you to take the club outside on the takeaway, minimize your backswing shoulder turn and typically cause you to swing outside-in, across the ball at impact. The result? The all-too-com- mon slice. To counteract that tendency, here's a new pre-shot routine for you to try. Instead of placing the driver head up against the back of the ball, set it seven to ten inches behind the ball (Photo 6) and take your stance. That club- head position is your swing's low point, and you feel comfortable because the shoulders stay square, just like an iron shot. Here are two more important tips and a drill to improve your driving: 1. This may feel awkward at first, but try lining up with the ball on the toe side of the clubface at address (Photo 7). Most golfers don't realize that when the clubhead swings up to the ball, it will also move a little farther away from you. If you don't compensate for that outward force, you'll end up with a lot of drives hit off the heel of the club. 3. Place a rolled-up towel one foot in front of a tee. Now take a swing and clip the tee, but also miss the towel (Photo 9). This drill promotes the feel of the proper upward angle of attack and also teaches you to hit the ball high in the face (by hitting the tee). 9 7 8 2. Next, I want you to hit the ball slightly above the center of the club- face because that will give you maximum distance (carry and roll). The trick to making this happen is hitting the tee with the bottom of the clubface on every drive. After a correctly struck drive, the tee should be leaning forward or be knocked right out of the ground (Photo 8).

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