Long Game Troubles…Work on your Short Game!

The driver is the toughest club to hit in the bag.  It is physically the longest club, measuring around 45” long.  It also has the least amount of loft.  Anywhere from 7 – 12 degrees usually.  The lesser lofts are becoming rarer due to the advancements in shafts, clubhead design and golf ball aerodynamics.  But still, very little loft.  Add those two built in components of the club together and you have the makings of all sorts of interesting tee shot shapes, direction and trajectories.

Long Game 2

You want to become a great driver of the ball?  Work on your 7, 8 or 9 iron chip shots around the green.  The shot that flies 25% of the distance to the hole and rolls the other 75%.  This chipping motion works on a couple fundamentals that all great drivers have:  flat left wrist at impact, proper weight distribution at impact and a quiet head.

It is a lot easier to see and feel the above three fundamentals when you are working with partial shots around the green.  When you are swinging your driver, the focus is on making contact not on checking positions.  Chipping allows you to pay attention to the small details – hands at impact, weight on the front foot at impact, head staying in one position from start to finish.  One of the best drills I can recommend for anyone who wants to feel the correct position for the hands at impact is the use of an impact bag.  Use a 5 or 7 iron. Take your address position and place the impact bag outside your front foot, or forward of where your normal ball at impact would be during a regular swing.  Make your normal golf swing at half speed and let the impact bag stop your club but allow your hands to continue on thru impact.  Hold that position to get accustom to the feel of the hands ahead of the clubhead.  Repeat 5-10 more times and then hit a ball with your selected iron and try to duplicate the same feel that you had with the impact bag.  Voila!  You are on your way to becoming a GREAT driver!


By Pat O’Hara

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